Two horses will win one of the most storied Kentucky Derby prep races on Saturday when several of the country's top three-year-olds meet in two divisions of the 2020 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. First run in 1936, the Arkansas Derby has produced an impressive seven Kentucky Derby winners, eight Preakness champs and seven Belmont Stakes winners. Those numbers could swell this year with plenty of top-tier 2020 Arkansas Derby contenders entered in the two divisions.
Because Saturday's race attracted 22 entrants, the 2020 Arkansas Derby field was split into two divisions of 11. The Bob Baffert-trained Charlatan is the even-money favorite in Division 1, according to the current 2020 Arkansas Derby odds, while Nadal, who also is trained by Baffert, is the 5-2 favorite in Division 2. The winner of each division will join a storied list of past champions of the Arkansas Derby, which includes 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Post time for Division 1 is 6:29 p.m. ET, while Division 2 follows two races later at 7:43 p.m. ET.
This year marks the five-year anniversary of one the most memorable editions of the Arkansas Derby ever. American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert, romped by eight lengths in the 2015 race. Over the next two months, he captured the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Given all the history, there's a method to picking which horses to focus on for exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets in an Arkansas Derby like this, and SportsLine's Hammerin' Hank Goldberg knows what it is. He can help you make the top 2020 Arkansas Derby picks possible.
The former horse racing analyst for ESPN and NBC, Goldberg became a legendary handicapper by going straight to the source. In 2004, he had dinner before the Belmont Stakes with trainer Nick Zito at a pizzeria in Queens. The dinner led Goldberg to play Zito's 36-1 monster longshot Birdstone to win and on top of his exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. When Birdstone shocked the world, Goldberg won $24,000.
In the San Felipe Stakes in March, Hammer gave out a $20 exacta that paid $180. Anyone who has followed him is up huge. Now, he's sharing his 2020 Arkansas Derby predictions and bets here.
2020 Arkansas Derby predictions
Here's a refresher on those exotic bet types from horse racing guru Hank Goldberg:
Exacta: Pick the first- and second-place finishers in the correct order. This paid $15 on a $2 bet last year at the Arkansas Derby with Omaha Beach and Improbable.
Trifecta: Pick the first-, second- and third-place finishers in the correct order. This paid $34.90 on a $1 bet last year with Omaha Beach, Improbable and Country House.
Superfecta: Pick the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finishers in the correct order. This paid $314.40 on a $1 bet last year with Omaha Beach, Improbable, Country House and Laughing Fox.
While Goldberg has no quibbles with the favorite status of Charlatan (1-1) in the first division and Nadal (5-2) in the second division, Hammer plans to hold tickets using two double-digit longshots, upping the potential payout of each bet.
How to make 2020 Arkansas Derby bets
Goldberg has specific recommendations for exacta and superfecta wagers so you can cover all your bases at the Arkansas Derby 2020. And he's sharing them here.
So which horses do you take? And in what combinations? Visit SportsLine now to get Goldberg's picks for win, place, and show, as well as his trifecta and superfcta for the 2020 Arkansas Derby.