Favorites On A Roll There was a time when being the favorite was almost a sure sign that your horse was not going to win the Run for the Roses. For 20 straight years, from 1980 to 1999, the horse with the lowest Kentucky Derby Odds never won the first jewel of the Triple Crown. […]
Kentucky Derby Vegas Betting
History Made On First Saturday In May
Twenty of the best three-year-old thoroughbred horses head into Churchill Downs starting gate every year on the first Saturday in May. It’s post time for the most iconic race in the world.
The Kentucky Derby, held annually at Louisville’s Churchill Downs with its symbolic Twin Spires, started in 1875. It’s the first leg of the Triple Crown and is run at the famous distance of a mile-and-a-quarter.
The prestigious race is often called The Run for the Roses for the lush blanket of 554 roses draped over the winner. It is also known as the Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports in reference to the time it takes the winner to complete the race.
The race isn’t the only attraction at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. The event is also known for mint julips (an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup), women wearing large, elaborate hats and a packed infield jammed with spectators who are lucky to catch a glimpse of the action.
Enjoy the party.
Betting On The Run For The Roses
This is the best betting race of the year. With 20 horses in the field, it’s highly unlikely to have a prohibitive favorite. Payoffs on the winners are often generous with the large number of betting options.
Churchill Downs isn’t the only site for wagering. There are many off-track venues throughout the U.S., Las Vegas sports books — like MGM Grand and Caesars Palace — or online gaming sites such as Bovada, TopBet or Betonline.
These venues all offer similar options for wagering on the historic race.
Win, place or show
These are common bets to place on any horse race. A win bet is exactly that — pick the winner of the race. To cash a place ticket, your horse must finish first or second. To cash a show ticket, your horse must finish first, second or third. The payoffs on winning tickets are based on a $2 bet.
In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby and eventually the Triple Crown. His odds were 3-2 on Derby Day, meaning a bettor made a $3 profit for every $2 bet on the superstar racehorse. For a $200 wager to win on Secretariat, the return was $500 ($200 bet plus $300 profit).
Exacta, trifecta and superfecta
These betting options are called “exotics.” A bettor is attempting to pick the exact order of finish of multiple horses. In an exacta, you must pick the exact order of finish of the first two horses. In a trifecta, it’s the exact order of finish of the first three horses. With a superfecta, it’s the exact order of finish of the first four horses. The payoffs with these bets will often reach the thousands of dollars.
Daily double and Pick 3
A daily double is a bet where you have to pick the winner of two separate races. The Derby is often coupled with the race before or after it. Another popular bet is a daily double of the Kentucky Oaks (raced the day before the Derby) and the Derby itself. A Pick 3 is a bet where you have the pick the winner of three consecutive races.
How To Pick A Winner At The Derby
The program for the Kentucky Derby will list the horses from 1 to 20 based on the post position draw earlier in the week.
Beside each horse’s name are the pedigree, owner, breeder, trainer and jockey. The information also includes past performance charts and won/lost records.
Some important angles to look for when trying to pick the winner include: top jockey, top trainer, recent performances, post position and track condition. The colt’s history at Churchill Downs is also a consideration since the deep, dirt track is different from many other surfaces across the nation.
These are all important statistics, but a good percentage of the Derby is based on racing luck. With such a large field, it’s easy for the race not go according to plan. Some racing fans will just stick with their lucky number or an appealing name.
Kentucky Derby Betting Trends
The favorite has won the last five Kentucky Derbys, but don’t think the most popular pick in the race is automatically destined for the winner’s circle.
The Derby has been run annually for 143 years. The favorite has won 51 times (35.7%). But from 1979 to 2012, the favorite only won four times. That means that in 29 of those races, those wagering on the safe bet walked away with nothing.
One of the most anticipated events of the week of the Derby is the post position draw. Trainers and jockeys aren’t thrilled to draw the rail or outside 20 post, but another spot is even more feared.
The one post that has never had a winner since the race implemented the starting gate in 1930: the “dreaded” post number 17.
It’s always a good idea to consider who the top trainers and jockeys have in the race. The best trainers include Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen and Chad Brown. The best riders include Mike Smith, Javier Castellano, Julien Leparoux and Florent Geroux.
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Baffert’s Undefeated Colt Favored Buy the hype. Justify is for real. Trained by four-time winner Bob Baffert, the undefeated three-year-old son of Scat Daddy drew the No. 7 post for Saturday’s 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Six horses have won the first leg of the Triple Crown from […]