Here are five fun facts and tips that you need to know before betting on the Kentucky Derby. The race cracks the gates open this Saturday, May 3rd with the odds coming of the board around noon eastern standard time. Get ready for the excitement, the hats and the gambling!
1. California Chrome Should Win It All
The odds on California Chrome opened at 3-to-1 last week and have since fallen to +250. This is usually a race where the favorite is at least extremely competitive so Chrome is as good as gold gets in horse racing when making a straight or exotic bet. I wouldn’t throw him in all of your bets, but if you’re the type of gambler that loves to swing for the fences, then a straight bet on Chrome to win is the best in the field. He’s already smashed Hopportunity and Candy Boy while running away with four decisive victories this season.
There are also a bunch of fun things to know before betting on the Kentucky Derby when it comes to California Chrome. His trainer, Art Sherman, is 77 years old and could become the oldest saddler to win the derby on Saturday. Chrome is also running at 12-to-1 to win the Triple Crown this year, which is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Affirmed did it a lifetime ago.
2. The Points System Is Basically A Cheat Sheet For Gamblers
This is the second year in a row where the posts are being decided by a point system. The horses are awarded points based on their performances through 34 previously designated races. That doesn’t mean that they’re running in 34 races, but knowing the standings is absolutely something you need to know before betting on the Kentucky Derby. Here are the top 5 2014 Kentucky Derby point totalys heading in to this weekend:
California Chrome – 150 points (+250 to win Kentucky Derby)
Vicar’s In Trouble – 120 points (+2500 to win Kentucky Derby)
Dance With Fate – 108 points (+2000 to win Kentucky Derby)
Wicked Strong – 102 points (+550 to win Kentucky Derby)
Samraat – 100 points (+1500 to win Kentucky Derby)
Obviously, Wicked Strong and Chrome are favored for very good reasons and the races they earned points at were more important and impressive than others. But Vicar’s In Trouble has been a serious contender all year and is paying out 25-to-1. I mean, how can you not throw a chip in his direction after looking at the point standings?
3. Tom Pletcher Is A Busy Man Once Again
Tom Pletcher has been long regarded as the best trainer in horse racing, though that title has become a bit more up for grabs lately. He’s trained Super Savery, Rags to Riches, Palace Malice, Any Given Saturday and a ton of other horses you’ve probably heard of. The Texas based guru will be submitting four horses in to this year’s Kentucky Derby field including Danza and Risen Star at +800 as well as two longshots in We Miss Artie at +5000 and Vinceremos at +5500.
Tracking the horses saddled by Pletcher has always been one of the things you have to know before betting on the Kentucky Derby. I am a big fan of Danza to show everyone who the boss is (get it?) but Risen Star deserves a look as well. Both are great exotic bet stuffers if you don’t think either can beat California Chrome.
4. Hopportunity Is Out Of Kentucky Derby
One of the horses that was drawing a ton of attention, and action, was Hopportunity. Part of it was that he was the only horse in the field that never ran as a two-year old horse, so if he had won the Derby it would’ve been the first time a horse had done so in his first year of racing since 1882. Part of betting the Kentucky Derby is knowing who is in the race. Unfortunately, one of the more talented colts in the field is bowing out due to a foot injury.
5. The Coolest Derby Talking Point Is…
Need some ammo as you try to impress the ladies this weekend at a friend’s place? Heading to a fancy shin dig where a bunch of tight wads will be grilling you? Then you can point out all the facts about the race that people know (the distance is a mile and a quarter, the purse is $1.24 million and the hats are awesome) or you can talk about the $12 million, high definition television that spans 171 feet by 90 feet at the track itself! You don’t need to know this before betting on the Kentucky Derby, but it at least gives you something to talk about while you’re waiting for the race to start.
Updated 2014 Kentucky Derby Post Positions and Morning-line Odds
- Vicar’s in Trouble – Rosie Napravnik – 30-1
- Harry’s Holiday – Corey Lanerie – 50-1
- Uncle Sigh – Irad Ortiz Jr. – 30-1
- Danza – Joe Bravo – 10-1
- California Chrome – Victor Espinoza – 5-2
- Samraat – Jose Ortiz – 5-1
- We Miss Artie – Javier Castellano – 50-1
- General a Rod J- oel Rosario – 15-1
- Vinceremos – Joe Rococo Jr. – 30-1
- Wildcat Red – Luiz Saez – 15-1
- Hoppertunity – Mike Smith – 6-1
- Dance With Fate – Corey Nakatani – 20-1
- Chitu Martin – Garcia 20-1
- Medal Count – Robby Albarado -20-1
- Tapiture Ricardo – Santana Jr. -15-1
- Intense Holiday – John Velazquez- 12-1
- Commanding Curve – Shaun Bridgmohan – 50-1
- Candy Boy – Gary Stevens – 20-1
- Ride On Curlin – Calvin Borel – 15-1
- Wicked Strong – Rajiv Maragh – 8-1
If 20 horses start, the Derby purse will gross $2,202,800, with $1,442,800 to the winner. NBC expects the horses to break from the gate at 6:32 p.m. ET.