With an enormous field and a seemingly bottomless pot of betting dollars from casual sports fans, the Kentucky Derby is undoubtedly America’s most important wagering race of each year. So how do you take advantage of this grand event so you can end it with a padded bankroll?
Here are a few tips:
There is a ton of information available on the Internet to help you with handicapping and wagering on Derby Day. Online, you will find lots of replays of all the biggest Derby preps, together with pedigree information, horses’ past performances, etc., all of which can be helpful. As well, there is so much information, particularly opinions of incidental betting gurus, that you will probably do well to avoid. So if you are going to listen at all to their Derby Day advice, make sure they have an excellent track record behind them. Press credentials handed out on Derby Week often go to bloggers and writers who only take up an interest in horse racing once yearly. Remember that and choose your sources of information.
Create a strategy.
Decide on a budget and on a limit to how much you can comfortably lose. Derby Day will have a total of13 races, so it’s probably not the smartest to put all of your bankroll on the Kentucky Derby. The fields are big, but the betting opportunities are bigger and spread out throughout the day. Put a larger portion of your betting bankroll on races that you feel more passionately about, and then less on the others.
Think of value.
The gist of profiting from bets on ponies is looking for value, or overlays. Be wise when placing bets and be on a lookout for fair-enough bets. If the odds of a horse looks like 5-1 to you but the tote board puts him at 3-1, you’d like to hold that wager and dig up the exotic pools instead to find better value and increase your potential profit.
Rules are not absolute.
If there’s one thing we know for sure over the last few years, it’s that rules are made to be broken. Truth is, nearly all so-called inviolable Derby rules have been repeatedly, well, violated. Derby winners now return into the race from five and six-week breaks, run over polytrack in their closing preps, are handled by practically untested trainers, use new prep schedules and races, and have been raced a little.
Take it lightly.
Finally, one of the worst things you can do really is overthinking the race. The only sure thing is that there will be unanticipated twists and turns. Even if you’ve planned very meticulously, you can never take control of everything. So stay cool, make rational wagers, and have fun.