2022 Arkansas Derby Betting Odds, Picks, Longshots & Best Bets: Filly Secret Oath Ready to Face Boys in $1.25 Million Kentucky Derby Prep Race (April 2)

2022 Arkansas Derby Betting Odds, Picks, Longshots & Best Bets: Filly Secret Oath Ready to Face Boys in $1.25 Million Kentucky Derby Prep Race (April 2) article feature image

Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

It has been 34 years since a filly has won the Kentucky Derby, but we might have another special female race horse sitting right in front of us.

Secret Oath, guided by legendary Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, takes on eight of the boys in Saturday's $1.25 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. The large, yet speedy charge, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite and will look to pull off a monster win in the crucial Derby prep race.

The Arkansas is one of three stakes races taking place that will help set the field for the 148th edition of the annual "Run for the Roses," scheduled for May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

The winner of this 1 1/8-mile event on the dirt track earns 100 points, which guarantees the horse and its connections a spot in the starting gate for the Derby. Finishing second is good for 40 points, which almost assures that horse a shot at the Derby crown as well.

An exciting weekend ahead @OaklawnRacing for the G1 Arkansas Derby!

Get a look at the impressive field of 3-year-olds & join us for live on-site coverage on the #RoadtotheDerby Saturday presented by @SpendthriftFarm!

Race 12, 7:35PM ET pic.twitter.com/9KfEIWylgD

— TVG (@TVG) March 30, 2022

Looking to build on their solid run of winning picks this season, TVG analyst Andie Biancone and Action Network handicapper Jeremy Pond are back with their best bets and favorite longshots.

So, without further ado, let's check out their best bets and other top wagers.

Tune in to TVG for coverage of the Arkansas Derby, plus the entire racing card at Gulfstream Park that includes the $1 million Grade 1 Florida Derby, to catch Biancone deliver her inside analysis and reporting for the day's exciting slate.

2022 Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) Odds

*Latest Odds via TVG

1 — Kavod15-1Mitchell Murrill
2 — Chasing Time12-1Jose Lezcano
3 — Barber Road8-1Reylu Gutierrez
4 — Doppleganger3-1John Velazquez
5 — Un Ojo6-1Ramon Vazquez
6 — Secret Oath5-2Luis Contreras
7 — Ben Diesel15-1Jon Court
8 — Cyberknife8-1Florent Geroux
9 — We The People7-2Flavien Prat

Race Information

Date | Post Time: Saturday | 7:35 p.m. ET

Distance | Surface: 1 1/8 miles | Dirt

Location: Oaklawn Park | Hot Springs, Ark.

"Class… that's the thing that separates 'em all." Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is back on the Derby trail with a promising superstar filly in Secret Oath!

Watch Saturday on @TVG headline the field for the $1.25M G1 Arkansas Derby @OaklawnRacing! Race 12, 7:35PM ET pic.twitter.com/rqRLNvKloS

— TVG (@TVG) April 1, 2022

Arkansas Derby Top Picks & Longshots

Jeremy Pond

No. 6 Secret Oath (5-2): All the hype, pomp and circumstance surrounding this filly has been earned. The daughter of the late Arrogate, who is all class and deserves being tabbed the morning-line favorite, has been solid in her six-start career, which includes three consecutive victories ahead of this race.

Now, Secret Oath tries to make it four in a row and gets to face the boys on her home "turf." She also possesses the best Equibase Speed Figures of anyone in the field, including a 99 in a Dec. 31, 2021 Allowance event and a career-best 100 in the Feb. 26 Honeybee Stakes (G3) in her most recent start.

Now, let me be perfectly transparent when it comes to Secret Oath. I have some minor bias here, due to the fact she's one of the three Derby hopefuls I have futures wagers on. So, I'm financially invested in her, with the hope of a monster effort in this spot.

However, if there was a year we could see a filly reach — and win — the Derby for the first time since Winning Colors (also trained by Lukas) triumphed in the 1988 edition, this might be it. My handicapping partner, Andie, would likely agree this isn't the best crop of 3-year-olds in front of us, so Secret Oath could be in the perfect spot in the perfect situation to make some serious noise.

Running her in the Arkansas is honestly a savvy move by her connections. Secret Oath has a spot locked up in the starting gate for the Kentucky Oaks, which is run on Derby weekend at Churchill Downs, so why not give her a shot to see if she can boss the boys like she's taken care of the girls so far.

That said, I'm putting my faith in Lukas. If there's anyone I'd want making decisions and carving out a path for my filly, it would be the Hall of Famer. We could really be on the verge of witnessing something special in the Arkansas.

No. 9 We The People (7-2): I wasn't sure what to make of the unbeaten son of Constitution, but went back and watched his two previous starts and liked what I saw. He won at first asking in a Feb. 12 Maiden Special Weight event at Oaklawn before a victory in an Allowance Optional Claimer exactly a month later on the same oval.

Yes, We The People is lightly raced and lacks experience, but his speed figures have gotten better in each appearance (91 to 99 via Equibase) and that freshness might play in his favor against horses who have run more often.

An interesting, extremely important part of his family tree is the fact that his mother, Letchworth, was by legendary race hose Tiznow. Knowing that key information, you'd have to figure there's a good chance We The People will have no issue getting the distance since Tiznow earned back-to-back victories in the 2001 and 2001 Breeders' Cup Classic, which is run at 1 1/2 miles.

Throw in the fact a horse named Ruggs, who was crushed by We The People in that aforementioned March 12 race, came back to soundly defeat a field on Friday's Oaklawn card could tell us that was a strong group he faced.

Bottom line, if We The People can clear his foes or stalk the early leaders from his No. 9 post without having to work to get position, he could pull off the win.

#4 We the People with another impressive win, taking the 4th at Oaklawn, trained by @BrissetRodolphe, ridden by @flothejock! Congrats to the connections!

Another winner by Constitution @WinStarFarm

Race 5 from Oaklawn is up next, tune in to TVG now for live, on-site coverage pic.twitter.com/CI6YJG6mFu

— TVG (@TVG) March 12, 2022

Longshot — No. 8 Barber Road (8-1): I really thought Barber Road put in a game efforts in both the Southwest Stakes (G3) and Rebel Stakes (G2) in the lead-up to this event. He made up plenty of ground in both races and looked to have more in the tank on the gallop out in each instance.

That said, I don't see the 1 1/8-mile distance being a hurdle for trainer John Ortiz's charge. Barber Road has run seven times in his career, finishing out of the money just once and has wound up either first or second on five occasions.

I'm not sure he has what it takes on paper to spring the upset, but if this race falls apart he could be picking up the pieces coming down the lane and book his spot in the Derby starting gate with maybe even a second-place effort.

Arkansas Derby Best Bets

Jeremy Pond

$8 Win | Place | Show: No. 9 We The People (7-2)

$5 Place | Show: No. 6 Secret Oath (5-2)

$4 Exacta Box: 3-4-5-6-9

$1 Trifecta Box: 3-4-5-6-9

Exotic Wagering

(Races 11-12)

Biancone's Daily Double

Race 11 | Arkansas Derby (Race 12)

5 | 1-3-4-5-6

Pond's Daily Double

Race 11 | Arkansas Derby (Race 12)

5-8-11 | 3-4-5-6-9

The #RoadtotheDerby is heating up!

Take a look at the current Derby point leaderboard and stay with @TVG this Saturday April 2nd for 3️⃣ 100 point races!

G1 Curlin Florida Derby @GulfstreamPark
G1 Arkansas Derby @OaklawnRacing
G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks @TurfwayParkpic.twitter.com/2Ehx7Kc7rX

— TVG (@TVG) March 31, 2022

Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby

Jan. 22Lecomte (Grade III)Call Me Midnight
Jan. 29Southwest (III)Newgrange
Feb. 5Holy Bull (III)White Abarrio
Feb. 5Withers (III)Early Voting
Feb. 6Robert B. Lewis (III)Messier
Feb. 12Sam F. Davis (III)Classic Causeway
Feb. 12El Camino Real DerbyBlackadder
Feb. 19Risen Star (III)Epicenter
Feb. 26Rebel (II)Un Ojo
March 5John Battaglia MemorialTiz the Bomb
March 5Fountain of Youth (II)Simplification
March 5San Felipe (II)Forbidden Kingdom
March 5Gotham (II)Morello
March 12Tampa Bay Derby (II)Classic Causeway
March 26UAE DerbyCrown Pride
March 26Louisiana Derby (II)Epicenter
March 27Sunland Derby (III)Slow Down Andy
April 2Florida Derby (I)Gulfstream Park (100-40-20-10)
April 2Arkansas Derby (I)Oaklawn Park (100-40-20-10)
April 2Jeff Ruby Steaks (III)Turfway Park (100-40-20-10)
April 9Wood Memorial (II)Aqueduct (100-40-20-10)
April 9Blue Grass (II)Keeneland (100-40-20-10)
April 9Santa Anita Derby (I)Santa Anita Park (100-40-20-10)
April 16Lexington (III)Keeneland (100-40-20-10)

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