With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith winning the Kentucky Oaks on Friday afternoon on 36-1 shot Princess of Sylmar, it was a pretty good reminder that anything can happen in big races like that, and the Kentucky Derby.
Getting a handle on how to approach the 19-horse Kentucky Derby is not easy. There are so many variables in play.
The first day of betting was not at all surprising, with Revolutionary the early 5-1 favorite. Orb may wind up going off as the shortest price when the race goes off, but Louisville is Calvin Borel country, and the newly minted Hall of Famer fits Revolutionary's late-running style perfectly.
Yet the early money isn't the real significant money, which most often shows up with just a few minutes to post. The Derby betting pools are so massive, it's hard to move the odds all at once. Casual fans should see this as a very good thing. Wise guys, unlike in most races every other day, can't hurt odds by betting so much money that a 4-1 shot goes down to 9-5.
There is value in the Derby, always.
Yet the questions remain: Who to bet on? How were the final workouts, and what do they mean? How do I go for a huge payoff, or play it safe? What about the weather? The pace scenario?
With post time drawing near, here are 10 last-minute updates, pieces of advice and picks that, hopefully, help you see things a little bit clearer for America's greatest horse race.