Arkansas Derby 2024 Picks

Timberlake wins 2024 Rebel Stakes
Rebel hero Timberlake goes next in Arkansas Derby – Photo: Coady Media

By Jarrod Horak

The road to Kentucky Derby 2024 continues at Oaklawn on Saturday, March 30, and I have included Arkansas Derby 2024 picks below. The Grade 1 event for 3-year-olds has a $1.5 million purse and the ten entrants will be journeying 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The Arkansas Derby is the 12th race on March 30 and the top five finishers will earn Kentucky Derby points (100-50-25-15-10). 

Arkansas Derby 2024 Picks & Final Time Ratings

Timberlake was one of the top juveniles in the land last year. He was second in the Hopeful (G1), first in the Grade 1 Champagne, and fourth in the BC Juvenile (G1). He stalked the pace and won the Grade 2 Rebel as the favorite by two lengths on Feb. 24. Flavien Prat is his new pilot and the $350k Into Mischief colt should work out a decent stalking journey from an inner post. Brad Cox won this race in 2022 and 2023. 

Liberal Arts is my live longshot. He had some success in points races last year with a show finish in the Iroquois (G3) and a victory in the Street Sense (G3). He returned in the local Southwest (G3) on Feb. 3, and he rallied to just miss the place and galloped out with energy. He has been targeting his race for weeks, and reunites with Tyler Gaffalione and should be finishing at a price.

Muth is the favorite and Bob Baffert saddled the winner of this race four times. The $2 million Good Magic colt was part of the exacta in all five starts. He won the Grade 1 American Pharoah last fall, and landed the place behind romping winner Fierceness in the BC Juvenile. He started his sophomore campaign with a sharp victory in the Grade 2 San Vicente at seven panels on Jan. 6. His regular pilot Juan Hernandez makes the trip to Arkansas and this one drilled a six panel bullet for this on March 22. He should be right up on the pace and could easily win this. He is not eligible to earn Kentucky Derby points. The Preakness Stakes is his main goal. 

Just Steel had no shot in the Rebel. He was hung out to dry from post 11 and ended up 7th of 12. He completed the exacta in the Smarty Jones and Southwest (G3), and might get a piece of this if he is able to work out a decent stalking trip.

Mystik Dan is the low priced contender I want to bet against. His Southwest (G3) romp at 11-1 odds seemingly came out of nowhere. He got a great trip and absolutely loved the mud last time. This is a deeper field and I want him to prove that his last effort was for real.  

The Arkansas Derby field also includes Will Take It, Dimatic, Time for Truth, Informed Patriot, and Imperial Gun. 

Arkansas Derby 2024 Picks

The Arkansas Derby is my 30th video on the road to Kentucky Derby 2024, and my top choices have nine wins, five runner-up finishes, and five show finishes. I will cover each points race on the Kentucky Derby trail. Check out my Arkansas Derby 2024 picks video below.