Arkansas Derby Postponed To May 2, Purse Reduced

March 20, 2020

Photo: Omaha Beach winning the 2019 Arkansas Derby.

Credit: Association Press

There will be a Derby on May 2 but not the Kentucky Derby. Oaklawn Park announced Friday that the Arkansas Derby, one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby, will be pushed back from April 11 to May 2. The 146th Kentucky was postponed until Sept. 5.

In order to continue operations through these uncertain times Oaklawn officials had to make a tough decision. With enough purse money available through April 18, they chose to reduce purses across the board after discussions with horsemen and keep racing until May. As a result, the Arkansas Derby purse has been reduced to $750,000 from $1 million. Because Oaklawn is meeting the minimum purse threshold, the full 170 points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility will still be awarded.

A total of 15 stakes races at the track in Hot Springs, Arkansas, have had their purses reduced and dates changed. Oaklawn president Louis Cella said if operations return to normal between now and May, they will adjust the situation accordingly.

Past The Wire Staff

Photo: Omaha Beach winning the 2019 Arkansas Derby.

Jonathan Stettin is a New York Legend. He's been a Horseplayer, earning his living at the track, since he was 19 years old. @jonathanstettin

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