Arkansas Derby 2013: Breaking Down Favorites to Win at Oaklawn Park

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIApril 12, 2013

HOT SPRINGS, AR - APRIL 14:   Horses leave the starting gate and head for the first turn during Race #6 at Oaklawn Park during the Racing Festival of The South on April 14, 2012 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.    (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Arkansas Derby features several exciting horses this year that will be making their push to the ultimate race, the Kentucky Derby.

The race at Oaklawn Park will take place on Saturday, and the horses are beginning to generate a lot of buzz around the country.  Here are a few favorites to win one of the biggest races of the year.

Note: All odds are courtesy of


War Academy (2-1 odds)

The heavy favorite this year is War Academy by a rather large margin.  When Bob Baffert is training the horse, it’s pretty clear to see why he is such a favorite.  He’s won three Kentucky Derbies and five Preakness Stakes in his career.

Not only that, War Academy has the No. 2 post position for the race, making his path a bit easier toward a win at Oaklawn.

The only issue is that War Academy has never won or even placed in a stakes race.  He may be an appealing pick to win, but the fact that he doesn’t have much experience could make him a riskier pick, despite the odds.


Oxbow (5-2 odds)

Oxbow has been doing quite well during his past few races, winning two of his last seven.  The other five races he was able to get in the top five.  He is trained by Hall of Fame tainer Wayne Lukas. 

While Oxbow is one of the favorites, poor positioning will definitely hurt his chances of winning.  He’s positioned on the outside post, and that disadvantage makes it very difficult to win.  Fortunately for Lukas, Oxbow is a strong horse with a very impressive run recently, and he has a serious shot at winning the $1 million prize.


Overanalyze (4-1 odds)

One of the more interesting horses in the race is Overanalyze.  He was the winner of the Remsen and Futurity stakes in 2012 and is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Unfortunately for Pletcher, Overanalyze hasn’t been able to prepare much for this big race.  He’s only raced once in 2013, finishing fifth in his only race in March.  He’s also positioned at the No. 9 spot, just in front of Oxbow. 

Overanalyze has been great before, and he can do so again.  It’s going to be a tough race, but Pletcher feels confident in his horse.


These three horses all have serious shots at winning at Oaklawn Park.  They each have their obstacles that they will need to get over, but a win for any one of them would be a major victory, to say the least.