Always Dreaming wins Kentucky Derby

The favorite won again at the Kentucky Derby. Always Dreaming won the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs as jockey John Velazquez ran a beautiful race on a very sloppy track. Trainer Todd Pletcher got his second career Kentucky Derby win. It rained all weekend but the skies cleared in time for the race.

Always Dreaming is unbeaten as a 3-year-old, so let’s see if we have another legitimate Triple Crown contender.

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California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby

California Chrome was the favorite to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby, and the chestnut colt purchased for $10,000 will certainly get the Triple Crown talk going again. The story behind this California-bred horse is pretty awesome, as two average Americans from California dubbed “dumb asses” by a trainer when they got into horse racing somehow managed to win the Kentucky Derby. Steve Coburn and Perry Martin turned down $6 million for a 51% ownership in California Chrome before the Derby, but now with the horse’s fifth-straight win and a real shot at the Triple Crown, we can safely assume the price has gone up considerably.

Can we finally get a Triple Crown winner?

The Triple Crown was part of my childhood. I was a little too young to appreciate Secretariat in the early 70s, but Seattle Slew and Affirmed were both incredible horses and I remember those vividly. Seattle Slew was dominant in 1977, even if it wasn’t celebrated quite as much as the legendary Secretariat. Affirmed was special due to the classic rivalry with Alydar in one of the most excited Triple Crown runs in history. Their epic battle ended in a race at the Belmont Stakes for the ages with Affirmed literally winning by a nose to grab the Triple Crown.

But Affirmed was the last winner. It was so exciting in the 1970s with these great horses, but nobody good have predicted the Triple Crown drought that would follow. There were many close calls, and I was at the Belmont Stakes in 1989 when Sunday Silence was trying for the Triple Crown but was denied by Easy Goer. I had bet Sunday Silence hoping to witness history, but I was in the infield near the finish line as Pat Day rode to an impressive win for Easy Goer, which was probably the better horse.

But May is around the corner, and the sports world will be watching sports like basketball and hockey, but that won’t be all.

As we get set for the NBA and NHL playoffs next week all eyes have diverted away from horse racing but lest we forget the most exciting 2 minutes in sports that are the Kentucky Derby. The 2014 Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May and you can get the latest qualifying scores report and line moves at the official Kentucky Derby betting site to help you with your Kentucky Derby online wagering picks and predictions.

Horse racing could really use a Triple Crown winner, as the health of the sport has really suffered over the years. Pimlico Race Course in Maryland, home of the Preakness Stakes, had to be bailed out by the state in order to continue operations. Many race tracks these days can’t survive without slots to draw more visitors.

But the big races are still a huge party, and if you’re looking for a great time you can start with the classic Kentucky Derby.

Horce racing embraces social media

Race tracks have been facing difficult issues for years. In places like Ohio they’ve had to add slot machines to get people to come. At Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness Stakes wasn’t enough to keep that track out of trouble. The state had to get involved to save it. Of course horseracing betting is incredibly popular online and in places like Las Vegas. The huge races like the Kentucky Derby get mobbed with visitors of course as these are huge events in popular culture. But getting visitors to the tracks on a consistent basis for the weekly races is critical to the success of the entire industry. But as pointed out recently at Deadspin.com, the demographics are not too friendly to the industry as the fans are mostly older.

Fortunately we’re seeing modern marketing efforts coming from the industry as many have embraced social media tools like Twitter. The Kentucky Derby account has over 33,000 followers while the Breeder’s Cup has over 27,000 followers. Even the Preakness Stakes has over 7,000 followers, though they could probably be more active on that account. Also, as pointed out by Deadspin, the industry is signing up brand ambassadors who will use events and social media to reach out to younger people in cities like Miami to spark interest. Of course these representatives are often young, beautiful and female, but that has always been a marketing staple. The point is that they can no longer just count on men in their 20s and 30s to just show up at the track on the weekend. There are too many entertainment and sports options, let alone casinos and online gaming options as well. The good thing is that the product is still very entertaining. Horse races are a blast when you spend the day at the track. The key is conveying that message and finding promotions to get young people in the door for the first time so they have fun and then want to come back.

Can Orb win the Triple Crown?

Every year after the Kentucky Derby, the question becomes whether the winner can carry it forward and win the Triple Crown. I’m old enough to remember when Affirmed won the last Triple Crown in 1978, and frankly I’d really like to see it again.

Often we see horses win the Derby where it’s obvious the horse has no chance to get two more races. But this year, even on a sloppy track, Or b looked like a horse that has the goods to compete for glory. Next up is the Preakness, and the odds look pretty good for Orb:

The 138th Preakness, however, does not appear to offer a profitable opportunity to wager against the Derby winner. The second-, third- and fourth-place finishers at Churchill Downs will not be at Pimlico because they are awaiting the Belmont Stakes or other objectives. Just eight horses will challenge Orb, and it is difficult to make a solid case for any of them.

Fortunately, in today’s world you can bet the horses from anywhere you like from your home and enjoy things like Royal Ascot Betting, so getting your racing fix is very easy. But there’s still something special about the Triple Crown, and getting in on the action in a year where a horse finally prevails should provide a hell of a story.

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