The Kentucky Derby will be contested on the first Saturday in May. The date is May 6. Unfortunately, that’s the only surefire, ‘can’t lose’ Derby prediction we got this year. Everything else is up for grabs. It usually is. In the hands of the racing gods. The fabulous fickle finger of fate. ‘The chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance.’
When 20 high-strung sophomores eyeball each other while packing 126 pounds around a mile and one-quarter in front of 150,000 liquored-up Kentuckians-for-a-day, what else should we expect? Order? Form? Predictability? This is Lou-a-vull. The Kentucky Derby. Anything can happen. And often does. Since 2005, two winners-- Giacomo and Mine that Bird—have paid over $100 for a deuce! Those results are in sharp contrast to the last four Derby chalk-fests with favorites in control. Last year, for the first time in history, like lemmings across the finish: one, two, three, four in exact tote board popularity order!
So, what’s in store this year following My Old Kentucky Home? Another favorite? Perhaps. But probably not. The last time favorites won this race five consecutive times was 1895—the year Babe Ruth was born! Doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. It’s just that I’m willing to wager against it.
This year, the public actually might have difficulty figuring out who should be the Derby favorite. 2-year-old champ Classic Empire and Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming appear finalists, but they’ve each got dented fenders. Classic Empire won in Arkansas last out, but needed a podiatrist, a chiropractor, a shrink and a travel agent this winter. Always Dreaming ran huge in the Florida Derby. Perhaps, too huge, if you believe in the ‘bounce theory.’ Trainer Todd Pletcher has had impressive Gulfstream winners fail to repeat outstanding performances in Kentucky before.
Handicapping horse races is based on reviewing past performances and calculating odds regarding what might occur in the future. So, in a way, horseplayers are accidental history buffs. As in ‘those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.’ Or, to be more precise, ‘those who play a frontrunner in a race loaded with speed are bound to lose!’
In order to help you cash on this year’s Kentucky Derby, Xpressbet will present another FREE Wager Guide, available at Xpressbet.com beginning Friday, April 28. If you’ve ever perused one of these beauties then you know it’s the best FREE Derby pub out there. If you’re an Xpressbet guide maiden, well, then it’s 1-to-9 that you’ll like reading what top handicappers, writers and broadcasters have to say about the race: Analysis, Main Contenders, Value Plays and suggested $100 Wagering Strategies. This year’s roster includes Bob Neumeier (NBC Sports), Laffit Pincay (XBTV.com), Jeff Siegel (XBTV.com), Jon White (Santa Anita), Dick Jerardi (Daily Racing Form) and Steve Byk (At the Races with Steve Byk), with bonus coverage from Eddie Olczyk (NBC Sports) in the special revised guide version available Oaks Day, May 5.
The guide also includes lots of Stats & Trends and Know This material you won’t find anywhere else. Compiled by Horseplayernow.com’s guru Jeremy Plonk, the added material will inform, entertain and totally confuse even the most devout horseplayer.
For example, just about every Derby handicapper worth his salt knows that no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without first starting as a 2-year-old. But, did you know that since 2009, only Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert have even started Derby runners without 2-year-old experience? They are a combined zero for four! This year’s edition might include a trio of such runners: Battle of Midway (Jerry Hollendorfer), Patch and Malagacy (both Pletcher).
Another guide Derby trend suggests that runners without an April prep race might be decent in-the-money plays. Since 1920, Derby starters without an April prep race are 91: 5-6-5. The five winners are Orb, Animal Kingdom, Mine That Bird, Big Brown and Needles. Good to know. What really interests this punter though is that a horse without an April prep race has finished in the Derby trifecta in 9 of the last 10 years! This year’s trend qualifiers are Dubai invader Thunder Snow, Sunland Derby winner Hence and Spiral star Fast and Accurate!
Those are just a few examples of the many Stats & Trends and Know This tidbits available in the guide. And it’s all FREE! For you. Available online with Xpressbet.com beginning Friday, April 28.
So, why does Xpressbet bother to publish a FREE guide? That’s easy. It’s because the suits want to trick you into thinking that they’re rooting for you to win money on this year’s Kentucky Derby. ‘The wagering service with a heart of gold,’ is how the marketing geniuses phrased it.
Just kidding. Truth is that the suits at Xpressbet really do want you to win money while wagering on the Kentucky Derby. Because, and here’s the real reason, the more money you win, the more money you’re likely wager. And the more bread you wager, the more moolah Xpressbet collects.
Understand? Doesn’t matter. That’s the way it is. What do you care, anyway? Take advantage of the situation. If Xpressbet’s going to give away an outstanding FREE Kentucky Derby Wager Guide...then take it! Don’t ever look a gift horse in the mouth. First off, a horse’s breath isn’t always great. And second, he could mistake your nose for a carrot and savage you. You wouldn’t look so good minus a shnoz.
Beginning Tuesday, May 2 at Xpressbet.com, experts will update guide information based on the latest happenings. This season these updates figure to include critical information based on workouts, Wednesday’s post position draw and race defections and additions. Yours truly will include a complete, horse-by-horse Derby analysis, including a suggested superfecta ticket in the updates of Thursday, May 4. You won’t want to miss that because, like the guide, Johnny D.’s picks also are FREE and worth twice the price!