The $1million Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on Saturday will headline a day of racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, that includes 13 races and almost $3million in total purses. The 1 and 1/8 mile feature race is the final 100-40-20-10 point qualifier for the Kentucky Derby and will finalize the standings that will determine eligibility for the Triple Crown opener.
There are six horses in the field for the Arkansas Derby, five of whom ran in the 50-20-10-5 Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on March 13 at the same track. Trainer Bob Baffert had his two entries finish in the top two positions, with Concert Tour winning and Hozier following him across the line in second place.
Betting odds and starting positions
Concert Tour is the overwhelming favorite at 3/5 odds and will start from the fifth post position. With the win in the Rebel, he's already earned an invitation to the Kentucky Derby, and the expectation is he can beat the same horses a second time around the Oaklawn track.
Next on the odds list is Caddo River, the 6/5 favorite in the Rebel Stakes who faded to a fifth-place finish and failed to gain any qualifying points to add to his total of 10. With at least 34 points needed to have a chance at competing at Churchill Downs on May 1, the Brad Cox-trained colt will need to finish no worse than second. Cox will have jockey Florent Geroux on board in an attempt to get a third horse from his stable into the Kentucky Derby. Caddo River is at 7/2 odds in the morning line and will be breaking from the second post position.
Hozier pulled a big surprise in the Rebel by running second a month after breaking his maiden in his second career start. A typical Baffert late bloomer, Hozier needs to finish third or better in the Arkansas Derby to give his trainer three entries into the Kentucky Derby. He was a 20/1 longshot in the eight-horse Rebel field but is at 4/1 in the rematch, looking to secure at least 20 more qualifying points. Martin Garcia will again be the jockey, and he will lead Hozier from the third post position.
With 10 total points, 12/1 Get Her Number is in the same position as Caddo River, needing a runner-up finish to secure entry into the Kentucky Derby. He never got near the lead in the Rebel, eventually fading to seventh, and will start from post position four on Saturday.
Steve Asmussen is looking for Super Stock to join Midnight Bourbon in the Kentucky Derby field, but the fourth-place finisher in the Rebel hasn't been able to deliver anything better than third place in a qualifying race. He'll need to do better than that to add to his nine points as he starts from the rail at 12/1 odds.
Last Samurai at 30/1 as the outside starter rounds out the field. His last race was a fifth-place finish in the 10-4-2-1 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on February 27.
Note of caution
It's important to note that despite Concert Tour's early odds, only one favorite with a Kentucky Derby spot secured has gone on to victory in a 100-40-20-10 race. That was Essential Quality, who barely won the Blue Grass Stakes, so anything could happen on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.