For the first time in its 84-year history, the Arkansas Derby will be run in two divisions next weekend with 22 horses set to run.
US.- For the first time in its 84-year history, the Arkansas Derby will be run in two divisions next weekend with 22 horses set to run.
Both divisions will carry the full 170 qualifying points for the delayed Kentucky Derby, which has been rescheduled to September due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Arkansas Derby was originally planned with a $1million purse. Now, each division will be worth $500,000.
At least 22 horses are expected to run on Saturday between the two divisions. This includes winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Rebel Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Louisiana Derby.
In between these two runs is the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap, meaning the day will have three races in total.
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been racing without fans since March 13 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Horse racing television viewers have tripled in the US since lockdown measures were introduced and it is thought that the Arkansas Derby will only add to those figures.