For the first time, the Arkansas Derby will be run in two divisions next weekend. Both will carry the full 170 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
The race was originally set to have a $1 million purse. Now, each division will be worth $500,000.
A total of 22 horses are expected to run Saturday between the two divisions, including winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Rebel Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Louisiana Derby.
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been racing without fans since March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oaklawn president Louis Cella said that due to the large number of 3-year-olds wanting to run in the 84th edition of the race, the track didn’t want to see any of them left out.