Odds aren't fair. This is especially the case for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
All odds are crafted so that the house has an advantage, but in most cases hard work, research and simple time investment can help swing things in a bettor's favor.
Yeah, not when it comes to the annual spectacle at Churchill Downs.
The star athletes of this shindig are horses, and anything can happen when 20 of them get together in a close bunch. Favorites can get lost in the pack rather easily, so careful analysis is a facet of the betting process that cannot be avoided.
Here's the best and worst way to spend hard-earned cash on Saturday.
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||20-1|
|7||We Miss Artie||50-1|
|8||General A Rod||15-1|
|11||Dance With Fate||20-1|
|18||Ride On Curlin||15-1|
|20||Pablo Del Monte||50-1|
KentuckyDerby.com. Odds via Oddshark.
Odds courtesy of Odds Shark.
Worst Bet: Harry's Holiday and Corey Lanerie
There are a few notable 50-1 bets that reside in the field, but Harry's Holiday and jockey Corey Lanerie are the pair to avoid with the utmost caution.
Things have looked good in practice runs at face value, per David Grening of Daily Racing Form:
Longshot Harry's Holiday might have had his best morning yet this week, looked good galloping through the stretch. #kyderby— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 1, 2014
But that's face value. What lies beneath is a bit more iffy for bettors who want a safe gamble.
Harry's Holiday is by no means a bad horse, but even owner Terry Raymond says in a video over at The Courier-Journal that he'll "need a lot of luck" and Raymond would be "real happy if he runs good."
That's not exactly a vote of confidence for a horse that finished 13th at a recent race in Keeneland's Blue Grass.
As for Lanerie? It's his first time riding in the Kentucky Derby, and he sounds happy to just finally have the opportunity, per Steve Jones of The Courier-Journal:
I was just like, 'Finally. I finally get to ride in the Derby.' It's every jockey's dream. Since I was a little kid, I would watch the Derby and hope, 'One day, I hope to ride in the Kentucky Derby.' … Hard work and determination can get you there.
To win would be the highest moment in my career for sure. It's at the top of every jockey's list to win the Kentucky Derby. It's the race everybody knows about and talks about, even if they don't about horse racing. … It's what we work for our whole life.
There's always a chance the two get lucky. But as it stands, they are the one bettors should most avoid, as others with similar odds have more experience and recent success.
Best Bet: California Chrome and Victor Espinoza
Call it boring, predictable and way too easy. It is what it is—there's no safer bet than California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza on Saturday, even if the payout isn't so hot.
California Chrome has won four races in a row and is trained by Art Sherman, who has experience at the event that dates back to 1955. California Chrome is mounted by Espinoza, who has plenty of experience, too.
Not only are the above major factors, injuries to other horses such as Hoppertunity and post draws themselves have done nothing but further California Chrome's chances, as ESPN 1530's Dan Clasgens helps to detail:
Injuries & poor post draws cutting into my list of candidates to upset California Chrome. Starting to lean towards favorite in #KYDerby— Dan Clasgens (@DanClasgens) May 1, 2014
The draw for California Chrome? A very good No. 5 spot, as illustrated by Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde and NBC Sports Network:
California Chrome gets No. 5. Wanted 6-10 but certainly won't complain about that.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
It won't be a landslide victory by any means, but all signs point toward the sport's most dominant horse at the moment continuing his tear at Churchill Downs this Saturday.