Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park) Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Concert Tour (3/5)

Post Position and Odds – Arkansas Derby

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R Santana Jr S Asmussen
F Geroux B Cox
3 HOZIER 4/1
M Garcia B Baffert
F Arrieta P Miller
J Rosario B Baffert
J Court D Stewart

Best Bets for the Arkansas Derby

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$30 Exacta Concert Tour over Caddo River = $30

$5 Trifecta key – Concert Tour over Super Stock and Hozier = $10

Top Pick:

Concert Tour (3/5)

Concert Tour looks to solidify his standing as one of the favorites for the 2021 Kentucky Derby when he headlines a compact field of six in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park

Trained by Bob Baffert and unraced at 2, Concert Tour has won all three of his races this year, including a determined score in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita two starts back. He then shipped into Oaklawn Park for an impressive score in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes last month. The Street Sense colt was a strong second choice last time but figures to be heavily favored on Saturday.

The beaten favorite in the Rebel was Caddo River. Coming in off two romping victories before meeting Concert Tour, the son of Hard Spun chased the winner in futility, before fading to a disappointing fifth-place finish. Before that, the Brad Cox trainee won Oaklawn Park’s Smarty Jones Stakes in impressive front running fashion.

Of the rest, Hozier figures to get the most support and actually could vie for the second choice with Caddo River. Also trained by Baffert, the Pioneer of the Nile colt used a maiden win at Santa Anita in his second career start as his prep for the Rebel, where he finished well up the rail to grab second.

Contested at 1 1/8-miles, the Arkansas Derby will offer Kentucky Derby qualifying points of 100-40-20-10, respectively, to the top four finishers.

How to Watch the Arkansas Derby

Arkansas Derby Information
What Arkansas Derby (Grade 1)
Where Oaklawn Park
When Saturday, April 10 — 6:41 pm Central time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

Concert Tour

The big favorite didn’t run at 2, but has done everything right this year. He looked good in winning his debut in January and then followed that up by going by his stablemate late to win the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita in February. Both of those first two wins came while sprinting, and he took things up a notch when stretched out to a route of ground in the Rebel. Pushed to the lead out of the gate, he was much the best and looked like a horse relishing the extra distance. As a son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, this should come as no surprise. In the Arkansas Derby, he will once again have to deal with the speed of Caddo River, but whether he is on the lead early, or stalking in second, he is strictly the horse to beat in here.

Caddo River

Favored in the Rebel, it appeared the son of Hard Spun was not happy about letting Concert Tour grab the lead in the early stages. He tried hard until they straightened out, but could not match that one’s kick for home. He eventually got tired and faded home fifth. While I am not sure the extra sixteenth of a mile of the Arkansas Derby will do him any favors, I still believe that this Brad Cox-trained speed horse is a very talented runner. Perhaps this time they let him roll to the lead early and see how far he can go. The problem is that the horse he has to beat also has plenty of early speed. I am looking for an improved effort on Saturday, but still not enough to derail Concert Tour.


The other Baffert runner made a nice move forward in each of his last two starts to go from maiden to a runner-up in a million-dollar race. Having said that, it was a well-beaten second behind the favorite and one in which he only got up for a second late. Twice well beaten by his stablemate, it’s hard to foresee the son of Pioneer of the Nile turning the tables on Saturday, but with another move forward in his fourth-lifetime start, he could very well complete another all Baffert exacta.

Super Stock

From the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, this son of Dialed In made his 3-year-old debut in the Rebel, and while never a real factor, he did make his way through some traffic to get up for fourth. Last year, he could never break through against graded stakes company but was a pretty consistent performer, including a third behind Essential Quality in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity. He seems like a hard trier, who could improve in the second start of the season. I’m not expecting a win, but would expect a good showing and another on-the-board finish.

Get Her Number

He was a very good juvenile with two good races on the turf to begin his career, before a game win in the Grade 1 American Pharoah last September at Santa Anita. Away from the races for nearly six months, however, he did not offer much resistance when he returned in the Rebel. He had some trouble in the stretch, but still never looked like a contender. If he can improve the second time back, he could make some noise, but it seems more likely that he is contending for a minor share only on Saturday.

Last Samurai

Trained by Dallas Stewart, this one was a big longshot behind Essential Quality in the Southwest Stakes and ran like it, finishing more than 13 lengths behind the champion. That was his only start so far at 3, and it was in the slop, so he could show some improvement on Saturday. Still, he did not show enough last year to believe that he can successfully compete with the best of this crop. He is hard to recommend in the Arkansas Derby.

More Horse Racing Predictions & Odds

Noble Damsel Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Odds
Noble Damsel Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Odds
Get our horse racing expert free picks and predictions for Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park full race analysis, here! …
22 October | 05:43 | Brian Zipse
Hill Prince Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Odds
Hill Prince Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Odds
Get our horse racing expert free picks and predictions for Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park full race analysis, here! …
21 October | 07:53 | Brian Zipse
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Top 10 Contenders Odds 2021
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Top 10 Contenders Odds 2021
We take a look at the top 10 contenders for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Find all our expert predictions here! …
19 October | 08:08 | Brian Zipse

Useful Betting Guides

Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]