American Pharoah and Smarty Jones are just two past winners of the Arkansas Derby who have gone on to make plenty of noise during Triple Crown season. Six more horses will enter the starting gate at the 2021 Arkansas Derby on Saturday, with post time set for 7:41 p.m. ET at Oaklawn Park. It’s the final Kentucky Derby prep race. All eyes will be on Concert Tour, the Bob Baffert-trained colt who is a perfect three-for-three in his career, highlighted by wins in the Rebel Stakes and Vicente Stakes.
The latest 2021 Arkansas Derby odds list Concert Tour as the 1-1 favorite. Other top 2021 Arkansas Derby contenders include Caddo River (7-2) and Hozier (3-1). With six talented horses ready to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you’ll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Arkansas Derby picks.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer’s landmark handicapping book “Picking Winners” in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer’s figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir’s methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
Last year, his first for SportsLine, Weir was on fire. On June 13 Weir hit a $2 superfecta in the Ogden Phipps Stakes that paid a whopping $1,039. He crushed the exacta and trifecta in the Forego Stakes in August for $1,134.50. He hit the late Pick 4 at Belmont Park on June 18, June 19, June 25, July 2 and July 5, with the June 25 score returning a whopping $2,159.50.
Last month, he crushed the exacta in the Tampa Bay Derby. Last week, he hit the trifecta in the Blue Grass Stakes for $115. Those are just some of his biggest hits for SportsLine.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2021 Arkansas Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.
Top 2021 Arkansas Derby predictions
After studying the past performances of every horse in the race, Weir is largely fading Caddo River, even though he is one of the Arkansas Derby 2021 favorites at 7-2. This is a rematch opportunity for Caddo River after he settled for a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Rebel Stakes on March 13. Concert Tour and Hozier, both in the 2021 Arkansas Derby lineup, placed 1-2 in that race.
Caddo River started off the pace in the Rebel, and Weir says he’ll need to break much better on Saturday in order to have a shot. Even if Caddo River gets out quicker, Weir doesn’t think he can hold on for the entire way in this 1 1/8-mile race on the dirt. “I have my doubts about Caddo River in this field,” Weir told SportsLine, making him a horse to fade in your 2021 Arkansas Derby bets.
How to make 2021 Arkansas Derby picks, bets
Instead, Weir is high on an underrated horse who will turn heads on Saturday. Weir is including this horse in his 2021 Arkansas Derby bets, and so should you. He’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Arkansas Derby 2021? And which long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest Arkansas Derby odds 2021 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir’s picks for the Arkansas Derby.
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