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Heaven's Runway staying put for Arkansas Derby

Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Third in Monday's Southwest Stakes, Heaven's Runway is now being pointed to the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 13. The 3-year-old colt is trained by Joe Martin for owners Dr. K.K. Jayaraman and wife Dr. Devi Jayaraman.

"The Doc seems to be really planning on going straight to the Arkansas Derby," said Martin. "I know he would need points, but right now he seems pretty convinced. We'd have to win the Arkansas Derby, I know, but Doc seems pretty sure this is what he wants to do."

Sent off at better than 59-1, Heaven's Runway was racing in the group right behind the front-running and eventual Southwest winner Super Ninety Nine. The third-place finish in the slop was worth $30,000 and three points toward the Kentucky Derby.

Bred in Kentucky by his owners, the colt won the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial at Presque Isle Downs for his second victory as a 2-year-old. He was seventh in both the Iroquois at Churchill Downs and Delta Downs Jackpot. The colt came in fourth last month at Delta Downs in the Big Drama Stakes.

"He's doing good and we're so happy with the way he ran (Monday)," said Martin. "It's always great to run like that and show up at big odds. This colt, when he won the Presque Isle race, he was a big price (16-1) and I won that race last year with another horse (Big Wednesday, 22-1) also at a big price. So I know strange things can happen in races like that. And that mud can change a lot of stuff."

In eight career starts, Heaven's Runway has two wins for $147,748.

02/21 15:47:03 ET


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