There is no better race to bet on than the Kentucky Derby whether you’re a horseplayer or not. Average odds of the winners have been around 15-1 in the last 20 years so you don’t need to have a big bankroll to have some fun and bet a few bucks on a plethora of price horses.
Look at last year’s winner, “I’ll Have Another,” who paid $32.60 on a winning $2 ticket, and let's face it, most winners only bet on him because of his name and yet, it had nothing to do with drinking, folks.
This year’s field for the most part is slow with only 4 runners who have ran 100 plus speed figures, so I’m looking for a horse who has shown early speed and is versatile enough to maneuver through traffic and tough enough to run in a stampede towards the finish line.
There is also a 60 percent chance of rain, so add that to all the obstacles and factors of winning this race.
My top five selections have been improving each race leading up to today and have been training and looking great this past week. Place your bets on a horse with a groovy name or your favorite number, it doesn’t matter whatever your reason is for your selection. It’s all about having fun and maybe cashing in a nice ticket on the first Saturday in May.
Orb is the deserving favorite who just gets better each race, probably trained the best of the field this past week, and gets the top jockey in America with Joel Rosario. He’s versatile enough to sit midpack with tactical speed coming from the 16 hole while staying out of congestion problems to the inside. Look for Rosario to have this 3 year old close to the front with two furlongs to go before attacking down the stretch. I also give him a experience edge with three wins under his belt at two turns.
Ran second to Orb last time out as the favorite in the Florida Derby but was coming off a 8 week layoff. He has looked spectacular this week in training and appearance and been getting a lot of attention from morning clockers. His previous two wins were top notch posting speed figures of over a 100, so could prove extremely tough if returns to that form at a very nice price but don’t expect getting the 15-1 morning line.
Another tough and versatile horse who probably has posted the toughest wins in this field while overcoming many obstacles that would of stopped many runners from even hitting the board. He’ll go inside to the rail with Calvin Borel at the helm starting from post 3 and work his way to the front zig zagging or going through horses if he has too. A horse you have to admire for his grit and one you have to respect at a nice price. Some handicappers have selected him as top choice.
Many don’t like this runner from California cause they don’t feel he can run the distance and that he ran his best race last out. I think he has a great chance of duplicating that performance. He posted a 105 speed figure winning the Santa Anita Derby and has natural speed to set the pace or layoff drafting from the second position behind the pace setter. Trainer O’Neill won this race last year and jockey Kevin Krigger doesn’t lack confidence, making this trainer/jockey duo dangerous.
Mylute ran second to Revolutionary last out in the Louisiana Derby losing by a neck but did galloped out stronger than the winner. Deep closer has been training extremely well and gets jockey Rosie Napravnik as the pilot who has been cranking out wins this year.
$8 Exacta Wheel : (16 w/3,5,6,8,9,12,14,17,19,) $72
$4 Exacta Wheel : (3,5,6,8,9,12,14,17,19,w/16,) $36 Total $108.00
For a list of horses by post position, go here.
Follow Star Tribune handicapper Johnny Love at www.exoticplays.com and on Twitter @StribLove