A talented field of 11 sophomores will go postward to contest the first division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. The 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier will reward the top-four finishers with points on a 100-40-20-10 structure.

Top Picks for the Arkansas Derby

  • #1 Charlatan
  • #4 Gouverneur Morris
  • #8 Anneau d’Or
  • #10 Crypto Cash

Betting the Arkansas Derby

  • $20 Exacta 1 with 4
  • $2 Trifecta Key 1 with 4,8,10

Arkansas Derby Contenders

#1 Charlatan has been nothing short of spectacular from a pair of career runs for Baffert. $700,000 son of Speightstown has decimated two fields on the front end by a combined 15 3/4 lengths, and he is the clear one to catch and beat from the rail. Martin Garcia rides.

#2 My Friends Beer has been consistent with six consecutive top-three finishes, led by a second in the Private Terms S. two prior. Stay Thirsty colt could rally for a share late after saving ground under Declan Cannon.

#3 Mo Mosa is an outsider for Mike Maker. The son of Uncle Mo rallied to be third in a local allowance test most recently, but he will need a major move forward to make the frame against this cast.

#4 Gouverneur Morris has never run a bad race and could be primed for a lifetime best for Pletcher. Grade-1 placed son of Constitution ran better than it looks on paper when fourth in the Florida Derby, and he will peak third time off the layoff. John Velazquez coming out to ride is a huge bonus.

#5 Jungle Runner appears to be going in the wrong direction with three unplaced efforts in succession. Asmussen pupil is hard to back with any confidence in his current form cycle.

#6 Shooters Shoot looks like an interesting 3-year-old who has improved his BRIS Speed figure with each career engagement. Eurton charge defeated the talented Blackberry Wine in a local allowance tilt on the course last out, and he could be around late if capable of navigating 9 furlongs beneath Talamo.

#7 Wrecking Crew is the wildcard in the field for Peter Miller. Expensive son of Sky Kingdom ran some big races early in his career, but he has been defeated by a combined 58 lengths in his last two showings. Flavien Prat will be in the stirrups.

#8 Anneau d’Or didn’t fire in the Risen Star (G2) in his sophomore debut, but he gets another chance for Blaine Wright. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up has obvious talent and has trained forwardly in preparation of his return. Juan Hernandez will be atop the win contender.

#9 Winning Impression has the look of an exotics player for Dallas Stewart. Paynter gelding has won or placed in all four starts since stretching out, and his turn of foot will aid him if a speed duel occurs in the Arkansas Derby. Julien Leparoux has the call.

#10 Crypto Cash exits a fourth-place finish in the Rushaway S. at Turfway Park for McPeek. Late-running chestnut ran well in both of his prior starts on the dirt, and the Kentucky-bred is training like a colt sitting on a big effort. 

#11 Basin has run evenly in a pair of deep stakes fields at the meeting for Asmussen. Grade 1 star gets a tough draw while widest of all, but he surely has the back class to earn a share with a sensible voyage on Saturday.