2020 Arkansas Derby odds, contenders: Horse racing insider gives surprising picks, predictions

Since the race began in 1936, the Arkansas Derby has been one of the most important proving grounds for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Even with the Run for the Roses postponed until September, the 2020 Arkansas Derby will once again hope to produce a championship-caliber horse. Back in 2015, American Pharoah ran the fastest Arkansas Derby since 2003 before eventually going on to become the 12th ever Triple Crown winner. This year, another Bob Baffert-trained horse looks capable of parlaying a win in this premier Grade-I stakes event into Triple Crown contention.

Charlatan is a 3-year-old chestnut colt who found his way to the winner's circle in each of the first two races of his career and now he's the 1-1 favorite in the latest 2020 Arkansas Derby odds for the Division 1 race, which goes to post at 6:29 p.m. ET. Division 2 follows at 7:43 p.m. ET with Nadal listed as the 5-2 favorite. Before finalizing any 2020 Arkansas Derby picks, be sure to check out the horse racing predictions from accomplished handicapper Bob Weir.

Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.

Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar on a $144 ticket. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park on a $36 investment. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.

This year, his first for SportsLine, Weir has been on fire. In January, he crushed the Pegasus World Cup, giving out an $8 exacta and $1 trifecta, winning $757.60. In February's Sam F. Davis Stakes, he gave out a $0.50 superfecta that paid $150.75. Last month, Weir correctly pegged Wells Bayou to win the Louisiana Derby. He also nailed the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park on April 9 and April 10, hitting for $827.65 and $394.65, respectively. Anyone who has followed his lead is way up.

Now, Weir has handicapped the 2020 Arkansas Derby field, made his picks and constructed his tickets. You can only see them here.

2020 Arkansas Derby expert predictions

One surprise: Weir isn't high on Basin, one of the top favorites in Division 1 at 8-1. Trained by Steven Asmussen, Basin is one of the most experienced horses in the field with five rides (two in graded stakes) already under his belt, including a 1 1/8-mile run just three weeks ago at the Oaklawn Stakes.

However, Basin has only managed two wins in those five starts and has finished third and fourth in his last two starts since being stretched out past a mile. Basin has shown some impressive speed in wins at six and seven furlongs, but it's uncertain whether he'll have enough gas left in the tank at 1 1/8 miles.

Weir, however, is high on Wells Bayou, who's listed at 7-2 in the second division. This son of Lookin At Lucky has three wins and one second in five career starts. He is coming off a gate-to-wire victory in the Louisiana Derby on March 21. 

Wells Bayou will be turning back in distance after his win in the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby. "There is not a lot of early speed inside of him, and I think he can either get to the lead or sit just to the outside," Weir told SportsLine. He is using Wells Bayou in all of his exactas and trifectas.

How to make 2020 Arkansas Derby picks

Weir is high on a double-digit long shot in one of the divisions. This horse is coming off a loss, but Weir told SportsLine that this long shot "has continued to train well and may have more to show." He's including this horse in his trifectas and superfectas, and so should you. He's sharing which horse to back only at SportsLine

Which horse wins each division of the Arkansas Derby 2020? And which double-digit long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2020 Arkansas Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Arkansas Derby.

2020 Arkansas Derby divisions, odds, post positions

Division 1, Race 11
1 Charlatan (1-1)
2 My Friends Beer (20-1)
3 Mo Mosa (30-1)
4 Gouverneur Morris (9-2)
5 Jungle Runner (30-1)
6 Shooters Shoot (8-1)
7 Wrecking Crew (20-1)
8 Anneau d'Or (6-1)
9 Winning Impression (15-1)
10 Crypto Cash (20-1)
11 Basin (8-1)

Division 2, Race 13
1 Finnick the Fierce (15-1)
2 Saratogian (50-1)
3 Storm the Court (6-1)
4 King Guillermo (3-1)
5 Nadal (5-2)
6 Code Runner (50-1)
7 Silver Prospector (10-1)
8 Fast Enough (12-1)
9 Taishan (15-1)
10 Farmington Road (12-1)
11 Wells Bayou (7-2)

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