Arkansas Derby

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Arkansas Derby Race Facts

  • Location: Oaklawn Park Race Track – Hot Springs, AR
  • Inaugural Race: 1936
  • Current Distance: 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-olds
  • Status: Grade 1
  • 2021 Purse: $1,000,000
  • 2021 Race Date: Saturday, April 10th

2021 Arkansas Derby Results

POSTHORSEJOCKEY / TRAINERWIN / PLACE / SHOW
1Super StockRicardo Santana, Jr. / Steven M. Asmussen$26.40 / $6.80 / $2.80
2Caddo RiverFlorent Geroux / Brad H. Cox$4.20 / $2.40
5Concert TourJoel Rosario / Bob Baffert$2.10
4Get Her NumberFrancisco Arrieta / Peter Miller
6Last SamuraiJon Kenton Court / Dallas Stewart
3HozierMartin Garcia / Bob Baffert

Exotic Payoffs:

  • $1.00 Exacta (1-2) Paid: $43.60
  • $0.50 Trifecta (1-2-5) Paid: $35.95
  • $0.10 Superfecta (1-2-5-4) Paid: $28.23

Watch the 2021 Arkansas Derby

History of the Arkansas Derby

The Arkansas Derby is a 1 1/8th mile race hosted by Oaklawn Race Track. It was originally inaugurated in 1936 and has run continuously since outside of 1945. Today it is one of the marquee events of the Road to the Kentucky Derby as it holds a bounty of 100 derby points along with a $1 million purse.

By far, the most decorated champion of the Arkansas Derby is American Pharoah as it would help propel him to win the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015.

In terms of American Classics winner, the Arkansas Derby has produced three Kentucky Derby winners including Sunny’s Halo in 1983, Smarty Jones in 2004 and American Pharoah in 2015.

Beyond that, seven horses have also won the Preakness Stakes with the first being Electrocutionist in 1976. Tank’s Prospect was next in 1985, followed by Pine Bluff in 1992, Smarty Jones in 2004, Afleet Alex in 2005, Curlin in 2007 and American Pharoah in 2015 as the second stage of his Triple Crown bid. 

Four more horses also won the Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah is the obvious one, but he is joined by Temperance Hill from 1980, Victory Gallop in 1998 and Creator in 2016. 

Most recently, Classic Empire won the 2017 Arkansas Derby after scoring in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He was then listed as the favorite in the 2017 Kentucky Derby but fell to fourth in a race eventually won by second choice Always Dreaming.

Althea set the fastest winning time over the distance of the Arkansas Derby in 1984 with a pace of 1:46.80. Only two horses have breached the 1:48.00 barrier. That includes Olympio in 1991 and Demons Begone, who each hit a tie of 1:47.60. Silver ending, Rockamundo and Cocnern each posted times of 1:48.00 flat in 1990, 1993 and 1994 respectively.

To date, the winningest trainer is Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen, who both have 5 wins on their resume. Retired jockey Pat Day is the leading jockey with three wins in 1986, 1987 and 1997. Lolbolly Stable has won three total Arkansas Derby’s to lead all ownership groups in Arkansas Derby history.

Key Arkansas Derby Historical Facts

  • Classic Empire won the 2017 Arkansas Derby and went on to be favored in the Kentucky Derby at 4/1 before finishing fourth behind Always Dreaming. He would also finish second in the Preakness Stakes.
  • Creator won the 2016 Arkansas Derby but then went on to finish a dismal thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby. He rebounded well in winning the Belmont Stakes, thanks in large part to the absences of Exaggerator and Nyquist.
  • American Pharoah’s picked up a win in the 2015 Arkansas Derby, then swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to win the first Triple Crown since 1978. He then won the Haskell, finished second to Keen Ice in the Travers and ended his career on a high note with a triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is the most expensive stallion in breeding and perhaps the most important horse of this generation.
  • Bodemeister was propelled by a convincing 2012 Arkansas Derby win to the Kentucky Derby where he was listed as the 4/1 favorite. He finished second to I’ll Have Another, who also trumped him in the Preakness Stakes.
  • Curlin claimed victory in the 2007 Arkansas Derby and went off as a 7/2 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but fell to third behind Street Sense and Hard Spun. He rebounded by winning the Preakness Stakes and placing second in the Belmont. He would also win the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic and became one of the more important stallions in breeding.
  • Lawyer Ron scored a double result in the 2006 Risen Star and Arkansas Derby. Though he competed in the Kentucky Derby, Lawyer Ron finish 12th. The following season the colt would win the 2007 Oaklawn Handicap, Whitney and Woodward.
  • Afleet Alex was the winner of the 2005 Arkansas Derby and placed 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. He would go on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
  • Smarty Jones continued his vaunted winning streak in the 2004 Arkansas Derby and continued on through the Kentucky Derby, as a 3/1 favorite, and the Preakness Stakes. He was caught by Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes for his only career loss.
  • In 1999, Certain became the only filly in history to win the Arkansas Derby.
  • Victory Gallop scored in the 1999 Arkansas Derby. He mounted a tremendous comeback in the Kentucky Derby to go from last to second behind Real Quiet, who he lost the Preakness to as well. He then defeated Real Quiet by a nose in the Belmont Stakes. Victory Gallop was also the winner of the 1999 Whitney.
  • Concern won the 1994 Arkansas Derby but elected to skip the Kentucky Derby. He finished third in the Preakness Stakes after a dazzling rally. He ended his career with a win in the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
  • Pine Bluff won the 1992 Arkansas Derby after sweeping through the Remsen, Nashua and Rebel Stakes. He then placed poorly in the Kentucky Derby, finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont.
  • Tank’s Propect won the 1985 Arkansas Derby and then caught Chief’s Head in the 1985 Preakness Stakes for his biggest career victory. He sadly broke down in the Belmont as well.
  • Sunny’s Halo won the 1983 Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby.
  • Temperance Hill won the 1980 Arkansas Derby and Rebel Stakes, but was an outsider in the Triple Crown. He won the Belmont Stakes as a gargantuan 53/1 underdog.
  • Golden Act deserves mention for his 1979 Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby wins. He would run third in the Kentucky Derby and place behind Spectacular Bid in both the Preakness and Belmont. Golden Act also won the Secretariat Stakes, Lawrence Realization Stakes, Canadian International Stakes and Arkansas Derby as a three-year-old.
  • Electrocutionist won the 1976 Arkansas Derby and then ran third in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness Stakes. Injuries derailed him from competing in the Belmont.
  • No Le Hace scored a win the 1972 Lecomte, Louisiana Derby and Arkansas Derby before finishing as the runner-up to Riva Ridge in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

Arkansas Derby Historical Results

YearWinnerJockey / TrainerDistance
(Miles) / Time
2021Super StockRicardo Santana, Jr. / Steven M. Asmussen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.92
2020
(Div. 2)
NadalJoel Rosario / Bob Baffert​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.34
2020
(Div. 1)
BasinRicardo Santana Jr. / Steve Asmussen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.49
2019Omaha BeachMike E. Smith / Richard E. Mandella​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.91
2018Magnum MoonLuis Saez / Todd Pletcher​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.86
2017Classic EmpireJulien Leparoux / Mark E. Casse​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.93
2016CreatorRicardo Santana Jr. / Steve Asmussen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.14
2015American PharoahVictor Espinoza / Bob Baffert​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.52
2014DanzaJoe Bravo / Todd Pletcher​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.68
2013OveranalyzeRafael Bejarano / Todd Pletcher​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.94
2012BodemeisterMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.71
2011ArcharcharchJon Court / William H. Fires​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.34
2010Line of DavidJon Court / John W. Sadler​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.37
2009Papa ClemRafael Bejarano / Gary Stute​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.00
2008GayegoMike E. Smith / Paulo Lobo​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.63
2007CurlinRobby Albarado / Steve Asmussen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.00
2006Lawyer RonJohn McKee / Robert E. Holthus​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.38
2005Afleet AlexJeremy Rose / Tim Ritchey​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.80
2004Smarty JonesStewart Elliott / John Servis​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.41
2003Sir CherokeeTerry J. Thompson / Michael Tomlinson​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.39
2002Private EmblemDonnie Meche / Steve Asmussen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.20
2001Balto StarMark Guidry / Todd Pletcher​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.00
2000Graeme HallRobby Albarado / Todd Pletcher​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.00
1999Certain2Kent Desormeaux / Leo Azpurua Jr.​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1998Victory GallopAlex Solis / W. Elliott Walden​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.80
1997Crypto StarPat Day / Wayne Catalano​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1996Zarb's MagicRonald Ardoin / W. Bret Thomas​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1995Dazzling FallsGarrett Gomez / Chuck Turco​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.60
1994ConcernGarrett Gomez / Richard W. Small​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.00
1993RockamundoCalvin Borel / Oris J. Glass Jr.​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.00
1992Pine BluffJerry D. Bailey / Thomas Bohannan​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.40
1991OlympioEd Delahoussaye / Ron McAnally​1 1⁄8 M / 1:47.60
1990Silver EndingGary Stevens / Ron McAnally​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.00
1989DansilLarry Snyder / Frank L. Brothers​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1988Proper RealityJerry D. Bailey / Robert E. Holthus​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.40
1987Demons BegonePat Day / Philip Hauswald​1 1⁄8 M / 1:47.60
1986RampagePat Day / Gary A. Thomas​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.20
1985Tank's ProspectGary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.40
1984AltheaPat Valenzuela / D. Wayne Lukas​1 1⁄8 M / 1:46.80
1983Sunny's HaloEd Delahoussaye / David C. Cross Jr.​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.40
1982HostageJeffrey Fell / Willard C. Freeman​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.60
1981Bold EgoJohn Lively / Jack Van Berg​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.40
1980Temperence HillDarrell Haire / Joseph B. Cantey​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.60
1979Golden ActSandy Hawley / Loren Rettele​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.00
1978Esops FoiblesChris McCarron / Loren Rettele​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.20
1977Clev Er TellRay Broussard / Homer C. Pardue​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.60
1976ElocutionistJohn Lively / Paul T. Adwell​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1975Promised CityDavid E. Whited / Larry Spraker​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.80
1974J.R.'s PetDarrel McHargue / Harold Tinker​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.60
1973ImpecuniousJorge Velásquez / George R. Handy​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.60
1972No Le HacePhil Rubbicco / Homer C. Pardue​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.80
1971Twist The AxeGarth Patterson / George T. Poole​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1970HerbalistJimmy Nichols / Roy J. Gillem​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.20
1969Traffic MarkPhil I. Grimm / Ronnie Warren​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.60
1968NodoubleWilliam McKeever / J. Bert Sonnier​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.00
1967MonitorJimmy Nichols / Harry Trotsek​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.60
1966Better SeaJohnny Sellers / Blaine Heap​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1965Swift RulerLarry Spraker / Gin L. Collins​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.20
1964Prince DavelleCharlie Burr / Douglas M. Davis Jr.​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.40
1963Cosmic TipRobert Mundorf / E. Mahoney​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.40
1962AreopolisRobert L. Baird / Harold Tinker​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.60
1961Light TalkRobert Nono / Steve Ippolito​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.20
1960Spring BrokerEugene Curry / Marion Van Berg​1 1⁄8 M / 1:54.40
1960Persian GoldJimmy Combest / Monte D. Parke​1 1⁄8 M / 1:53.00
1959Al DavelleRonnie Baldwin / Dan Howell​1 1⁄8 M / 1:48.80
1958Count DeblancJohnny Sellers / Charles C. Norman​1 1⁄8 M / 1:53.80
1957Kentucky RomanJohn Delahoussaye / Norman A. McMaster​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.60
1956Johns ChicJohn L. Rotz / Logan Fischer​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.20
1955Trim DestinyLois C. Cook / Cecil Locklear​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.60
1954Timely TipHoward Craig / Reid Armstrong​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.80
1953Curragh KingJohn H. Adams / James Wallace​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.60
1952Gushing OilAlfred Popara / Joe Jansen​1 1⁄8 M / 1:49.20
1951RuheJob Dean Jessop / Robert McGarvey​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.00
1950Big IkeHarold Keene / Cecil Locklear​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.00
1949CacomoBillie Fisk / A. Williams​1 1⁄8 M / 1:54.60
1948Fertile LandsPaul Glidewell / Marian Barton​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.00
1947FleetridgeArthur Craig / Roy J. Gillem​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.40
1946Bob MurphyWendell Eads / Charles Sanborn​1 1⁄8 M / 1:51.80
1945No Race
1944Challenge MeAnthony Skoronski / Dan Cataldo​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.20
1943Seven HeartsJohn H. Adams / W. Graves Sparks​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.20
1942With RegardsJohnny Longden / T. D. Grimes​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.00
1941He RollsPreston Mills / Victor P. Noyes​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.60
1940Super ChiefJack Richard / Dave Womeldorff​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.20
1939Ariel ToyLee Hardy / Hugh W. Jackson​1 1⁄8 M / 1:52.40
1938TigerAlfred Robertson / Robert McGarvey​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.80
1937EastportRay Hightshoe / E. Russell​1 1⁄8 M / 1:50.80
1936Holl ImageHerb Fisher / Jack Carter​1 1⁄8 M / 1:53.40