Kentucky Derby 142 to Provide Unique Challenge for Bettors
Kentucky Derby 142 to Provide Unique Challenge for Bettors: Every year, Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby (GI) to the delight of the entire horse racing industry, including casual and professional gamblers. The historic racetrack runs the event on May 7, and bettors cannot wait to wager on the country’s most famous Thoroughbred race.
Part of the reason for the excitement lies in the generous payoffs. Yet, cashing in might require some homework.
Analyzing the Derby offers a stern (yet rewarding) challenge for all levels of handicappers. In 2012, revered Daily Racing Form writer Steven Crist explained the difficult nature of deciphering the Kentucky Derby.
“Larger fields mean more traffic, more chaos, and a larger pool of plausible contenders, especially for the minor awards that fill out trifectas and superfectas,” Crist wrote.
Pace and traffic issues are mainly what cause the “chaos” Crist refers to in his article.
With 20 horses, the pace is bound to be faster than the average race because there is a higher chance for a speed duel to occur. Even when the pace is not suicidal, the horses run fairly quick for a 10-furlong event. For example, last year Dortmund led them through opening fractions of 23.24 and 47.34 seconds.
The points system installed a few years ago is supposed to cut down on the number of sprinters competing in the Derby, but a legitimate pace will happen with 20 horses and help closers.
Even so, before unloading the bankroll on come-from-behind types, stop and think about the traffic problems a 20-horse field brings. Closers already run into trouble in a normal-sized field (cough … Mo Tom).
Ideally, a closer will posses nimble qualities and cut through the mess, such as Mine That Bird in 2009 when he upset the field at 50-1. Late runners who require space to start their engines may not merit a wager on top.
Last year came as a disappointment for a few gamblers since favorites dominated and diluted the rewards. In other years, a longshot closer usually clunks along and finds his way into third or fourth place.
Some handicappers consider the “bombs” who crawl their way onto the board “random.” Consider the profile of those Derby horses though, and the longshot winners as well. Like Golden Soul, they come from behind!
If a “Golden Soul” type bomb falls into a Top 4 placing on May 7, expect the handicapping forums to blow up with excitement. The kind of races where longshot players are rewarded help keep them returning for more.
Besides the handicapping challenges, bettors must also face emotional bias. Yes, even seasoned gamblers are not immune to sticking with their favorite horse throughout the prep races and into the actual Kentucky Derby.
In addition, so much hype will go towards the top horse and possibly cause a few racing fans to bet against him (or her) because they cannot stand the attention given to the “anointed super horse.”
Letting a little emotional bias take over is not terrible. After all, the idea is to become excited about the Kentucky Derby and everything surrounding the event. The countdown continues. Only a little more than a month remains!