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The Kentucky Derby is one of those rare traditional sporting events that transcends the sport itself, becoming less about ‘horse racing’ than it is a cultural event. The most exciting two minutes in sports is one of the most wagered on events of the yearly sport calendar, and it becomes even more exciting when it is your horse bearing down the home stretch, desperately charging to nose past the finish line a winner – and a nice big payday.
So let’s take a look at this year’s field and reveal today’s free Kentucky Derby betting picks….
The Kentucky Derby Betting Favorites:
With the scratch of one of the Derby favorite, Uncle Mo (9:2), the field becomes a lot more wide open, particularly in the place and show categories. Two prohibitive favorites remain, but hitting the trifecta at the year’s race has become even more challenging.
Dialed In (3:1) – Dialed In has become the prohibitive favorite at three to one, narrowing slightly (from 4:1) after Uncle Mo’s late scratch. Dialed In, jockeyed by Julian Leparoux, has won three of his four career starts, and will attempt to become the third Derby winner for trainer Nick Zito (who also won in 1991 and 1994).
Nehro (5:1) – Nehro finished second in both the Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby, two shorter track precursors to the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Steve Asmussen is confident that the added furlongs at Churchill Downs will help his chances – though many horses over the years have been thought the same; only to run out of gas and fade down the home stretch.
Archarcharch (8:1) – Finished with a thrilling late charge to win the Arkansas Derby, coming from behind to win by a nose on the home stretch. However, the victory came over an injured The Factor, who is scratched from the Derby. When both were healthy, The Factor won with ease… which is some cause for concern, and makes the 8:1 odds a little too slim to make it a good value pick, as he attempts to become the first horse to win from the rail since Ferdinand in 1986.
Soldat (8:1) – This is a dangerous sleeper in the field. Soldat won the Fountain of Youth 1 1/8 mile race, but also finished a disappointing fifth at the Florida Derby. This is a horse that many in the industry feel is a dangerous horse on a turf track and could sneak in and surprise today at the Derby.
Good Value Longshots Betting Picks and Odds:
Master of Hounds (30:1) – One of the only horses in the field to have run on a longer 1 3/16 mile tracks. This European-bred horse has some interesting potential.
Mucho Macho Man (10-1): Has a win and has been no worse than fourth in five prep races. This is a big horse which has run 1 1/8 miles twice and against large, competitive fields. The Macho Man has seen all the best horses in training and won the Risen Star.
Twice The Appeal (17-1): It isn’t so much the horse that makes this an intriguing pick, it is the jockey. Would you bet against this long shot making an outrageous run along the rail with Calvin Borel aboard? Borel has won this race three of the past four years. Don’t count him out.
Shackleford (20-1): Finished second to the favorite, Dialed In, in the Florida Derby. Shackelford has won several times at the track before and also has a win at 1 1/8 miles in an allowance race. He’s won at Churchill Downs but was the early frontrunner in the race, he may want the lead and run from the front today, and that’s going to be pretty tough to do.
Chris’ Kentucky Derby Betting Ticket:
Win – Archarcharch
Place – Twice the Appeal
Show – Mucho Macho Man
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