Written by a boy
Since then, I’ve been religiously watching it every year, even if I really didn’t know what was going on. All I knew about horse racing was what NBC would ramble on about for the hour or so before the race.
This year, I did my research so I’m going to win big, or at least share what I learned with you. ~Mike Crimmins, Section 59: A Yankees Blog
Kentucky Derby Basics
Starts: Saturday, May 2 at 6:04 PM Ends: Saturday, May 2 at 6:06 PM.
Kidding…. Although, it is considered to be the most exciting two minutes in sports so don’t tune in late.
- This year is the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby.
- The Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown, which is three races over a month and half, kind of like a really long NBA championship series. If a horse can win all three races in the Triple Crown, it’s a pretty big deal. No horse has done it since 1978 when Affirmed won it all, so there will be lots of speculation if any of the horse can do it this year.
- Last year, Big Brown (yes, he was named after UPS, go figure) won the race. There was much anticipation that he was going to be the won to win the Triple Crown, but that was major let-down. As of now, there are no horses named after FedEx but if someone would give me the money for a pony, I would definitely become the proud owner of NextDayAir.
- The Kentucky Derby race-track is one and a quarter miles around. Over 150,000 people gather around the dirt track to watch it in person. With so many people watching it there, it pretty much turns into one giant party. They even have a Chief Party Officer. I’m still trying to figure out how to get that job.
Of course, it’s more than just partying, there’s also a lot of betting.
Just like picking teams for March Madnesss, there are all sorts of theories and strategies behind picking the winning horses. Favorite methodologies include:
- Nameology One of the easiest, funnest, and surprisingly accurate horse-betting theories is placing your bets based on the name of the horse. (check out Stiletto Sports Jen’s Picks based on this!)
- Seabiscuit-ology: You place your money on the horse with the best, coolest or saddest back-story (tune into NBC this weekend and you’ll hear all about them)
- Colorology Place your bets based on the color of the jockey’s jersey.
- Statistical Analyzation and Mathematical Calculations: This involves a highly complex form of interpretation involving a lot of stats, research and sucking the fun out of things. It is not recommended.
How to place your bets:
Horse racing betting always looks—and sounds– so complicated and confusing. The first time I heard someone say “I have $200 on Big Brown to show,” I thought maybe there was some horse and pony show (like a Dog Show….but with Ponies) going on that I didn’t know about. Boy was I wrong.
But don’t worry, the basics of horse betting are actually pretty easy to understand. The Basic Straight Bets are: Win, Place and Show Betting
- Win Betting – You bet on a horse to win, if your horse wins, you win. (Told you it’s easy!)
- Place Betting – You bet that the horse will place in at least the second position. You win if the horse finishes in second or first. The payoff is less, but you have a better chance of winning.
- Show Betting – You put money that the horse will finish in at least third position, if they finish in first, second or third you win. Yup, you guessed it, the payoff is even less.
It gets a lot more confusing after that, they have things like exotic betting, intra-race betting, trifectas and all sorts of other crazy things. If you already know what those are, you probably know a lot more about horse racing than I do. Not really sure why you are even reading this article….
2009 Kentucky Derby Horses To Watch
- I Want Revenge – won two consecutive races earlier this year and considered to be the early favorite.
- Friesan Fire – Has three wins in his last three races.
- Dunkirk – He won two races in Florida and came in second in the Florida Derby.
- Pioneer of the Nile – Raced in three races and won all three of them.
- Musket Man – Won five out of six races including the Illinois Derby.
Some Fun Story Lines
Friesan Fire brings together the “hard-luck” of it’s trainer and owner. This is third start in the Kentucky Derby for them. In 2007, their horse finished second. Last year, their horse, Eight Belles finished second, but fell after crossing the finish line and had to be euthanasized.
General Quarters is the hometown favorite.
Jockey Joe Talamo, who is only 19 years old will be riding I Want Revenge. He’s been featured on an Animal Planet reality show called “Jockeys.”
Now, you’re ready to win big money this weekend, or at least know what’s going on during the Kentucky Derby.
*Neither I, nor Stiletto Sports, in no way endorse horse betting or any of the “methodologies” mentioned here. In other words, if you lose big, it ain’t our fault. And if you win, give us half!