Once again the Kentucky Derby stamps itself as the most interesting race on the continent, from a betting or fan perspective. I can not think (apologies to my overseas friend's who play big fields all the time) of a race which provides so much, in such a short period of time.
In studying and playing the race, here are a few thoughts:
Yesterday's race, with no standouts and a sloppy track represented the most random odds board the race has ever exhibited. There were 20 horses and the longest shot was 31-1. There were probably three or four horses in that race which had true odds of 400-1, but you would not have known it. In fact, at Betfair each year you can usually get one or more horses over 200-1. This year the highest I saw was 70-1. Pure randomness.
Lookin at Lucky is being called Lookin at Unlucky by almost everyone. Has a horse had back to back starts like this before, ever? It's a shame because he is a very nice horse.
Super Saver was not a very much talked about horse all week, yet he took all the early cash, and ended up at 8-1. Go figure. Is the crowd sharp, or were they so stumped with this race that they decided that they will go with Borel in the slop, and that's that? I think it is the latter.
Poor Sidney's Candy. He is such a nice horse but when the gate sprung he was sent so hard that he was sprinting. If there was one horse you could have thrown out ten strides into the race, it was him. The post gods sealed his fate.
The winner was 11-1 at Betfair. A close second choice. He moved down after the track was sloppy and several moved up, like Lookin at Lucky. People seemed not to want the inside, yet ironically the horse who won hugged the rail.
The track was impossible to figure out. Inside speed was horrid, but with time between the later races, it seemed to get better.
What race can a $100,000 win bet not affect the odds? The Derby. The 100k win bet by the contest winner did not do a heck of a lot to a horse with almost $3M on him.
I think Noble Promise is a horse. He was my #1 pick to come last after he was scraped up bad in the Arkansas Derby and scoped sick not long thereafter. How did he do so well with all those negatives? He must be a good horse.
Funny post from Wintertriangle at Paceadvantage.com: "So, I'm talking to a friend a few days before the KY Derby. He pulls up the grocery ad from his local Super Saver store at supersaver.com and sends it to me. They are running a special on blue bunny ice cream. On another page, cool whip and the Peppermint Paddy ice cream. He played Super Saver, Ice Box, Paddy trifecta. I guess it pays to be superstitious"
Calvin Borel has a set. How many riders or drivers do you know who will take chances in getting shut off like he does with potential winners every year in the Derby? There are millions in stud fees at stake with a win, and most riders want their horse out of traffic and wide to avoid criticism. Not Calvin.
I hope everyone had a good time betting the Derby. As usual, I can't wait until next year. The Derby puzzle represents the most challenging pursuit a horseplayer could ever hope for.