Angel of Empire won the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby by 4 1/4 lengths on Saturday, putting him on track for the Kentucky Derby in May.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Angel of Empire ran the 1 1/8 mile in 1:49.68 at Oaklawn. Ejected at odds of 9-2, he called $11.40, $5.80 and $4.40.

King Russell returned $34.40 and $12.20 at odds of 58-1. Reincarnated paid $3.60 to show.

Angel of Empire earned 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby on May 6. He won the Risen Star in his previous start and finished second in the Smarty Jones on January 1.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES 2024 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Angel of Empire won the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby, putting him on the road to the Kentucky Derby in May.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Like Smarty Jones, who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Angel of Empire is bred in Pennsylvania. The son of 2017 Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire, he was purchased for $70,000.

«It’s a dream come true,» said Jason Loutsch, part owner of the winning Albaugh Family Stable. «I saw on the three-eighths post that he was really moving, holy cow. I was with my brother and hugging him.»

The Albaugh Family Stable also owns Cyclone Mischief, who finished third in the $1 million Florida Derby on Saturday.

«Days like this are just unreal,» Loutsch said. «We are excited to come to Churchill.»