It may be argued that there are other races with larger purses or more international exposure, but in my opinion, the Kentucky Derby is the largest race in the world. First of all, it takes place in Kentucky which is still the center of horse racing and breeding. Secondly, it attracts the attention of the world and shows the most promising three year olds in the world.
I realize that there are great races and great horses in other nations, but when the top horses from the United States, particularly those bred in Kentucky, travel abroad, they always put up a good effort and must be considered as a force to be reckoned with.
The first Saturday in May is the traditional date for the Kentucky Derby and many millions of people will try to pick the winner in the Derby. Exotics in the Derby will include exactas, trimectas, and superfectas. While the exotic bets have paid some fantastic prices over the years, it all starts with being able to pick the winner of the Derby.
As sentimental as I am about this race, I have to admit, that from a handicraft point of view, it is a crap shoot. About twenty 3 year olds that are at various points in their form cycle racing longer than they have ever raced and almost all of them shippers, makes this a handicapping nightmare.
As if the huge field and attendant traffic problems were not enough, there is also the fact that many of these horses have been racing on synthetic surfaces or turf. While the switch from one surface to another may or may not benefit a horse, how is the handicapper provided to quantify that? The answer is that we can not.
So here are a few tips. First of all, do not discount dosage. Secondly, look for a horse that has not already run its best race. Third, demand a double digit win price. Fourth, there are people who have ridden in this race before, give a little edge to experience, but also remember that some young upstarts have won the Derby and then went on to great carers. My last tip is, enjoy the Derby and all the hoopla, but do not bet heavily on this race. There are races for making money and races for fun and this one definitely fits into the fun category.