A Sports Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby

Videos by OutKick

You’re a sports bettor, and you are used to laying the vig at -110 but want to take some swings betting the Kentucky Derby. You’ve found the right place! Welcome to horse racing, where the odds move in your favor! This year’s Kentucky Derby favorite will be more than 2-1, and you can even find horses anywhere from 10-1 to 20-1 with a realistic chance of winning. With 20 horses, I’m sure you can find some value and make the right wager. And with TVG, new customers can receive a $300 Risk-Free First Win Bet, on any horse! Just sign up at TVG, deposit at least $30, place a WIN wager. If your first Win Wager loses, it will be refunded up to $300.

TVG is available in 33 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey (under 4NJBets), New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota,  Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

You must be at least 18 years old to open a TVG account in most states.


Here’s some helpful tips on how you can hopefully make some money or sound like an expert to your friends this Saturday:

Rule #1: Any horse from Post 1-4 has an extremely hard chance of winning. Sure, they can come in 2nd, 3rd, etc but because of where the rail is setup, it’s very hard for horses to have success as the other 5-20 come barreling down on the horses starting from the inside post into the first turn. Look for a horse you like coming from any post but these. 

Rule #2: Closers do not usually win. Imagine you are in the back of the pack and have dirt thrown in your eyes for 90 seconds, only to then be asked to run as fast as you can for the last quarter of a mile, past 14 or so other horses. This usually doesn’t turn out well for the horses or the jockey. Take a horse who has shown solid early speed, not someone who is going to come rolling in from the clouds. 

Rule #3: Beware of the 2-yr-old champions. So… they won some big races when they were 2 years old, that doesn’t mean much once they turned 3 this year. They go to Florida for the winter, get fat and happy, then realize they still need to continue to get better. With most of these horses running only a handful of races in their lives, any horse could grow into a champion on derby day. 

Rule #4. Don’t be afraid to take a stand against the “experts” or the “hot” horse coming in. It’s difficult to silence when many experts pick a winner, but realize, if you like a horse who isn’t the favorite, you can take a stand against the favorite. And just because a horse won his last derby prep race, doesn’t mean it will always equal success. The Kentucky Derby is like nothing they have ever seen or will ever see again. It’s a 1 of 1 scenario. Favorites win around 35% of the time, which means 65% of the time, they lose.


Rule #5. It’s OK not to bet to win. Betting the place pool (horse finishes second or better) or show pool (horse finishes third or better) can still have anywhere from 1-1 to 20-1 odds on the right derby horse. There’s a lot of dead money in these pools, thanks to Grams and all the other newbies joining in on the fun.


Win Place Show: Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Highly Motivated

This Saturday, this “so called expert” will be fading the favorite and playing the 3 Ms: Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, and Highly Motivated. Mandaloun (Brad Cox/ Florent Georoux) is the other Brad Cox horse for this race. Brad will also have derby favorite Essential Quality running. But give me last year’s Kentucky Oaks upset winning jock Flo to take this year’s field. Call me old fashioned, but Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen/ Mike Smith) is a class horse with a great trainer who deserves a derby victory. And with “Big Money” Mike Smith aboard, you cannot count out this future stud. Highly Motivated (Chad Brown/Javier Castellano) won the Nyquist Stakes on Breeder’s Cup Day last year. He also went toe to toe with Derby Favorite Essential Quality in the Bluegrass Stakes. Trainer Chad Brown is one of the best turf trainers in the world but has also found success on dirt recently. Hopefully, he’ll be highly motivated come this weekend.


Written by OutKick Bets


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