How to Bet the Kentucky Derby

Gary Bogdon
February/March 2013

Secrets to betting on the greatest horse race of them all

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The man who is known—without hyperbole—as the greatest horse-race handicapper in the world now goes by the pseudonym Mr. Black. The reason? After a spate of news stories about his race track successes in the early 2000s, Mr. Black was “relentlessly hounded by the crazies” who cyberstalked him and called him at home in the middle of the night, begging for any scrap of information to help them crack the code. Thankfully, Mr. Black decided to let us in on a few secrets on how to bet the greatest horse race of them all. 

DONT BET THE FAST STARTERS
“The Derby has a lot of these horses. The reason is that a lot of owners have entered a horse in the race for vanity reasons. Last year a guy ran a horse that had never been over seven furlongs! These speed horses run quickly at the start and tire at the end. For this reason, the Derby tends to favor horses coming from the back. Check out the times the horses ran in races leading up to the Derby on equibase.com.”

LOOK FOR A HOT HORSE WITH GOOD ODDS
“You want a horse that’s coming into the Derby off some good races. Last year’s winner, I’ll Have Another, had done well in both starts before the Derby, and was still around 20-1. Money can be made here.”

TRAINERS AND JOCKEYS ARE OVERRATED 
“You don’t need a trainer with Derby experience to win the race, and jockeys like Calvin Borel are over-bet because of who they are. The hype exceeds reality. You have better odds with the less well-known.”

BET THE HORSES THAT START ON THE OUTSIDE
“Historically, the Derby is run with twenty horses. They don’t have a twenty-horse starting gate. They have one for fourteen horses, and an auxiliary gate on the outside for horses fifteen to twenty. The auxiliary gate horses seem to get through the starting scrum with greater ease.”

>Next: How to Find  Brook Trout Hole 

 

 

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