The Arkansas Derby takes center stage this Saturday, offering horses a final opportunity to earn major qualifying points for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. A field of seven or eight, including undefeated Magnum Moon, California invader Solomini, and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Quip, is expected to square off at Oaklawn Park with a place in the Kentucky Derby on the line.
Read on for a closer look at the facts and figures surrounding this year’s race.
1- The Arkansas Derby has produced one Triple Crown winner: American Pharoah, who won the Arkansas Derby before completing his Triple Crown sweep in 2015. This year’s race features Solomini, who is co-owned by Zayat Stables and trained by Bob Baffert, the same connections as American Pharoah.
1 1/8 miles- The distance of the Arkansas Derby since its inception.
1:46 4/5- Record time the race has been completed in, by the filly Althea in 1984.
6- The number of Arkansas Derby runners who have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. All six have come since 1983.
10- The average field size of the race over the last five years. A field of seven is expected for this year’s race.
10 ½ lengths- Record margin of victory in the race, when future Horse of the Year Curlin won in 2007.
17- The biggest field to race in the Arkansas Derby. It happened on three occasions: 1971, 1972, and 1974.
170- Total Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake in the race. The winner and runner-up are virtually assured of a place in the starting gate with 100 and 40 points, respectively. Third place earns 20 points and fourth place gets 10.
$218- The win payoff when Rockamundo won the 1993 Arkansas Derby. It was the biggest win payoff ever in an Oaklawn stakes race.
1936- The first year the Arkansas Derby was run, making 2018 the 82nd edition.
1976- The year that Elocutionist won the Preakness Stakes, becoming the first Arkansas Derby winner to also capture a Triple Crown race.
$5,000- Purse of the first Arkansas Derby. The winner’s share for Holl Image was $4,110.
71,203- The 1986 attendance on Arkansas Derby day, a record. Last year’s estimated on-track attendance was 62,500.
$1 million- Total purse of the race. The winner gets $600,000 of that total.
$13,588,147- Total dollars bet on Arkansas Derby day 2017.