The road to the Kentucky Derby culminates on Saturday with the final prep race of the year, the 2021 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The road to Louisville began on Sept. 5 with the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. Saturday’s Arkansas Derby 2021 will be the last of 46 Kentucky Derby prep races that spanned 24 tracks across three continents. The winner will receive 100 qualifying points, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 1. Even the runner-up will earn 40 points, putting him in strong position to earn a starting spot at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour is the even-money favorite in the 2021 Arkansas Derby odds. Baffert also trains Hozier, who’s going off at 3-1 in the 2021 Arkansas Derby lineup. Post time is 7:41 p.m. ET. With six talented horses ready to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you’ll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Arkansas Derby picks.
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. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
Last year, his first for SportsLine, Weir was on fire. On June 13 Weir hit a $2 superfecta in the Ogden Phipps Stakes that paid a whopping $1,039. He crushed the exacta and trifecta in the Forego Stakes in August for $1,134.50. He hit the late Pick 4 at Belmont Park on June 18, June 19, June 25, July 2 and July 5, with the June 25 score returning a whopping $2,159.50.
Last month, he crushed the exacta in the Tampa Bay Derby. Last week, he hit the trifecta in the Blue Grass Stakes for $115. Those are just some of his biggest hits for SportsLine.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2021 Arkansas Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.
Top 2021 Arkansas Derby predictions
After studying the past performances of every horse in the race, Weir is largely fading Caddo River, even though he is one of the Arkansas Derby 2021 favorites at 7-2. A Shortleaf Stable homebred, this speedy colt is looking for his third win in six career starts. He is coming off a fifth place finish in the Rebel Stakes, also at Oaklawn Park, on March 13.
His two career victories came when he was able to set a modest early pace and go gate-to-wire. In his three defeats, he was not able to get to the front. Saturday’s race could play out in the same manner as the Rebel Stakes, in which Caddo River was outraced for the early lead.
How to make 2021 Arkansas Derby picks, bets
Instead, Weir is high on an underrated horse who will turn heads on Saturday. Weir is including this horse in his 2021 Arkansas Derby bets, and so should you. He’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Arkansas Derby 2021? And which long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest Arkansas Derby odds 2021 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir’s picks for the Arkansas Derby.
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