The $1 million Arkansas Derby, the final 100-40-20-10 race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, takes place Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It’s the last chance for five of the horses in the six-horse field aspiring to gain an invitation to the first race in the Triple Crown to secure enough points to qualify.
Three of the top trainers in the sport are well represented, with Bob Baffert, Brad Cox, and Steven Asmussen bringing horses that have a good chance of winning. Come late Saturday afternoon, it will be interesting to see which of these great horsemen comes out on top.
Betting Preview: Concert Tour
Concert Tour, trained by Bob Baffert, pulled a minor upset in the 50-20-10-5 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 13th. He’s the odds-on favorite at 3 /5 to duplicate the feat and remain undefeated in his fourth career start against four of the same horses that he beat in the Rebel.
With his four-length victory in March, Concert Tour picked up 50 qualifying points and is the only horse in the field to have already secured an invitation to the Kentucky Derby. Jockey Joel Rosario will be on board and Concert Tour will start from the fifth post position.
Betting Preview: Caddo River
This Brad Cox colt was the favorite at 6/5 odds in the Rebel but faded down the stretch and finished fifth. The winner of the 10-4-2-1 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn in January needs the 40 points that will come with a second-place finish to get into the Kentucky Derby.
Starting from the second post position, jockey Florent Geroux will be attempting to do the same thing he’s done for Mandaloun, and that is to get another Brad Cox horse to Churchill Downs. He goes off at 7/2 odds in the early line.
Betting Preview: Hozier
At the Rebel, Hozier made it a Bob Baffert exacta by finishing second in his first start after breaking his maiden at Santa Anita a month earlier. With 20 qualifying points and $200,000 in earnings, a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby would guarantee the 4/1 odds entry a trip to the Kentucky Derby.
Hozier will be ridden by Martin Garcia and will start from the third post position, the same combination that resulted in his runner-up finish in the Rebel. If Hozier earns at least 20 points, he would be the third Baffert colt to qualify for the field at Churchill Downs on May 1st.
Betting Odds and Lines
BetOnline has the following odds based on past and recent performances. Steve Asmussen’s entry, Super Stock, finished fourth in the Rebel and starts from the inside post position at 12/1 odds. Get Her Number, who ran seventh in the Rebel, is also at 12/1 and will start in the fourth position. The only entrant that didn’t compete in the Rebel is Last Samurai at 30/1 odds and the outside starter in position 6.
Free Betting Pick
Favorites that have already qualified for the Kentucky Derby haven’t fared particularly well, especially with desperate horses in the field. Look for Caddo River to have a much better outing and close the deal with a win on Saturday.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Caddo River (30-1 Odds)
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