Brent Sedo | Fri 13/04/2018 - 14:05 EDT

2018 Arkansas Derby Picks

2018 Arkansas Derby Picks

Arkansas Derby Preview and Odds

With the Arkansas Derby offering qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale, two of the horses in the field - Magnum Moon and Quip - have already clinched a Kentucky Derby staring spot,while Solomini, Dream Bay Dream and Combatant are close enough to the expected cut-off of 40 points to make the Derby field that they could probably get in with a top-three finish.

Currently holding 50 points and in 12th place on the Derby leaderboard is Magnum Moon, the slight Arkansas morning line favorite at odds of 8-5. Yet another solid Derby contender in the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, Magnum Moon didn't race as a two year old in 2017, but has won all three of his starts in 2018, including last time out when he won the (G2) Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. In all three of his wins he has come from a stalking position to take over in the stretch drive.

Barring anything unforeseen, Magnum Moon will go to the Derby as one of two colts, along with the Bob Baffert-trained Justify, trying to win the Derby after not racing in their two-year-old season, something that has not happened for 135 years.

Solomini Looking for More Speed in Second 2018 Start

Second in the Rebel and trying to turn the tables on Saturday is Solomini, second choice in the ML at 2-1. After running second in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Solomini capped 2017 by getting to the wire first in the (G1) Los Alimitos Futurity over the very highly regarded McKinzie, but was subsequently DQd to third for minor interference in the lane. The Rebel was his first start of 2018, and his connections will be hoping this second start off the layoff will move him ahead enough to be able to run down Magnum Moon as they come through the stretch. 

Third in the Rebel and one that looks like he could benefit from the added distance in the Arkansas Derby is Combatant (6-1) for trainer Steve Asmussen. Similar to Solomini, he has been competitive in his last four races, with three runner up finishes and a third-place effort in that span, all at the stakes or graded-stakes level. As a late runner who comes from farther back in the pack, he's going to have to hope there will be lots of early speed in the race to give him a chance. 

Something of a wild-card in here is Quip (9-2), also already assured of a Kentucky Derby start with 50 points gained in winning the (G2) Tampa Bay Derby in mid-March. That was a big step forward for the colt, who finished 2017 by running seventh in the (G2) Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, and now he'll have to step up again, as the competition is a lot tougher here than it was in Tampa. 

The Arkansas Derby goes Saturday, April 14 from Oaklawn Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It's race 11 of 12 on the Oaklawn card that includes two other graded-stakes races. Expected post time for the Arkansas Derby is 6:18 PM Central.

Entries w/ ML Odds

  1. Beautiful Shot (30-1)
  2. Machismo (20-1)
  3. Tenfold (10-1)
  4. Dream Baby Dream (15-1)
  5. Solomini (2-1)
  6. Magnum Moon (8-5)
  7. Plainsman (30-1)
  8. Quip (9-2) 
  9. Combatant (6-1)

Arkansas Derby Picks

  • 1) #5 - Solomini
  • 2) #6 - Magnum Moon
  • 3) #9 - Combatant
  • 4) #8 - Quip

As mentioned above, the Arkansas Derby is the final qualifying race for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, and then the Derby field will be set and it's time to start the serious handicapping. Once you've made your picks, you can bet right up until the gates open on May 5th with a Bovada online racebook account.  

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Category : Betting Picks

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