A Newbies Guide to the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby: the Run for the Roses! When it comes to horse racing it’s the Mack Daddy of them all, the dream of every breeder, owner, trainer, jockey and groom. It compares to the Superbowl. It’s not a seven game series, rather it’s a one-shot deal strictly for three-year-old thoroughbreds. Sure, there are races that lead up to the Derby, which are also important, but it all culminates in the first Saturday in May, where everyone involved wants to be in the winning photo with the garland of roses around their horse’s neck!
Every horse in the world has their one shot at the Kentucky Derby, but one cannot just enter and be one of the twenty that the race. There are many Derby Prep races that a horse must run in and do well because the determining factor to run is money earned in these graded stake races (Derby Preps). With horses earning 60%, 20%, and 10% for placing 1-2- 3, it’s quite obvious that a team working towards the Derby must have their running shoes on early – and often!
This day is not strictly for horses; it’s also for the fans at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, for the thousands upon thousands of tailgating fans. It’s an amazing event, 160,000 plus people cram into every corner possible, flooding the infield where the “party” is, just to be part of this annual event.
Celebrities abound throughout the clubhouse tasting only the finest of foods and enjoying the Derby’s own drink, The Mint Julep, consisting of sugar-water mint and of course, EARLY TIMES KENTUCKY WHISKEY! Glamorous outfits, exquisite fashions, beautiful women, students from nearby colleges, and of course the dazzling effects of many outrageous hats worn throughout the crowd getting pumped and excited to hear the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home”, as the horses parade on the track before the race.
Now it’s time for the horses, the real celebrities on this day. It may be their time to shine, but it’s our time to pick the winner! Last year, as with every year, there was an astronomical amount wagered on The Derby throughout the day. $11.5 million was bet on-track on the headlining race alone by the 160,000 fans. A further $21.5 million was bet throughout the balance of the card. If that doesn’t prove how colossal this event is, how about over $160 million worldwide gambled on the entire card on this one-day event.
With about three months to Derby Day, and payouts exceeding $48,000 for a $2 bet in this race last year, it’s time to start handicapping, watching replays, and studying this year’s field. It’s time for you to come up with the winner of the 138th Kentucky Derby.
Rest assured, I will be your eyes and ears and pass on any insider information I can for you.
…and that is the last word.