Home » Arkansas Derby Odds: 4 Clear Contenders On Road To Kentucky

Arkansas Derby Odds: 4 Clear Contenders On Road To Kentucky

On a clear Saturday night, bettors will glean some clarity about Kentucky Derby horses via Arkansas Derby odds at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. Post time is about 7:24 p.m. EDT. Sunny skies and an expected fast track will give gamblers insight on second favorite Red Route One. He has been a phenomenal closer in the slop in Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races. On a fast track, his status is unknown.

The good weather may have impacted the morning-line odds, as Reincarnate was installed the 5-2 favorite over 3-1 shot Red Route One, who beat him in the slop at the Rebel Stakes. Angel of Empire is the only horse in this race to come off a major victory, the Risen Star Stakes. That race was 1 1/8 miles, as is this one.

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2023 Arkansas Derby Odds

Of all the contenders, Reincarnate needs this race most.  He has 15 points and is well below the 25 that represents the 20th and last spot available in the Kentucky Derby. Points available here are 100-40-30-20-10 for the top-five finishers. Angel of Empire appears safe with 54 points and seventh place. Rocket Can, winner of the Holy Bull, has 40 and sits 13th. Red Route One hads33, good for 16th, but his connections will breathe easier if he can get some more.

Final Arkansas Derby odds become official at post time, per pari-mutuel rules.

Post Horse Odds Trainer Jockey
1 Bourbon Bash 15-1 D. Wayne Lukas R. Gutierrez
2 Interlock Empire 30-1 Ken McPeek D. Cabrera
3 Harlocap 15-1 Steve Asmussen R. Santana
4 Two Eagles River 10-1 Chris Hartman N. Juarez
5 Airtime 15-1 Robertino Dioidoro C. Torres
6 Angel of Empire 9-2 Brad Cox F. Prat
7 Rocket Can 4-1 Bill Mott Jr. Alvarado
8 Reincarnate 5-2 Tim Yakteen J. Velazquez
9 King Russell 30-1 Ron Marquette R. Bejarano
10 Red Route One 3-1 Steve Asmussen T. Gaffalione
11 Kolomio 30-1 Keith Desormeaux J. Graham

Past Performances

1. Bourbon Bash (15-1)

Represents the beginning of the second tier. Was a few lengths behind Red Route One and Reincarnate in the Rebel. Fast track gives him a fresh variable, but he has not won above allowance grade. Not a bad horse, but not likely.

2. Interlock (30-1)

Just broke his maiden. Graduates about three levels up. Can’t see him beating these.

3. Harlocap (15-1)

Forwardly placed for much of the Risen Star, was moving backwards after one mile. Would have to be loose on the lead and then run the race of his life. Other than that, he’s in good shape. But seriously, a pace factor who may compromise someone else.

4. Two Eagles River (10-1)

Will serve as a referendum on how far the hot local horse can go in a major stakes race. Wired the field impressively at one mile in allowance company here in February and has been ticking up in this races. Would be severely tested, however, if Reincarnate goes early. And that seems to be Reincarnate’s preferred running style. We don’t know what happens if he is in a contentious duel. Has run previous races on Lasix, which is not allowed on the Kentucky Derby trail. That’s usually a factor.

5. Airtime (15-1)

Given relative betting respect because of two straight victories at Oaklawn, the last at 1 1/16 miles. Problem will be jumping from allowance company into the major stakes level. Connections believe that a fit horse is worth throwing in, to see if they can maximize his conditioning. Has a racing version of a puncher’s chance. Would need a few things to break right.

6. Angel of Empire (9-2)

Sterling effort in the Risen Star. Are we looking at another Kentucky Derby stud? He beat Two Phil’s in that race. Two Phil’s is now the Road to the Kentucky Derby points leader after winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks. Look for him to be in prime stalking position. Actually was a deep stalker, almost a closer, in the Risen Star. Looked extremely strong in closing at this distance. Would be excellent value if this price holds. He’s live and makes all the sense.

7. Rocket Can (4-1)

Superb effort to win the Holy Bull at Gulfstream and then battled to grab a distant second to Forte in the Fountain of Youth. Connections moved here rather than face Forte again in today’s Florida Derby. Not unlike switching sanctioning bodies to avoid Mike Tyson during his prime. All Rocket Can does is hit the board. Gets class relief in not facing Forte today. That alone makes him a major threat.

8. Reincarnate (5-1)

Versatile. Won at speed-favoring Santa Anita at one mile in the Sham Stakes after surviving a blistering speed duel at 45.57 for the half-mile and 1:09.55 for three quarters. Pinched back early at the Rebel and was unable to get the lead. Closed well like Red Route One. Somewhere between the two extremes would be his best bet here. A stalking trip would put him in a nice spot.

9. King Russell (30-1)

Ambitiously placed. Trying to move up to major stakes level from victorious lower levels. Can’t see him beating these.

10. Red Route One (3-1)

A sentimental favorite after Zenyatta and Silky Sullivan-like surges from 20 or so lengths back into the thick of contention. Brilliant rally in the slop in the Rebel. Led to a 10-cent superfecta worth $419 when he came in second behind 18-1 winner Confidence Game in the Rebel. Connections need to find out what happens if he starts his move from 10 lengths back, not 20. That will provide some insight as to whether they think he’s a Kentucky Derby threat.

11. Kolomio (30-1)

Like King Russell, taking the stab from lower company.

Arkansas Derby Handicapping Tips

Pace Considerations

Harlocap, Two Eagles River and Reincarnate look primed for the front end early. Rocket Can might be one of the first stalkers to take a run at this group, while Angel of Empire figures to move a little later and Red Route One much later.

Betting Considerations

I think the class matters here. So my favorite group will be Angel of Empire (6), Rocket Can (7), Reincarnate (8) and Red Route One (10). 

Question marks on Twin Eagles River (4) and Airtime (5) to dent that will lead me to include them in one small ticket somewhere. But you can’t play ‘em all (unless it’s on Pick 3,4,5 tickets).

Love the distance for Angel of Empire, so will take a small win ticket on him. Love the potential of more real estate for Red Route One, so I’ll put the two of them in an exacta box.

First hunch about the original group prompts a 50-cent trifecta box 6-7-8-10 and will try some later variations on race day.

Betting nugget: if you narrow your selections to four horses, you can try picking off the superfecta on the cheap by taking any two of them in the first two spots and the others third and fourth. Example: A $1 superfecta 6,10, with 6,10, with 7,8, with 7,8. Cost is $4. It would mean Angel of Empire and Red Route One occupy the first two slots, in any order, while Rocket Can and Reincarnate take third and fourth, in any order.

This is a good backup bet behind any other wager you make involving your own top four.

Good luck hitting Arkansas Derby odds!

Remainder of Road To The Kentucky Derby Schedule

The Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule began in September. However, the win-and-in races began Feb. 18 with the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. That was the first race that awards 50 points to the winner. Below is the race schedule for the remaining 50 and 100-point prep races, enough for the race winners to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, if entered.

Race Track Date Points For Top Finishers
Florida Derby Gulfstream Park Apr 1, 2023 100-40-30-20-10
Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park Apr 1, 2023 100-40-30-20-10
Wood Memorial Aqueduct Apr 8, 2023 100-40-30-20-10
Blue Grass Keeneland Apr 8, 2023 100-40-30-20-10
Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita Park Apr 8, 2023 100-40-30-20-10

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