It’s the biggest day of the year in Horse Racing, at least in terms of general interest and wagering by the general public. It’s is also one of the most widely wagered upon event in all of sports – a day that has a real advantage for the initiated considering how horse racing odds work… it is much like the stock market; a zero-sum game, so with so much casual money flowing in, the odds can move wildly and rapidly.
For the record, this column is being published at 8am EST, and post time isn’t until after 6pm, so be sure to double-check the lines before placing any wagers. Also I recommend signing up at Bovada.lv to bet on the Kentucky Derby to receive their $250 in free bets towards the race (for new sign ups only).
Let’s take a look at a few horses who could win the mile and a quarter prize, as well as a few good value longshots.
The 139th Kentucky Derby: Best Bets
Revolutionary (10:1) – I’d expect this number to narrow the closer we get to post time. Jockeyed by three-time derby winner Calvin Borel, expect Revolutionary to get a lot of support at the window. Especially coming off his win at the Louisiana Derby, a race in which Borel quickly broke to the rail and held off the field.
However, given his Borel’s recent struggles, He is likely to get a little more support at the window than he merits. 10:1 feels a little steep for the value.
Orb (6:1) – Here is a horse with some good value. Orb won the Florida Derby in impressive fashion, the same race Barabaro dominated immediately before his Kentucky Derby win. Orb is trained by Hall-of-Famer Shug McGaughey and has the trainer raving about his horse in a rare ebullient fashion.
Orb is a deep closer, and this isa solid field; so that is one cause for concern. But assuming he runs his race today, he is a strong candidate to win. If he’s in the mix, I like him to win. I wouldn’t both betting him to place or show – if he can’t get to the line first, there is a good chance he wasn’t able to break through the pack.
Verrazzano (4:1) – Trainer Todd Pletcher has five horses in the field, but this colt will likely go off at the lowest odds. He was largely considered the favorite, but public sentiment has cooled the past few weeks. The colt would be the first two-year old since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby – and 48 have attempted in the last 57 years. Perhaps history could be made today, but at 4:1 there isn’t a ton of value in this horse today. He could very well win – but 4:1 isn’t a lot of bang for your buck in a deep field.
He is the only unbeaten horse in the 19-horse field… but at a grand total of four races run, it isn’t the ideal track history…
Horse to Watch Out For…
Goldencents (5:1) – One could have had a worse month not believing in Rick Pitino… the national-championship winning coach is back in the national spotlight with an interesting value horse running in the Kentucky Derby. Goldencents will be a decent candidate to win the race, but the fervent Louisville fans have rapidly closed the line on this horse. This morning it had narrowed all the wa to 5:1, making him the co-favorite with Revolutionary.
It feels a bit like a sucker bet to me, but the sentimental choice among the locals for sure…
My Pick: I am going to stick with tried and true versus the hype. I try to avoid emotion and sentiment when making picks in any sport; Goldencents with Pitino and Revolutionary with Borel feel like sentimental picks to me. Instead, give me Orb. He opened this morning at 6:1 and may become even a better value as people flock to the sentimental favorite.
Orb – 6:1