When it comes to betting on horse racing, there's bets for those who are looking to prove that their knowledge of the field comes into play above and beyond what the second theory on the matter is.
What's that, you ask?
Those who aren't diehard racing fans likely won't look at the odds for the 2013 Preakness Stakes this weekend and see anything special. Orb is the even-money favorite heading into the final day, and behind him, a group of contenders are all in the mix.
However, taking a horse that has high odds to win a race isn't always the worst thing in the world.
Golden Soul, who finished second at the Kentucky Derby, had 34-1 odds at post time, but he managed to defy the odds and help screw up the majority of the win-place-show, exacta and superfecta bets that came into Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.
The Preakness aims to do the same.
For those of you who want to strike it rich this weekend with a well-placed bet, here's three bets to ponder when you look at the field and how things might play out.
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md.
When: Saturday, May 18, at 6:20 p.m. ET
Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET
Purse: $1 million
Television: NBC Sports Network
2013 Preakness Stakes Layout
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey||1-1|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux ||D. Wayne Lukas||30-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||6-1|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5-1|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||15-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||12-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||12-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr. ||10-1|
* Current odds can be found at DRF.com.
Big-Money Bets at Pimlico
Win: Itsmyluckyday, 10-1 odds
The most experienced horse in the field on Saturday, Itsmyluckyday has won the Holy Bull Stakes, Gulfstream Park Derby and finished second to Orb at the Florida Derby. Simply put, he has a lot of mileage, but he also knows how to win.
With 10-1 odds (heading into Saturday morning), Itsmyluckyday will command attention in the betting circles. He's just far enough away from the front of the pack and just far out in front of the rest of the field to do so, and when you combine that with his illustrious track record, bets will be in.
John Velazquez will take over in the saddle, and he is also looking for his first win at the Preakness. Operating out of post No. 9, Velazquez can draw on the success of 2012 Preakness winner I'll Have Another for support when getting ready for the race (also in No. 9).
He isn't the favorite, or even really close, but Itsmyluckyday can make your day lucky and add a zero to whatever bet you send in if you trust him enough to place odds on the table for a Preakness win.
Place/Show: Oxbow, 15-1 odds
Gary Stevens is a two-time Preakness winner, and he'll have the privilege of riding Oxbow again at the event this year after finishing sixth at the Derby earlier this month.
With 15-1 odds, only Titletown Five is getting less respect at the booth.
Stevens couldn't maintain his fast start at Churchill Downs, but he's not on the inside this time and Revolutionary isn't lurking in the shadows. He'll also be in post No. 6, where the most Preakness winners ever (15 since 1908) have made their home.
Putting Oxbow in a three-horse bet wouldn't be a stretch at all. The field is down, the pace is expected to be better and Oxbow has a slew of top-four finishes under his belt.
Superfecta: Orb/Mylute/Departing/Goldencents/Itsmyluckyday (or Your Choice)
The superfecta is a lot like the lottery, except there are less people betting and you completely control what you want to put into the bet. Sure, the race is subjective, just like a lottery ball draw, but you can't study lotto balls to see which ones bounce better or feel ready to get picked.
The superfecta is worth betting this year at Pimlico.
At the 2013 Kentucky Derby, a Hawaiian woman bet $120 on the correct five-horse combo and ended up winning over $28,000 after the final order was released. B/R had the report on Twitter:
There were 19 horses in the Derby, but there's only nine in the Preakness.
Those kind of odds are so favorable that it's crazy not to include this long shot in the "big-money" category. Sure, it's a long shot, but why not put down a few bucks if you're feeling good about the top five finishers? If you're feeling really lucky, try the $120 on for size.
The bet above is my pick, but feel free to tinker, play with and ask around for which five horses will finish back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back on Saturday.
Because when it comes right down to it, betting is about luck. You can study the field, the horses and the jockeys until you are blue in the face, but these races rarely turn out the way we expect them to.
If the "big-money" strategy appeals to your senses because it's more of a win-win than a real gambling situation, be sure to look at these three bets closely on Saturday.
Follow Ethan Grant on Twitter: Follow @DowntownEG.
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