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Arkansas Derby Odds & Preview: Concert Tour the Heavy Favorite

Dave Friedman

by Dave Friedman in Horse Racing News

Updated Apr 22, 2021 · 12:20 PM PDT

Arkansas Derby
FILE - In this April 11, 2015, file photo, jockey Victor Espinoza poses with American Pharoah in the winner's circle after winning the $1 million Arkansas Derby horse race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. American Pharoah will try to become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978 when he runs in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
  • Saturday’s Arkansas Derby is the final major prep race for this year’s Kentucky Derby
  • Concert Tour is looking to solidify his role as Run for the Roses favorite
  • Can Concert Tour be beaten? See the odds for all the contenders and our prediction below

Smarty Jones and American Pharoah’s final tune-up before winning the Kentucky Derby was in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Both champions won the Arkansas Derby before triumphing in Louisville. Is Concert Tour next in line? He’ll be the favorite Saturday, and with a victory quite possibly will be the chalk in the Run for the Roses. We’ll have your guide to Derby betting in the week leading up to the big race.

The latest Kentucky Derby odds indicate that the unbeaten Concert Tour is already atop the betting. A convincing win at the Arkansas Derby could see his price slashed.

There is always value if you can beat the favorite. Let’s look at Concert Tour and his rivals on Saturday, and see who if anyone might be able to make a statement and score at a price.

2021 Arkansas Derby Odds

Horse Odds
Concert Tour -225
Caddo River +450
Hozier +450
Super Stock +2500
Get Her Number +3300
Last Samurai +10000

Odds as of April 8 at Bet365

The Arkansas Derby has a purse of $1 million and 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points are on the line. The three-year-olds will go a mile and an eighth. Post time is slated for 7:41 pm EST. The race is being televised by NBC Sports Network.

Last year the Arkansas Derby was run on the first Saturday in May, taking over the Kentucky Derby spot when the Run for the Roses was pushed to September. So many horses wanted to race, two divisions were contested, with Basin and Nadal earning victories.

One could argue that between Curlin in 2007, and American Pharoah in 2015, the top two horses over the past couple of decades have run in Arkansas. Will somebody from this year’s crop join that company?

The Favorite

Concert Tour is three-for-three and has among the top connections in the sport. Trainer Bob Baffert and owners Gary and Mary West have raced many top-flight equines. After winning a maiden race in January, he won his stakes debut in February.

A homebred son of Street Sense, Concert Tour won the Rebel Stakes last month at Oaklawn beating several rivals he’ll face again today.

Top Contenders

Caddo River was the runner-up in his first two career races and broke through big time in November. He backed up his first victory with a romp in his stakes debut in January.

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Last time out Caddo River was the favorite in the Rebel Stakes but he ran poorly against Concert Tour and several others he faces today. Was he ranked for a reason that will be straightened out? Is that a legitimate excuse? If so, look out.

Hozier has just one victory, but at a big price ran well in the Rebel Stakes.

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Though he was well beaten by Concert Tour, he beat Caddo River, and in each of his three career outings has improved. He needs to take another step on Saturday to earn a trip to Louisville, but that seems possible. Baffert often has his horses excelling at this time of year, and you never want to downplay his “second” option.


With one win in seven career starts, there is no compelling reason to support Super Stock outside of trainer Steve Asmussen.


The winningest trainer in the country sends out Super Stock, who is consistently in the mix against decent competition, but his only victory came in Texas in August.

Arkansas Derby Best Bet

Concert Tour is a very deserving enormous favorite. However, he doesn’t need to win, won’t be all out to do so, and regardless doesn’t offer any value.

Caddo River may have had a legitimate excuse in his last race. If that is the case, then he merits serious consideration. The price isn’t amazing, but it is fair and more appetizing than swallowing -225 on a horse who is just trying to stay in shape.

Pick: Caddo River (+450)

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