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Brisset points We the People to Arkansas Derby with new jockey

By Carolyn Greer  March 17, 2022

Brisset points We the People to Arkansas Derby with new jockey

Rodolphe Brisset is taking We the People on the Kentucky Derby trail, with plans to enter the impressive colt in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Arkansas Derby on April 2 at Oaklawn.

The race offers 100-40-20-10 qualifying points to the first four finishers.

We the People made a splash with a 5 3/4-length win on debut in February and then came back Saturday with a 5-length win in an allowance optional claiming race. Both races were at Oaklawn with Florent Geroux aboard.

Brisset told Horse Racing Nation Thursday that he was “very happy” with We the People’s second effort.

“We were looking to get some seasoning, some experience,” he said. “I think that’s what we got. He rated pretty good and when it was time to make the run, he made the run. Flo didn’t use the whip and made him work through the wire, an extra 16th after the wire. So we got what we need and what we want, and now it’s time to step up. Obviously, we’ve got to step up at three weeks, but we feel the way he came out of the race, we feel pretty comfortable about just breezing one time and then try to go for the big one.”

Geroux has a previous commitment with Brad Cox on Arkansas Derby day, Brisset said, so Flavien Prat will have the mount on We the People.

On the same day, another Brisset colt will have an opportunity to pick up as many as 100 Kentucky Derby points with Great Escape, who is pointed toward the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway.

Great Escape was second in an Oaklawn allowance last month. It was his first start since a ninth-place finish in the Breeders’ Futurity (G2) in October.

“He came out of his race pretty good,” Brisset said. “And we felt like we want to give him a chance on the Tapeta.”

Also on April 2, Brisset’s top 3-year-old filly, Yuugiri, will pursue as many as 100 Kentucky Oaks points in the Fantasy (G3), also at Oaklawn. She already is on the leaderboard with 14 points after a second-place finish in the Golden Rod (G2) and third place in the Honeybee (G3) last out.

Things are moving a bit more slowly for another Brisset 3-year-old, Western River, but he’ll see action on Arkansas Derby day too, as the trainer plans to enter him in a maiden race.

Brisset liked what he saw when Western River finished third in a Feb. 26 maiden special weight, but “we’re not going to look too far in front of ourselves. We just want to see where it takes us,” he said.

“My guess is it will be more  summer if he ends up being stakes quality. We’ll be looking at some stakes more over the summer than anything. But we’ve got to keep it simple with him and and likely to point for a maiden on the Arkansas Derby day.”

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