Odds Are the Racetrack is Your Best Bet

Nothing beats the excitement of the horse track. Sure, the casinos do have their appeal, but they’re somewhat limiting on the types of entertainment they offer. Casinos also limit who can visit and in a very short period of time, you could be out some serious cash. For the finance and family friendliness factors, head to the races!

You don’t need to visit the Kentucky Derby to enjoy the thrills of the track. Horses race at venues all across the country. The horses, the people, and the atmosphere make the racetrack a great destination for everyone. The races are just about the only gambling venue that allows families with children. With so much to do, a good time will be had by all.

Many racetracks have special Family Fun Days with additional activities to keep the little ones amused. The adults (most states allow gamers age 18 and up) can wage their bets on their favorite horse. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Based on odds of winning, wagers start at around two dollars. A day at the track is something new and exciting to do without breaking the bank. And, if you’re lucky or skilled, you may even be cashing in before it’s all over.

The racetrack program is your guide to the races. It details the horses’ names, descriptions, and odds. Use the program as your map to plot which horse you’re betting to win, the amount of your wager, and how the winner will end (win, place, or show). The “win” is the first horse to cross the finish line, “place” is second place, and the third horse “shows”. To better assist you when determining the outcome of a race, pick up a daily racing form. It details recent histories of horses and how they placed. The form will give you a better feel for which contestants to bet on. Studying the odds will prepare you for possible outcomes.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, wage your bets on more complex placements with each race. The odds of winning exotic wagers are less, but the payouts are typically much greater. With the “exacta”, for example, the horses you’ve chosen to cross the finish line in first and second place must end in exactly that order. The “trifecta” features first, second, and third place winners in the very order you placed them on your racing ticket. Or, win big and gamble on a series of races (a new race starts about every twenty minutes). For a “Pick 3”, the winning horse you’ve selected must win three consecutive races. Although the stakes are high for these types of wagers, the chances of winning a Pick 3, 4, or 5 decrease exponentially versus simpler options.

Many racetracks are covered by the local newspaper’s sportswriter. A seasoned horse betting professional offers top picks based on history and facts of the contestants in a particular race. The track offers this information for a nominal fee. Horse handicapping is great information to have a better understanding on which racer will fare best.

With these tools to your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your day at the racetrack. Pick your favorite horse, choose one that’s had a history of winning, or elect a random selection. If you bring your children, consider involving them in helping you make choices. The kids will have fun watching the horses whip around the course. Everyone will enjoy the food and the fun atmosphere. Racetracks are a great place to have some bonding time with your family while opening possibilities to make your bank account grow. And even if you don’t win, you’re only out a few bucks.

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2011 Kentucky Derby Predictions

Exercise rider Nate Quinonez gallops Kentucky Derby hopeful Twice The Appeal on the track during early morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING)

Listen, I don’t mean to brag but I’m going to anyway.

I was good last year predicting the Triple Crown – I mean, real good.

I had Paddy O’prado to place in the Kentucky Derby (he finished third) and Super Saver (the winner) listed as one of the horses to “keep your eye on.” In the Preakness, I hit Lookin’ At Lucky for the win and nailed First Dude to finish in the money, which is noteworthy since he was a 20/1 long shot to open. Finally, in the Belmont, I predicted the top three (Drosselmeyer, Fly Down, First Dude) to finish in the money, although not in the correct order.

So basically what I’m saying is that if you don’t take my picks today and wager the deed to your house, your wife and/or your dog, that’s just dumb. LET IT RIDE!!!

I’m kidding – I’m not that arrogant, although I did mange to find some luck last year in my predictions so we’ll see how I fare this year. On second thought, you may want to avoid these three…

Win: Twice The Appeal (+1000)
Like I’m going to pass on taking Calvin Borel at Churchill Downs…when he’ll be coming out of the No. 3 post position. Ha! No way. Twice The Appeal has won three of his last four races, with his latest victory coming at the Sunland Derby on March 27. He does seem a little too good to be true, but I have faith in more Borel magic happening today.

Place: Archacharch (+1200)
Why isn’t this horse receiving more love? He drew the rail on Wednesday and his odds went from +900 to +1200. Granted, the rail hasn’t produced a winner since 1988 (Winning Colors) but it still has the most victories (12) in Kentucky Derby history. It’s a prime spot and for a horse that is coming off a victory at the Arkansas Derby to be listed at +1200, this feels like a nice value. If it weren’t for Calvin Borel’s magic at Churchill Downs, I would probably peg Archarcharch to win.

Show: Dialed In (+500)
Dialed In has been the favorite all week, even though his odds continue to drop. He was listed at +350 on Monday, +300 on Tuesday, and +250 on Wednesday when the post positions were drawn. Now he’s +500, which seems like a great value to me. He won the Florida Derby in his last outing on April 3 and also took first in the Holly Bull earlier this year. The only problem is that he doesn’t have much career experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he won the roses on Saturday. He’s a nice-looking horse.

Kentucky Derby post positions announced – ArchArchArch draws rail

Kentucky Derby hopeful ArchArchArch is washed down by his grooms after an early morning workout on the track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 2, 2011. REUTERS/John Sommers II (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING)

The post positions for the 2011 Kentucky Derby have been drawn and midrange favorite Archarcharch will start at the rail this Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Here is the complete list of post positions: No. 1 ArchArchArch; No. 2 Brilliant Speed; No. 3 Twice the Appeal; No. 4 Stay Thirsty; No. 5 Decisive Moment; No. 6 Comma to the Top; No. 7 Pants on Fire; No. 8 Dialed In; No. 9 Derby Kitten; No. 10 Twinspired; No. 11 Master of Houds; No. 12 Santiva; No. 13 Mucho Macho Man; No. 14 Shackleford; No. 15 Midnight Interlude; No. 16 Animal Kingdom; No. 17 Soldat; No. 18 Uncle Mo; No. 19 Nehro; No. 20 Watch Me Go.

If I’m betting a horse on name alone, I’ve got to go with either Nehro or Stay Thirsty. Nehro just sounds cool and I’m assuming Stay Thirsty is a nod to “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” which is downright spectacular. (And if the name is not meant to pay homage to “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” I don’t want to hear about it. Stay Thirsty, my friends.)

Of course, if history has taught us anything it’s that Nehro won’t walk away with any roses this weekend. The No. 19 post position has never won the Kentucky Derby, which started in 1900. The same goes for the No. 17 post position, so steer clear of Soldat, too.

On the flip side, the rail and the No. 5 post have won the most, collecting 12 wins apiece. The No. 4 position has won 11 times, while the No. 8 and No. 10 positions have each been victorious 10 times. Therefore, for those looking to wager on the favorite, Dialed In, his odds just got better seeing as how he’ll come out of the No. 8 gate.

One horse of note is Twice the Appeal, who will be ridden by jockey Calvin Borel. Borel of course has won the last two Derbys and three of the last four. He rode Super Saver (out of the No. 4 post position) to victory for Todd Pletcher last year.

I’m as causal a horseracing fan as they come, but I did pretty well with my predictions last year. I had Paddy O’prado to place in the Kentucky Derby (he finished third) and Super Saver listed as one of the horses to “keep your eye on.” In the Preakness, I hit Lookin’ At Lucky for the win and nailed First Dude to finish in the money, which is noteworthy since he was a 20/1 long shot to open. Finally, in the Belmont, I predicted the top three (Drosselmeyer, Fly Down, First Dude) to finish in the money, although not in the correct order.

With all the luck I had in 2010, methinks you may want to steer clear of me this year as well.

Calvin Borel: “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.”

At Churchill Downs on Saturday, jockey Calvin Borel reminded everyone who may have forgotten that he simply owns the Kentucky Derby.

For the third time in the last four years, Borel was the winning jockey at the Kentucky Derby after he rode Super Saver to victory on Saturday with a time of 2:04.45. He once again stayed close to the rail (his signature), made one move around a competitor and rode Super Saver to victory on a sloppy track.

The favorite, Lookin at Lucky, struggled out of the starting gates and wound up finishing six. Ice Box finished second after edging out Praddy O’prado, who wound up in third.

Outside of the fact that he’s won three of the last four Kentucky Derby races is that Borel won on a Todd Pletcher-trained horse. Pletcher’s struggles at the Kentucky Derby have been well documented, as he is 0-24 in nine Derby appearances. Outside of contest winner Glenn Fullerton, who won a sweepstakes that allowed him to put down a $100,000 bet on Super Saver, there may not have been a happier person at Churchill Downs on Saturday than Pletcher.

Following the race, Borel proclaimed, “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.” Seeing as how he has 4,748 wins in his career, I’m not going to argue with the 43-year-old jockey.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

2010 Kentucky Derby Predictions

We don’t cover much horse racing here at The Scores Report, but I always take upon myself to hand out predictions for the Triple Crown races because I know our readers depend on them. (What? They don’t? Well to hell with them then.)

It’s apparently going to be a sloppy track at Churchill Downs today, which means that it’s really anyone’s race. Last year, 50/1 long shot Mine That Bird shocked the field by winning on a sloppy track, so who knows what will happen this evening.

Here is my crack at the top 3:

Win: Sidney’s Candy (9/1)
Sidney’s Candy doesn’t have a lot of experience on dirt tracks, but he’s already beaten Lookin at Lucky (the Derby favorite) once this year and is coming off three straight wins. He reportedly looked great in workouts this week, which helps ease the concerns about his ability to compete on a dirt track. He’ll start from the No. 20 post position, which I’m indifferent about. I think he’ll lead at some point and my money is on him being ahead at the finish.

Place: Paddy O’prado (10/1)
Paddy O’prado has already competed in three races this year at distances of 1 1/8 miles, which will certainly help him at the Kentucky Derby. The only problem is that he finished seventh in his only dirt race, albeit on a sloppy track in poor conditions. He claimed victory at the G3 Palm Beach on March 6 and will be ridden by jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has three Kentucky Derby victories under his belt.

Show: Line of David (20/1)
This is my sleeper today. Line of David will start of the No. 5 post position, which has produced 12 Derby winners since 1900. He also went from allowance winner to a Grade 1 winner in a smoothness transition and seems like a breakout candidate after he upset the field at the Arkansas Derby. I don’t think he has enough to win wire to wire (which is almost impossible to do at the Kentucky Derby), but I like him to finish in the money.

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