The $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) is the major Kentucky Derby prep run at Oaklawn Park. Bodemeister was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 11 off his win in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) last out at Santa Anita. In to challenge him include his stablemate and 5-2 second choice Secret Circle, winner of both the Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2), the local prep path for this event, and 9-2 third choice Optimizer, second in the Rebel last out.
Jockey Mike Smith sent Bodemeister to the lead first time by and he set quick fractions of 23.02, 46.55 and 1:11.36 over the fast track while pressed by 8-1 Stat, with Secret Circle stalking the pair in third. On the turn, Stat tired badly allowing Secret Circle to inherit second and get within 2 lengths of his stablemate. However, Bodemeister kicked clear through the stretch to win going away by 9 1/2 lengths in 1:48.71. It was just a neck back from Secret Circle to late-running 12-1 Sabercat third.