Kentucky Derby/Oaks Betting: Wisdom of Crowds

Year after year, the Kentucky Derby provides some of the largest payouts of any horse race in America. 20-horse fields filled with young, deep and competitive horses running a distance most have never seen before provides these massive payouts.

In 2011, the mutual pool had over $46 million bet into it, with another $20 million in the Exacta pool, $24 million in the Trifecta pool, and just under $10 million in the Superfecta pool…totaling just shy of $100 million. Continue reading


Bodemeister Looks to Make History


The year was 1882, and the Kentucky Derby was only eight years old.  That year a horse by the name of Apollo won the Kentucky Derby.  At the time, he was the only horse to win the Derby without racing at the age of two.  Now, 130 years later, Apollo is still the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing at the age of two.  If you are like me, it’s hard to imagine that being possible.  We’ve had several horses come to the Louisville with a chance to break this streak, but none of them could get it done.  So the question is…will this year be any different?  Can Bodemeister finally break this 130 year old curse?

Bodemeister enters this years Derby off a breath-taking win in the Arkansas Derby where he made short work of an average field.  He’s the only horse coming into this year’s Derby that has three triple digit beyer numbers; and his breeding suggests the distance of a mile and one-quarter won’t be a problem.  He’s got great early natural speed, and if he breaks well he shouldn’t have much problem getting clear of the majority of the field and staying out of traffic trouble.  That factor is huge when trying to maneuver through a twenty horse field. Still, the doubt is still there.  130 years of history is working against him. Continue reading

Derby Trial Stakes (Grade 3) Preview

Likely Winners:

#7 Paynter (KY) – If things go according to plan, Paynter should dominate this field on his way to a possible start in the Preakness.  It’s amazing to imagine how much talent this colt might have.  After breaking his maiden in his first ever start at five and one half furlongs, Paynter was asked to run in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby next.  It was an insane class jump, but Paynter finished a respectable fourth despite having a troubled trip.  He was beaten just over three lengths by two seasoned horses in Creative Cause and I’ll Have Another, both of whom have a legit shot to win the Kentucky Derby.  So you can see the potential this horse has, now it’s time to show it!  I look for him to do just that this Saturday night, as this is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

#11 Bourbon Courage (KY) – If Paynter falters in this race, Bourbon Courage is the most likely candidate to pick up the pieces.  While this is a jump in class for him, he has shown all the signs that he is ready for it.  He’s never really been challenged in his two lifetime races, winning by a combined eleven lengths.  This looks like a horse that is really starting to develop, and I like where they have him spotted here.  Even though it’s a graded stakes, this field is not going to blow anyone away.  Logical spotting plus a fast horse usually equals good things. Continue reading

Races to Watch This Weekend

Belmont: The Westchester Stakes (Grade 3) Saturday 4:06 PM CT

Dudes Pick: #1 Boys At Tosconova

Dudes Sleeper: #5 Marilyn’s Guy

Purse $150,000. For Three Year Olds And Upward. No nomination fee. $1,500 to pass the entry box. A supplemental nomination fee of $1,500 in addition to the entry fee may be made at any time prior to the closing of entries. All starters including supplemental nominees to receive a $1,000 rebate. The purse will be divided 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 3% to fifth and 2% divided equally among remaining finishers. Any horse that competes in both the Westchester and Metropolitan Hcp willhave their entry fee waived for the Metropolitan Hcp. Three year olds, 118.; Older 123. Non-winners of $60,000 in 2012 allowed 2 Lbs.; Non winners of a graded sweepstakes since October 1, 2011, 4 Lbs.; 4 races, 6 Lbs. (Maiden, Claiming, Starter andRestriced allowance races not considered). A trophy will be presented to the winning owner. Closed Saturday, April 14, 2012 with 38 Nominations. One Mile.
PP Horse Virtual Stable A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer
1 Boys At Tosconova (KY) 4/C L R A Dominguez 119 R E Dutrow, Jr.
2 Jersey Town (KY) 6/H L E S Prado 119 B Tagg
3 Ponzi Scheme (KY) 5/G L J Alvarado 119 J Serey
4 Goombada Guska (NJ) 5/G L R Napravnik 117 S M Asmussen
5 Marilyn’s Guy (KY) 6/G L J R Velazquez 123 A W Dutrow
6 To Honor and Serve (KY) 4/C L J Lezcano 121 W I Mott
7 Bold Deed (NY) 4/G L J Castellano 117 M E Hushion

Churchill: The Derby Trial Stakes (Grade 3) Saturday 8:39 PM CT Continue reading

Racing Dudes Beginners Series: Kentucky Derby 101

Here is everything you need to know about the Kentucky Derby.  Once you get done reading this, check out “A Visual Guide to the Kentucky Derby” as well.  It contains interesting facts, horse racing terminology, Derby fashion over the years, and more.  View it by clicking here:  A Visual Guide to the Kentucky Derby

General Facts About The Race:

Kentucky Derby 138 will be Ran on May 5th

The Kentucky Derby is a the biggest race in America.  It is for three-year-old horses only, and held annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May.  The race is one and a quarter-mile long and open to both males and females.  Males carry 126 pounds while females carry 121. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or you will also hear it called “The Run for the Roses.”  It is the first leg of the Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.  The race is considered an American Classic.  It out draws all other races held in the United States each year.  This years Derby will mark the 138th time the race has been ran.  The race stands as one of the longest continuous sporting events in the United States.  Simply put: this is the race every jockey, trainer, and owner dreams of winning.

How Do You Qualify?

Bodemeister Winning the Arkansas Derby. Oaklawn Runs 3 Derby Preps Every Year

The first thing you must do is nominate your horse for the race.  Hundreds of horses nominate to the Kentucky Derby every year, and there are only twenty spots open for the race.  To earn one of the coveted twenty spots, you must acquire “Graded Stakes Earnings.”  As we talked about early in the beginners series, major stakes races are graded 1, 2, and 3.  Anytime a horse runs in a graded stakes, those earnings count towards qualifying for the Derby.  For example: The Arkansas Derby is a Grade 1 race with a total purse of $1,000,000.  $600,000 goes to the winner, $200,000 for second, $100,000 for third, and $50,000 for fourth.  So if your horse wins the race, he or she gets $600,000 in graded earnings and is safely in the Kentucky Derby.  Usually a horse needs between $200,000 – $250,000 to get into the race.  There are several chances to acquire graded earnings throughout the year as almost every track across the United States run at least one Derby “prep race.”  Oaklawn Park, Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Sunland, and Turfway Park all are known for producing several Kentucky Derby starters.  Each of these track major focus centers around prepping horses for the Kentucky Derby. Continue reading

Ranking the Kentucky Derby Preps

I'll Have Another (left), Creative Cause (middle), and Bluekiesandrainbows (right)

The Kentucky Derby prep races can often tell us a lot about what we can expect in the actual race.  Understanding the strength of these preps can be a big key in your handicapping.  I’ve ranked the strength of the final Derby preps, and will discuss how I think they will affect the outcome of the race.  To view the result charts of each race just click on the race and it will take you to them.

1. Santa Anita Derby –  The Santa Anita Derby lands as my top choice because of the overall depth of the race.  I’ll Have Another and Creative Cause both have decent chances of winning the Derby.  Their long stretch battle was one for the ages, and both looked to be ready to run longer once the race was over.  Liaison is another horse that exits this race as a potential starter in the Derby, although his chances of winning are pretty slim.  Blueskiesandrainbows, Paynter, and, Midnight Transfer are three horses that won’t make the Derby, but still could have an impact on the triple crown.  Any of three could be likely starters for the Preakness.  The overall depth of this race is hard to ignore. Continue reading

Kentucky Derby Graded Earnings

Here is a look at the current Kentucky Derby graded earings.  The top 20 get into the race, so this is your field as of today:

1. Hansen $1,550,000 – He is the graded earings leader, but can he actually win the Derby?  He looks to have distance limitations in my opinion.  Maybe an exotic play…

2. Daddy Long Legs $1,294,030 – He has been very impressive on turf and synthetics, but his dirt form is highly questionable.  Second in earnings but a throw out for me. Continue reading

Lexington Stakes (Grade 3) Preview

Castaway Looks to Make the Derby Field With a Win

Part of running and writing for a racing website is telling you (the fan) the truth.  So I’m going to be honest with you and tell you I have no idea what is going to happen in this race.  There are eleven three-year olds who are all trying to find themselves on a synthetic surface that can produce some strange results.  I won’t be betting this race at all.  I will never tell you not to bet a race, but if you are betting this one proceed with caution unless you have a solid inside source.  Maybe other handicappers out there can help you better than us, but I think they’d be lying. Continue reading

Racing Dudes Beginners Series: The Importance of the Trainer

After three very busy weeks of Kentucky Derby prep races, our Racing Dudes Beginners Series returns this week.  We’ll be covering the most important aspect in racing this week; the trainer.  A trainer does it all.  They work extremely long hours, and seven days a week.  Taking care of a horse is like taking care of a child; they require constant attention.  Just like parents, some trainers are great and some are not.  In this article we’ll analyze the trainers that we follow and know the most about.  We’ll discuss their strategies, training methods and actions.  We’ll also give you some tips on how and when to bet them.

Todd A. Pletcher – When it comes to winning money, nobody has done it better than Pletcher over the last few years.  He operates a very large stable on the east cost.  His “home” tracks are Gulfstream, Belmont, and Saratoga; as well as a few starters at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Aqueduct.  Any time you see his name you have to respect the horse.  Pletcher’s strength is first time starters.  His two-year olds usually dominate in maiden races at Saratoga, and his first time out three-year olds dominate at Gulfstream.  Pletcher has done a great job of luring in deep pocket clients, and has a keen eye for picking out two-year olds in the sale rings around the country.  With all the positive that he does, there are a couple negatives.  He has gotten a reputation for getting young three-year olds injured, and sometimes his first time starters that run huge can’t reproduce that effort when they run again.  Still, this is a guy you have to bet on if you want to win. Continue reading

Prairie Meadows Preview

April 20th is Opening Night

Turn on the fountain and light up the lights, Iowa’s hidden jewel is back this Friday night with a new racing schedule.  The old Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday schedule has been scrapped in favor of a more traditional Thursday – Sunday format.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will still be at night starting at 6:30 PM, while Sunday races will start at 1 PM.  The new schedule is great news for those of us that like to go on the weekends, and one would think it would benefit the overall handle the track will take in.  So let the fun begin at Iowa’s favorite place to play, as we give you out top 5 races, people, and horses to watch for at the meet.

Continue reading