Arkansas Derby Betting Guide

One of the most important Kentucky Derby prep runs comes in the form of the Arkansas Derby. The race this year will include an exciting mix of horses looking for a strong prep run for the race, as well as some horses that will be searching for an entry into the Kentucky Derby.

Event Details

The Arkansas Derby is an annual event that takes place at Oaklawn Park. It is a Grade 1 affair, which is run over 1 1/8 miles. Unlike other Kentucky Derby prep runs, the Arkansas Derby is open to both colts and fillies, making for an interesting mix of runners.


The prize purse of $1 million for the race always ensures that there is a scramble for entries, and that promises to be no different this year.

Arkansas Derby Predictions

The final entries that will make up the field for the 2021 Arkansas Derby aren’t set to be announced until the middle of the week. However, we can already speculate about some of the leading contenders that will be aiming for Arkansas Derby’s success to establish their spot in the first of the Triple Crown events.


  • Concert Tour

  • Keepmeinmind

  • Caddo River

  • Candy Man Rocket

  • Super Stock


It’s going to be a tense weekend for some of the horses involved in the race, as their chances of competing in the Kentucky Derby could be over without a win at Oaklawn Park. However, one horse that doesn’t have that pressure in Concert Tour. The joint-favorite for the Kentucky Derby is a likely runner at the Arkansas Derby and could emerge as the clear favorite for the Triple Crown event with a win this weekend.


Concert Tour for trainer Bob Baffert is a perfect three-from-three during his career so far. His first two wins both came at Santa Anita, but he picked up a Grade 2 success in the Rebel Stakes on his last outing at Oaklawn Park. That was a dominant showing by the three-year-old, as he won by four and a quarter lengths from Hozier.


Keepmeinmind will need a win at Oaklawn Park to secure his place in the Kentucky Derby, as he hasn’t been able to kick on following victory in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last year. Since returning to the track, he finished sixth in the Rebel Stakes and fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.


Caddo River and Super Stock both need big performances in the Arkansas Derby this weekend, as they need to finish in the top two to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Caddo River has only picked up ten points so far this season and will be looking for a second win in three. The Brad Cox-trained horse was an excellent ten and a half-length winner in the Smarty Jones Stakes but was disappointing last time out when finishing six and three-quarter lengths behind Concert Tour in the Rebel Stakes.


Super Stock for trainer Steven Asmussen is yet to win on five career starts. He finished six and a half lengths behind Concert Tour in the Rebel Stakes in March and finished third in the Street Sense Overnight Stakes in October last year. Candy Man Rocket will likely be the outsider of the pack, as he finished ninth in the recent Wood Memorial Stakes and has won just once in three starts.

Arkansas Derby Information

The Arkansas Derby is one of the most significant events in the build-up to the Kentucky Derby. Previous winners of this race have gone on to achieve success in the Triple Crown events throughout the season. American Pharoah, Sunny’s Halo, and Smarty Jones all won this race on their way to Kentucky Derby success.


Meanwhile, seven previous winners, including Curlin, American Pharoah, and Afleet Alex, have won the Arkansas Derby before claiming Preakness Stakes success. American Pharoah, Victory Gallop, and Afleet Alex all went on to win the Belmont Stakes. The prior mentioned American Pharoah is the only winner of the Arkansas Derby to have won the Triple Crown.


The speed record for the race was set in 1984 by Althea, who completed the Arkansas Derby in 1:46.80. Pat Day is the most successful jockey in the history of the race, as he won three times between 1986 and 1997. Todd Pletcher holds the trainer record, as he has won the race on five occasions.

How to Bet on the 2021 Arkansas Derby

Making wagers on the Arkansas Derby is extremely popular, and you can learn more about the markets that you will be able to bet on below:


  • Win: The most popular way to make a bet on the Arkansas Derby is by placing a stake on the horse that you think will win the race.

  • Exacta: Gamblers can make a wager on the horses that will finish in the exact first and second positions in the race.

  • Place: Instead of wagering on the winner of the race, you can bet on a horse to place. This market typically covers first, second and third.