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)
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!
Race 12, 7:35PM ET pic.twitter.com/9KfEIWylgD
— TVG (@TVG) March 30, 2022
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
|PP | HORSE||ODDS (MORNING LINE)||JOCKEY|
|1 — Kavod||15-1||Mitchell Murrill|
|2 — Chasing Time||12-1||Jose Lezcano|
|3 — Barber Road||8-1||Reylu Gutierrez|
|4 — Doppleganger||3-1||John Velazquez|
|5 — Un Ojo||6-1||Ramon Vazquez|
|6 — Secret Oath||5-2||Luis Contreras|
|7 — Ben Diesel||15-1||Jon Court|
|8 — Cyberknife||8-1||Florent Geroux|
|9 — We The People||7-2||Flavien Prat|
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!
— TVG (@TVG) April 1, 2022
Arkansas Derby Top Picks & Longshots
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.
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
$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
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!
— TVG (@TVG) March 31, 2022
Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby
|DATE||STAKES RACE (GRADE)||TRACK (POINTS) OR WINNER|
|Jan. 22||Lecomte (Grade III)||Call Me Midnight|
|Jan. 29||Southwest (III)||Newgrange|
|Feb. 5||Holy Bull (III)||White Abarrio|
|Feb. 5||Withers (III)||Early Voting|
|Feb. 6||Robert B. Lewis (III)||Messier|
|Feb. 12||Sam F. Davis (III)||Classic Causeway|
|Feb. 12||El Camino Real Derby||Blackadder|
|Feb. 19||Risen Star (III)||Epicenter|
|Feb. 26||Rebel (II)||Un Ojo|
|March 5||John Battaglia Memorial||Tiz the Bomb|
|March 5||Fountain of Youth (II)||Simplification|
|March 5||San Felipe (II)||Forbidden Kingdom|
|March 5||Gotham (II)||Morello|
|March 12||Tampa Bay Derby (II)||Classic Causeway|
|March 26||UAE Derby||Crown Pride|
|March 26||Louisiana Derby (II)||Epicenter|
|March 27||Sunland Derby (III)||Slow Down Andy|
|April 2||Florida Derby (I)||Gulfstream Park (100-40-20-10)|
|April 2||Arkansas Derby (I)||Oaklawn Park (100-40-20-10)|
|April 2||Jeff Ruby Steaks (III)||Turfway Park (100-40-20-10)|
|April 9||Wood Memorial (II)||Aqueduct (100-40-20-10)|
|April 9||Blue Grass (II)||Keeneland (100-40-20-10)|
|April 9||Santa Anita Derby (I)||Santa Anita Park (100-40-20-10)|
|April 16||Lexington (III)||Keeneland (100-40-20-10)|