Arkansas Derby 2020: TV Schedule, Post Positions, Odds, Contenders and More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 2, 2020

Charlatan, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, wins the sixth race at Santa Anita on Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Saturday will feature one notable sporting event, with the 2020 Arkansas Derby taking place from Oaklawn Park Race Track. 

A total of 22 horses have been entered into the Grade 1 race, but the field will be split into two divisions of 11 horses because of social distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Each division carries a purse of $500,000, and the top four finishers will split the 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points—broken down to 100-40-20-10. The Run for the Roses, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Sept. 5 because of the pandemic. 

Here is all of the information you need to know about this year's Arkansas Derby. 


2020 Arkansas Derby Schedule

Network: FS1 (1-8 p.m. ET) and NBC Sports Network (6-8 p.m. ET)

Division I Post Time: 6:29 p.m. ET

Division II Post Time: 7:43 p.m. ET


2020 Arkansas Derby Post Positions - Division I

1. Charlatan (1-1)

2. My Friends Beer (20-1)

3. Mo Mosa (30-1)

4. Gouverneur Morris (9-2)

5. Jungle Runner (30-1)

6. Shooters Shoot (8-1)

7. Wrecking Crew (20-1)

8. Anneau d'Or (6-1)

9. Winning Impression (15-1)

10. Crypto Cash (20-1)

11. Basin (8-1)


2020 Arkansas Derby Post Positions - Division II

1. Finnick the Fierce (15-1)

2. Saratogian (50-1)

3. Storm the Court (6-1)

4. King Guillermo (3-1)

5. Nadal (5-2)

6. Code Runner (50-1)

7. Silver Prospector (10-1)

8. Fast Enough (12-1)

9. Taishan (15-1)

10. Farmington Road (12-1)

11. Wells Bayou (7-2)


Odds via Patrick Reed of America's Best Racing



Charlatan is widely regarded as the best horse in the field, regardless of division. The Bob Baffert-trained horse is an even-money favorite to win Division I, but there could be some question about his stamina in this event. 

The Arkansas Derby is the longest race Charlatan has taken part in, surpassing the eight-furlong run at Santa Anita Park on March 14. He is also fairly new to racing with two events on his resume after not running as a two-year-old. 

Charlatan co-owner Jack Wolf told reporters this week that Baffert was encouraged with how the horse responded to being challenged at Santa Anita.  

"Until Charlatan had his two-turn race last time out, I think Bob may have had some concerns on the distance limitations," Wolf said. "But the way he galloped out and won the race, I think, calmed his nerves a little bit."

Based on the odds, Gouverneur Morris (9-2) is Charlatan's top competition in the Division I race. The three-year-old colt never factored into the top of the Florida Derby results in March en route to a fourth-place finish.

That showing was particularly concerning because Tiz the Law's winning time of one minute, 50 seconds was the slowest by a Florida Derby champion since 2015, per Tom Pedulla of America's Best Racing.

One potential spoiler in the Division I race is Anneau d'Or, who looked like a budding star with three consecutive top-two finishes in each of his first three races. The colt took a huge step back at the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 15 by coming in ninth place. 

"I still don't know what to make of his race in the Risen Star, and I'm not dwelling on that anymore," trainer Blaine Wright told Bob Ehalt of BloodHorse.com. "You come away from that race saying, 'Huh?' The horse was happy, healthy. Was it one thing? A combination of a lot of things? Who knows?"

Based on Anneau d'Or's overall body of work, the Risen Star Stakes can be considered a one-time disappointment for now. A win on Saturday will send his stock soaring leading up to the Kentucky Derby later this year. 

In the Division II race, the top of the field looks to be even more unsettled. Nadal is coming in as a slight favorite (5-2) over King Guillermo (3-1), Wells Bayou (7-2) and Storm the Court (6-1). 

Reed explained why Nadal is worthy of that top spot, while also acknowledging why the undefeated colt could come up short:

"Nadal passed his first two-turn test in the March 14 Rebel Stakes impressively, toughing out a three-quarter-length win after being hounded through fast fractions, and he's a deserving morning-line favorite in the Arkansas Derby's second leg. With horses such as Wells Bayou and King Guillermo entered, however, this talented son of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame could receive even more pressure on the front end than he did in the Rebel, and it will be interesting to see if his regular rider Joel Rosario tries to rate him off the pace if Wells Bayou makes an aggressive move for the lead from the far outside post."

Reed described Nadal's style as a pacesetter who is also capable of pressing the pace. If jockey Joel Rosario is able to get his horse out of the gate quickly, a wire-to-wire win seems like a plausible scenario. 

The horse to watch out for in the Division II race is Wells Bayou, who has found his stride with two wins in his last three races and a second-place finish in between. The Louisiana Derby on March 21 was the colt's crowning achievement thus far with a wire-to-wire win. 

Making the victory even more impressive for Wells Bayou is the race was extended from nine furlongs (1.125 miles) to 1.875 miles. 

Wells Bayou has proved his mettle by dominating a longer track. Even in a deep field of contenders to choose from, the son of Lookin at Lucky is a standout ready to make his mark in one of the most important races of the year.