Arkansas Derby 2023 Field, Odds and Picks for Saturday 4/1/23
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues with the biggest point races of the Championship Series. Saturday's big day at Oaklawn Park includes the $1.25 Million Arkansas Derby -- the major prep race at Oaklawn ahead of the Run for the Roses.
The Grade 1 race awards the top 5 finishers Kentucky Derby points (100-40-30-20-10). At the completion of all the Kentucky Derby points races, the top 20 points leaders on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard earn a spot at the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
The winner of the 1 1/8 mile Arkansas Derby will earn enough points to qualify for the 1 1/4 mile Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 6. The runner-up will likely be in the Kentucky Derby as well if not already qualified.
While none of the winners of the other Derby prep races at Oaklawn Park are running in the Arkansas Derby, there are some other Road to the Kentucky Derby race winners taking a shot in the 2023 Arkansas Derby. Those include Risen Star longshot winner Angel of Empire and Holy Bull winner Rocket Can.
The Arkansas Derby is worth watching, as the race often sends competitive runners to the Kentucky Derby. Three Arkansas Derby winners have gone on to win the Run for the Roses and Kentucky Derby - Sunny's Halo (1983), Smarty Jones (2004) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015).
Winning Kentucky Derby Prep Race Picks
Kentucky Derby prep winning picks in February and March on multiple races, including:
- Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs (Litigate: 3/1)
- Withers Stakes at Aqueduct (Hit Show: 7/5)
- Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita (Newgate: 6/5)
- Holy Bull at Gulfstream (Rocket Can: 5/2)
- Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn (Reincarnate, 3rd at 5/1)
- Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream (Forte: 3/2)
- Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds (Kingsbarns: 9/2, Disarm: 8/1, 1st & 2nd)
- Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park (Two Phil's: 3/1)
- UAE Derby at Meydan in Dubai (Derma Sotogake: 10/1)
FanDuel Racing has you covered for the biggest racing days and events, and you can watch and wager on FanDuelTV. Saturday's Arkansas Derby is Race 12 and headlines a big day of racing in Hot Springs with 4 stakes races that includes the $600,000 Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes for 3-year-old fillies - a prep/points race for the Kentucky Oaks.
The Arkansas Derby has a post time of 7:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 1.
Arkansas Derby Field and Odds
1. Bourbon Bash (15/1)
Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez - Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
2. Interlock Empire (20/1)
Jockey: David Cabrera - Trainer: Kenny McPeek
3. Harlocap (15/1)
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr. - Trainer: Steve Asmussen
4. Two Eagles River (10/1)
Jockey: Nik Juarez - Trainer: Chris Hartman
5. Airtime (15/1)
Jockey: Cristian Torres - Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
6. Angel of Empire (9/2)
Jockey: Flavien Pratt - Trainer: Brad Cox
7. Rocket Can (4/1)
Jockey: Junior Alvarado - Trainer: Bill Mott
8. Reincarnate (5/2)
Jockey: John Velazquez - Trainer: Tim Yakteen
9. King Russell (30/1)
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano - Trainer: Ron Moquette
10. Red Route One (3/1)
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione - Trainer: Steve Asmussen
11. Kolomio (30/1)
Jockey: James Graham - Trainer: J. Keith Desormeaux
Arkansas Derby Pick
Rebel Stakes third- and second-place finishers Reincarnate (5/2) and Red Route One (3/1) are the morning line favorites just ahead of Holy Bull winner Rocket Can (4/1). But if you watch a replay of the Rebel Stakes run over a sloppy track, you'll see Reincarnate had a slow break from the gate. He sat near the back with trailer Red Route One, and both made their move at the top of the lane. But Reincarnate got squeezed back between horses including Red Route One, who was able to sustain his rally for second. Reincarnate had to re-engage after getting cut off and rally past horses in the final sixteenth to finish third. Rocket Can won the Holy Bull and then ran a faster race to finish 2nd behind Forte, the Florida Derby favorite and early Kentucky Derby favorite.
Great value on Steve Asmussen-trained Harlocap (15/1). He pressed a blazing pace in the Risen Star, and faded to finish sixth. He'll get overlooked for that race, but the pace here will be moderate, and this son of Triple Crown winner Justify can improve and run better near the lead. Two Eagles River (10/1) is another longshot to use underneath as he's bred to go this distance and longer.
Pick: Reincarnate and Harlocap to Win with Rocket Can also in Exacta and Trifecta
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.