2012 Kentucky Derby Long Shot Picks

Betting on long shots to win the Kentucky Derby has long been a fan favorite. And this year’s 138th “The Run for the Roses”, at Churchill Downs will be no different.

Unlike other sports or betting games, where betting on the long shot or against the house is usually unfavorable. Horse racing affords the serious bettor the best chance at beating the odds for some lofty payouts.

There have been a few horses over the years that have not only added to the excitement of the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” , but sent some daring souls directly to the bank.

For example, in 2009 when three-time Derby winner, jockey Calvin Borel piloted 50:1 gelding, Mine that Bird from about eight lengths behind to win the Derby in remarkable fashion.

The following year however, Mine That Bird was retired from racing after being winless in nine starts since that amazing day, prompting some to believe that betting on the jockey is more important as than the horse.

While an experienced jockey like Borel who appears to have nerves of steel, it is still the perfect combination of man and –a little more–beast that wins the granddaddy of all North American horse racing events.

With that, when it comes to betting on this year’s Derby longshots, your safest bet is to wager on the following horses to either win, place, show, o that when May 5th finally rolls around you can collect some potentially big payouts.

Went the Day Well, 20:1 – The winner of the Vinery Racing Spiral by 3 1/2-lengthsvhis last time out, the Graham Motion trainee that is owned by the Team Valor International consortium has the same connections as 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. In the stirrups will be jockey John Velazquez, who rode Went the Day Well for the first time in the Spiral and also won his first Derby the very first time he saddled Animal Kingdom. The son of Proud Citizen is well-bred for distance so the 1 1/4-miles of Churchill downs should not be a problem for the now two-for-three winner.

Mark Valeski, 25:1 – Just one month after finishing second in the Louisiana Derby, the other son of Proud Citizen looks like he will be in the starting gate at postime on May 5th after all. This following a previous decision by trainer Larry Jones and owner Brereton Jones that Mark Valeski wouldn’t run at Churchill Downs if they felt he didn’t have a shot to capture the roses.. However, his upset by mega-long shot Hero of Order in the Louisiana Derby was determined to be a bad stroke of luck after losing a shoe prior to or early in the race. Although Valeski’s pedigree tilts toward sprints and middle distances, his mother was a long distance stakes horse. With regular jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard, Valeski is a going off as a long shot, but the big secret here is this horse is can run well at distances at or beyond that of 1 1/8-mile Louisiana Derby.

Liaison, 35:1 – Another horse that nearly failed to make the Derby cut after trainer Bob Baffert decide to give the horse a chance after coming off a string of poor performances at Santa Anita. The son of Indian Charlie hasn’t finished in the top three of any race so far in 2012 after winning the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in December. But make no mistake, when it comes to long shots this Bay Colt has the pedigree to go the distance on Churchill’s dirt track. Add to that jockey Martin Garcia, who won the Preakness Stakes aboard Lookin’ At Lucky in 2010, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Rousing Sermon, 50:1 – Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the Lucky Pulpit colt most recently finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in two grade II stakes in California and then followed it up with a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby. A jockey change will add to Sermon’s challenges to win the Derby, as Jose Lezcano will take over the reins from Mike Smith, who was aboard Rousing Sermon at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana last month.

My Pick: Out of this group, the one that looks to have the best shot at making the board has to be Went the Day Well. This horse possesses everything needed to compete in a big race like the Kentucky Derby and has the family background.  If you are wanting to bet on the Derby check out www.BetonKentuckyDerby.org