Below is your betting primer on the 2019 Kentucky Derby, including analysis of the horses most likely to win and best bets.
Horse Betting 101
Below are the most basic bets on any horse race:
- The first is a “win” bet. The horse must win the race in order for you to win the wager.
- Next, is a “place” bet. You win the wager if your horse finishes first or second.
- Betting a horse to “show” means selecting a horse who you think will finish in the top 3.
Because of the difficulty of a win wager, it will yield the highest payoff of the three. A show wager will yield the lowest payoff but offers the greatest chance of winning. The minimum bet for a win, place or show bet is only $2.
You bet an exacta by selecting a minimum two horses to finish first and second. These horses must finish first and second, in that order, for you to win the wager. Thus, an exacta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, but yields a higher payout.
If picking two horses in order sounds too difficult, you can “box” your wager. A boxed wager will win if your horses finish 1st and 2nd, in any order, making it more likely for you to win. The minimum bet for an exacta or exacta box wager is only $2.
You bet a trifecta by selecting a minimum three horses to finish first, second, and third. These horses must finish first, second, and third, in that exact order, for you to win the bet. Therefore, a trifecta is more difficult than win, place and show bets, as well as exacta bets, so it yields a higher payout than any of those bets.
If picking three horses in order sounds like too much, you can “box” your bet. A boxed trifecta bet will win if your horses finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in any order, making it more likely to win. The minimum bet for a trifecta wager is only 50 cents, and you can bet a trifecta box for as little as $3.
Now that you know how to bet on horse races, let’s take a look at the field for the Kentucky Derby. One thing to note is that unlike most sports betting, people usually wait until closer to the start in order to bet. This happens due to horses getting scratched from the race on occasion, as well as the fact that odds don’t lock in until the race.
Thus, these odds below will change:
- The last seven Derby winners either won the Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby, or Florida Derby. The horses that won these races are Roadster, Omaha Beach, and Maximum Security, respectively.
- However, Omaha Beach, the original favorite, was scratched from the Derby. Thus, this race has no clear cut favorite. Roadster is unknown on longer tracks like Churchill Downs. Maximum Security has had poor workouts leading up to the Derby. For a horse that’s won all four of his races, something isn’t right.
- Weather conditions look to be wet and sloppy for the race. When this is the case, the favorites usually become even greater favorites.
- A horse trained by Bob Baffert has won the Triple Crown two of the last four years. This makes him the most successful trainer today. Impossible and Game Winner are his two horses that are favorites.
- Improbable is the only horse classified as a favorite that’s ran a race on a wet track (Arkansas Derby).
This bet sounds like a cop out, but it’s the safest bet. This field is truly more wide open than any other field in recent memory. The presumed favorite, Omaha Beach, has to sit out this race.
Maximum Security seems just as likely to win and he is to place near the back of the pack. Roadster ran on a Santa Anita track that’s been closed the majority of this year. Add this to the fact Roadster never ran on a track near the length of the Kentucky Derby. Roadster makes for a risky horse to pick.
Thus, our safest bet is Improbable as a SHOW. It should pay our near even odds in the end, and Improbable’s races show that he can race well on all sort of tracks.