Oaklawn’s meet draws to a close with the Arkansas Derby — a $1,000,000, Grade 1 affair that is the final 100-40-20-10 point prep of the season. Inaugurated in 1936 and run every year since except for 1945, it has always been run at nine furlongs. It has vacillated between a Grade 1 and a Grade 2 since 1976, but held firm at a Grade 1 since 2010. It does not look to be losing its top grade anytime soon, as its recent form has held well come Classic season. Though last year’s winner Classic Empire finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, he rebounded with a second-place finish in the Preakness. 2016’s winner, Creator, won the Belmont. 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah won Hot Springs’s richest race before going to Kentucky. 2014’s longshot winner, Danza, franked that form by finishing third behind California Chrome in the Run for the Roses.