This Saturday's Kentucky Derby is shaping up to be a wide open race. That being said, there are some horses and types of bets that should not be considered. Sometimes not wagering is your best bet.
Let's take a look at a few wagers you don't want to see on your Kentucky Derby tickets.
1. Animal Kingdom - This is a horse who has not even attempted to run on the dirt. His trainer, H. Graham Motion has said he will decide if his horse will be a go for the Derby after he works out on the Churchill Downs surface. Animal Kingdom is a talented horse on the turf, as his breeding will back that up. Unfortunately this is the biggest race in all of horse racing and it just so happens to be on the dirt. The Kentucky Derby is not the time nor the place to start experimenting. Save your money and look elsewhere.
2. Decisive Moment - Hasn't won a graded stakes race as yet. He is a speed horse and will be attempting to set the pace. Unfortunately, there is a lot of speed in this race which will only hurt his chances even more. Over his head....pass!
3. Watch Me Go - Shocked the racing world with a 43-1 upset victory in the Tampa Bay Derby. Even with the win, Go's beyer was only an 84. Flopped in the Illinois Derby following his upset victory in Tampa. Don't be swayed by one race. Watch Me Go will be a no show again.
4. Pants on Fire - Despite the attention this horse is receiving in the media, mostly because of the female jockey Rosie Napravnik. If Pants on Fire should upset, Napravnik would be the first female jockey to win the Derby. As good as a story that may be, it won't happen this year. Was a nice winner in the Louisiana Derby back on March 26th, but prior to that race, he had a clear lead with no pressure up front, and tired in the Lecomte. That was his third blown lead in a row after setting the pace. Too much speed in this race. Not this year!
Now let's go through the type bets you don't want to make on the Derby.
5. Betting Favorites - If your looking to make money while not betting a lot of money, don't make a $2 bet and key on a favorite. Your betting for entertainment purposes, and if you want to have fun with the wager, find a horse at a decent price that you can make a case for winning the race. You'll have more fun that way and you will also have a chance of making a nice profit at the same time.
6. Be wary of recent races - A lot of Triple Crown races stir up the interest of the casual fan. If you are in that group of fans, be careful of past performances. You may see that a particular horse ran second, first, and second, in it's last three starts. It's important to keep in mind those races may be against much less talented horses compared to the Derby field. Don't be duped into thinking your betting a horse who has been running well in recent starts. The fact is, those "impressive" finishes were not against the best horses in the world.
7. Speed Horses - This field has a number of horses who want to run near the lead. The fractions will be fast, you don't want to be so quick to wager on a speed horse. The best bet here appears to be a closer or a horse that tends to stalk the pace.
8. Jockeys - It is important not to get taken up in the popularity of jockeys in the Derby. Many times a jockey didn't have the luck of getting a prime mount for the race, so they accept secondary mounts just be in the Derby. Sure they have the attitude anything can happen, but odds are you are better off looking at the past performances of a specific horse, rather than throwing money on a horse simply because a top rated jockey is aboard.
9.Turf/Dirt Pedigree - A number of trainers will enter horses on the dirt hoping they can duplicate those performances on the dirt. The fact of the matter is, some horses just prefer the grass surface to the dirt. When looking at the program, be very aware that what may look impressive on paper, is really nothing more than a suckers bet.
10. Watching the odds - watching the odds go up or down before a race has become standard. If the odds go down on a specific horse, that means the public may have some info as to how that horse will race. In the Kentucky Derby, there are a number of very good horses. Watching the tote board for odds changing is virtually useless. If the public doesn't know who they want to be on until post times, odds are they are just taking a stab in the dark. Don't be persuaded by the odds just before post time!
Good luck on Saturday!