track talk: making your preparations for betting the derby

Start ironing your seersucker and heating up the stove for that burgoo because the Kentucky Derby is just a few short days away. The most important thing, however, is being able to bet.

Our friends at Garden & Gun have come up with some solid, easy tips for ensuring you don’t look like an idiot when they’re coming around the stretch:

DONT BET THE FAST STARTERS
“The Derby has a lot of these horses. The reason is that a lot of owners have entered a horse in the race for vanity reasons. Last year a guy ran a horse that had never been over seven furlongs! These speed horses run quickly at the start and tire at the end. For this reason, the Derby tends to favor horses coming from the back. Check out the times the horses ran in races leading up to the Derby on equibase.com.”

LOOK FOR A HOT HORSE WITH GOOD ODDS
“You want a horse that’s coming into the Derby off some good races. Last year’s winner, I’ll Have Another, had done well in both starts before the Derby, and was still around 20-1. Money can be made here.”

TRAINERS AND JOCKEYS ARE OVERRATED 
“You don’t need a trainer with Derby experience to win the race, and jockeys like Calvin Borel are over-bet because of who they are. The hype exceeds reality. You have better odds with the less well-known.”

BET THE HORSES THAT START ON THE OUTSIDE
“Historically, the Derby is run with twenty horses. They don’t have a twenty-horse starting gate. They have one for fourteen horses, and an auxiliary gate on the outside for horses fifteen to twenty. The auxiliary gate horses seem to get through the starting scrum with greater ease.”

(source: http://gardenandgun.com/article/how-bet-kentucky-derby)

Now that you have some idea of what you’re doing, you can begin your own research. To begin, check out who is competing.

Here are the Current Points Standings for Derby Contenders:

Rank Horse Trainer Points Non-restricted Stakes Earnings
1 Orb Shug McGaughey III 150 $840,000
2 Verrazano Todd Pletcher 150 $810,000
3 Goldencents Doug O’Neill 129 $1,208,000
4 Java’s War Ken McPeek 122 $651,772
5 Overanalyze Todd Pletcher 110 $908,831
6 Revolutionary Todd Pletcher 110 $720,000
7 Lines of Battle Aidan O’Brien 100 $1,261,089
8 Vyjack Rudy Rodriguez 70 $505,000
9 Will Take Charge D. Wayne Lukas 60 $512,971
10 Itsmyluckyday Eddie Plesa, Jr. 50 $593,600
11 Black Onyx Kelly Breen 50 $317,130
12 Palace Malice Todd Pletcher 50 $200,000
13 Normandy Invasion Chad Brown 44 $258,000
14 Frac Daddy Ken McPeek 44 $240,596
15 Mylute Tom Amoss 42 $363,365
16 Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas 36 $346,000
17 Falling Sky John Terranova II 30 $207,500
18 Charming Kitten Todd Pletcher 20 $206,000
19 Golden Soul Dallas Stewart 14 $84,000
20 Fear the Kitten Mike Maker 6 $122,735

(source: http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2013-point-standings)

For your future research on who to bet the next college loan payment on, here are some of the best resources:

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