April 30, 2013
Previewing The 2013 Kentucky Derby Odds
The 139th Kentucky Derby will kick off the 2013 Triple Crown this weekend, and for those of you that like your betting action fast and furious this is an ideal event. The derby is set to start at 5:25pm EST on Saturday, May 4th at Churchill Downs. Let’s spice your mint juleps with a solid preview of the event.
Post positions will be determined by a points system for the first time in Kentucky Derby history. Horses were awarded points based on their performances in 36 specific races based on a sliding scale for the top-four finishers. Running out of an ideal post affords a distinct advantage, so this new points system will be able to give you an inside track on the expected winner.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was expected to have six horses in the race, which would have set a record. Winning Cause has dropped out however, leaving Pletcher with just five horses, which still happens to be a very big deal. Only one other trainer has had five horses in the Derby all at once, so anyone that runs out of the Pletcher stables will catch the attention of gamblers eager to win some quick cash.
For those reasons Pletcher’s prize horse, Verrazano is the leading favorite on the board at +450. He is undefeated in his four races this year, and throttled the field in his last two races winning by margins of 7 ¾ and 16 ¼ lengths. He is a dominant and intelligent horse so far, but the Derby is going to be a grueling test, especially considering his background.
Verrazano comes with a few caveats. The major issue with him is his pedigree. He comes from More Than Ready’s lineage, who was a great horse at the mile but struggled at the 1 ¼ mile length. More Than Ready finished fourth despite running out of the 9th post at the 200 Kentucky Derby, and there are plenty of signs that point to Verrazano being a better miler. There are also a few concerns that Verrazano never ran as a two-year old, which raises some eyebrows. He’s as much of a mystery as he is the favorite.
The other problem? Verrazano isn’t the only favorite on the board. Orb is also posting +450 odds to come through at the 2013 Kentucky Derby and is coming off a victory at the esteemed Florida Derby. For the past two weeks, the horses have been training at Churchill Downs and Orb has been creating a massive amount of hype in the betting community. Orb enters the derby with a streak of four wins and word out of Churchill Downs is that no horse has looked more relaxed or comfortable on the track.
Orb and Verrazano will be the centers of attention but there are a few other favorable bets out. The third favorite is Revolutionary, a horse posting +800 odds to win the race. He earned 110 points this season, trailing Orb and Verrazano who each had 150 points. He’s an intriguing play because of the payout. His pedigree would suggest that he’s much better suited for the 1 ¼ mile distance, and he’s also being ridden by Calvin Borel so he’ll have some natural backers. Borel is the best known jockey on the circuit and will literally throw down if he has to.
Mylute is a +2500 longshot and will be a talking point because of who his jockey is. Rosie Napravnik is the most successful female jockey in Kentucky Derby history, finishing 9th in 2011. It’s a great advancement for the sport in general but Napravanik doesn’t have a reliable track record worth gambling on.
The first female rider in the Derby is an intriguing element, but so is Kevin Krigger the second black jockey to run in the prestigious race since 1921. The difference with Krigger is that he’s riding Goldencents, a +1000 mid-range play, who is trained by none other than Doug O’Neil. Guess who trained the winning horse in last year’s affair? And while we’re on the subjects of winning teams, Goldencents is co-owned by Louisville’s Rick Pitino who coached the Louisville Cardinal to the NCAA Championship at March Madness. How’s that for the perfect storm?
Basketball nuts might also enjoy +2500 longshot Palace Malice while wearing their Ron Artest or Jermaine O’Neil Pacers jersey. Actually you’re probably more likely to have a Ben Wallace Pistons jersey.
If your cat loving girlfriend needs a reason to be interested in the derby, you can point her towards Fear The Kitten and Charming Kitten who are both +4000 longshots that will start on the fringe posts of the Kentucky Derby. Between the two of them, I would probably throw a flier at Fear The Kitten because – well - you have to fear the kitten!
All kidding aside, my betting advice on horse races always includes a play on the outright winner and a trifecta box. The latter allows you to predict the top-3 horses in no particular order with a small amount of money down and a hefty payout. It’s sort of the equivalent of a three team parlay in regular sports betting.
Here are my picks for the 2013 Kentucky Derby Odds. Get to the racebook now to get your bets in for the fastest two minutes in sports!
Outright Winner: Goldencents +1000
Trifecta Box: Goldencents (+1000), Orb (+450) and Revolutionary (+800)
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