Arkansas Derby 1st Division Betting Preview, Odds & Favorites

Oaklawn Kansas Derby Race Betting

Saturday’s first division of the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park initially attracted eleven 2020 Kentucky Derby hopefuls; however, ten will leave the gate upon the scratch of Shooters Shoot. The 3-year-old colts and geldings will contest 1 1/18-miles worth 100 qualifying points to the victor.

Post time for the first division of the 2020 Arkansas Derby is 5:29 pm CT at Oaklawn Park. The track will be fast.

#1 CHARLATAN (1-1) (+100)

Pros: Is Charlatan the 2020 version of Justify? Many racing fans are hyping the Bob Baffert colt with favorable comparisons. The Bob Baffert trainee won both starts by a combined 15 3/4-lengths.

Cons: Charlatan falls into “who did he beat” category. Only one of his competitors has returned to win.

The Play: No doubt that he’s a talented colt, but there are too many questions he needs to answer. I don’t like that he is even money morning line, but use him on top and underneath.

#9 WINNING IMPRESSION (15-1) (+1500)

Pros: Winning Impression has proven ability as a pace presser or mid-pack runner. He showed acceleration in his last race, a 1 1/16-mile event over Oaklawn’s slop. He won easily but was DQ’d for coming over slightly in the stretch. Winning Impression has the highest late-pace Brisnet speed figure in the field.

Cons: Winning Impression lost ground in his only start at nine furlongs. He will also be tested for class, as he has never run in stakes competition.

The Play: Logical longshot contender with plenty of upside. Use him on top and underneath.

#4 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS (9-2) (+450)

Pros: Gouverneur Morris looked good in his 3-year-old debut at Tampa, but I expected to see more from him in the Florida Derby.

Cons: I wasn’t impressed that the injured Ete Indien still managed to out-finish the Pletcher trainee by a neck. Gouverneur Morris should handle nine furlongs, but still has a lot to prove.

The Play: Use underneath.

#8 ANNEAU D’OR (6-1) (+6000)

Pros: Anneau d’Or was a colossal disappointment in the Risen Star. Was he exposed as a weak 3-year-old, or did he just not like the Fair Grounds? Anneau d’Or is one of only three colts in the field who has won or placed in a graded stakes. I’m willing to draw a line through the Risen Star and give him another shot.

Cons: The Blaine Wright trainee wasn’t flattered by his neck loss to Thousand Words in the Los Alamos Futurity (G1), and that one hasn’t lived up to the hype.

The Play: Use underneath.

#7 WRECKING CREW (20-1) (+2000)

Pros: Wrecking Crew gets away from speed-favoring California, where he was multiple graded stakes-placed as a 2-year-old. He has been breezing strongly and could improve in his second start off the layoff.

Cons: Wrecking Crew finished 16 lengths behind the winner in his first race of the season. The Peter Miller trainee’s Brisnet speed figures are at the lower end of the spectrum.

The Play: He showed some class last year, and maybe he needed the start this year to get fit. Use him underneath if you’re placing multiple bets. Otherwise, pass.

#10 CRYPTO CASH (20-1) (+2000)

Pros: Crypto Cash a long sustained drive down the backstretch in the Rushaway Stakes from last place after stumbling at the gate. He made up enough ground to finish fourth.

Cons: Nine furlongs could be at the top of his distance range. His Brisnet speed figures are at the lower end of the spectrum.

The Play: Use him underneath if you’re placing multiple bets. Otherwise, pass.

#2  MY FRIENDS BEER (20-1) (+2000)

Pros: My Friends Beer is competitive. He has finished out of the money only twice against far lesser company.

Cons: His sole victory was against maiden claimers at Laurel.

The Play: The one-run closer could make up ground through the stretch to mess up somebody’s lower exotics. But he is more likely a “hold my beer and watch this” type of runner. Pass.

#3 MO MOSA (30-1) (+3000)

Pros: Mo Mosa finished third in his sole start at Oaklawn Park. He was fractious in the gate, which could have resulted in his average performance. He made up ground through the stretch, which is a plus.

Cons: Mo Mosa’s best work is over the Turfway Park Polytrack.

The Play: His very distant third-place finish behind Shooter’s Shoot last time out left me wanting more. Pass.

#5 JUNGLE RUNNER (30-1) (+3000)

Pros: Jungle Runner has the pedigree to run all day.

Cons: Jungle Runner hasn’t finished in the same zip code in either the Smarty Jones or Mine That Bird Derby.

The Play: I see nothing to recommend him. Pass.

#11 BASIN (8-1) (+800)

Pros: Basin finally gets a fast track after three consecutive starts in the mud. If Ricardo Santana, Jr. can get Basin a cozy rail trip and settle into third or fourth place, they might hold position.

Cons: Basin lost ground in both starts past a mile, and his pedigree says nine furlongs is too far, especially for a horse breaking outside in a full field.

The Play: Pass

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Laurie Ross

Laurie Ross - Expert Horse Race Handicapper

Laurie Ross is a Pedigree Analyst, Handicapper, a published author. As well as a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. She has committed her passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last twenty years.

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