Sunday, May 4, 2008

Voices from a Stranger--Derby Recap

Hill is back for a Kentucky Derby recap. It was an eventful & festive day out at Cantebury and Hill discusses all the action. Krebs also comes late with his thoughts. Rrrrrrrrracing.

After hours and hours of tireless research on the horses racing in the derby, the favorite, BIG BROWN, came out on top. The 5-2 favorite took care of business and showed the world what he is made of and left no questions. He got out to a great start from the questionable number 20 gate position to claim to the prize on Saturday and set up the possibility for the Triple Crown to be won in 2008 by Big Brown and Trainer Rick Dutrow. With the win, Big Brown has now earned over 2 million dollars in 4 wins, not too bad and puts him far and away above the rest of the competition. I, for one can not wait until the 17th when the Preakness (2nd of 3 races in the Triple Crown) from Pimlico Park is held to watch Big Brown dominate again.

Big Brown

While the excitement from the win was still fresh on eveyone's mind there was a tragic event that unfolded. Eight Belles, the lone filly in the race, who had race a strong showing finishing in second to Big Brown had to be euthenized after a freak injury occurred. Eight Belles in the final home stretch of the race, broke both of her front ankles, which for a horse is a life threating injury. Instead of putting her through the suffering and agony it was decided that she should be put to rest. REST IN PEACE Eight Belles you gave the boys a run for their money.

Rounding out the top three this weekend was Dennis of Cork racing out of the 16th position. I will be the first to admit that I put this horse on my "not a chance" list, boy was that a bad idea. After researching and reading, the general consensus was that DOC was a bit edgy and that the huge crowds and atmosphere at Churchill downs could put this horse over the top and he would be too stimulated to run a good race. To me it looked trainer Calvin Borel was able to channel the excitement into a perfectly run race for Dennis of Cork who did not get ahead of himself or out of control at any time during the Derby.

Final results
Win- Big Brown (paid $6.80 (win bet), $5.00 (place bet), $4.00 (show bet))
Place- Eight Belles (paid $10.60 (place bet), $6.40 (show bet))
Show- Dennis of Cork (paid $11.60 (show bet))

Others (in order of finish):
Tale of Ekati
Colonel John
Anak Nakal
Cowboy Cal
Z Fortune
Smooth Air
Court Vision
Z Humor
Cool Coal Man
Bob Black Jack
Big Truck

My personal results from TKOT predictions

Win bet was spot on for Big Brown (but as I mentioned in the earlier post, I do not usually place win only bets) Congratulations to those of you who did (Bargs). Tri Box bet Big Brown, Gayego, Colonel John (wow was I off with this one, not even close). Tri Box bet Big Brown, Eight Belles, Smooth Air (much closer here, just goes to show that I need to stick with the Exacta bet)

My prediction for the top finisher outside of the top three favorites was for Gayego, even though I did mention that I liked Eight Belles, my thoughts on Gayego needed a bit of work.

Finally, I also went on a limb and thought that Smooth Air would perform well. I will admit that this was more of a follower pick listening to track handicapper and fellow Secret Force investing partner Kevin Gorg. Maybe the sickness that this horse had prior to the Derby was still lingering and not completely taken care of. Although, I did not leave Canterbury a rich man, I still loved every minute of the Derby. As we stated, this was a race that could have been won by any horse and the place and show horse showed just that.

At the days end a total of $114,557,364 in on-track and off-track wagers were placed on the Derby. I personally only made a bit of change thanks to the last minute win-place-show bet that I placed on Eight Belles, all other bets including Exactas and Trifectas came up a bit short.

There were over 150,000 people in attendance at Churchill Downs to witness the Derby and on NBC it looked as if the infield was crazier than ever, just another reason why the Derby is so great.

Closer to home, Canterbury Park attendance was at an all time high, thanks to the Derby and a very welcome, beautiful morning. 18,000 fans packed into Canterbury a welcome sight for those of us who were anxiously anticipating the 2008 racing season. There was a bit of everything happening at the track yesterday with all the different people you just never know what you are going to see or hear. I highly recommend coming out to the park on a weekend and experience it all for yourself. Remember the Preakness is only two weeks away and will be just as exciting as the Derby, well almost...........

*Side Notes
-Final Miller Lite count for the table was 31!! (this was for all of us at the table, our waitress put us all together).
-Kentucky Derby day is the most crowded day at Canterbury, get there early and get ready to stand in lines.
-My new favorite bet is the Exacta (first two horses to finish) with the favorite over the field and the field over the favorite.
-Krebs and I saw into our future with a group of 4 older guys that sat next to us, I can not wait to get old so I can be loud, complain about everything, and get social security checks to use them at the track
-Canterbury Park does not have a breakfast, so if you show up by 10am do not expect to eat until lunch time.
-A Mint Julip is not the best thing in the world, but it is also not the worst, I will stick with the Miller's.
-I love teaching people new ways to wager at the track, and if anyone ever wants some advice, just ask, even though I might not be right.
-I can not wait to see Secret Force race, but I am both nervous and excited, I just hope that he can perform to the standards that we are all expecting.

Krebs' Thoughts:

I ended up contributing about $78 to the derby pool (more on that later), but I'm glad to have helped Hill win some money, even if it meant that a horse had to die to do so. Hope you can sleep at night, maybe drop some change at McDonald's so you don't mess up your karma. In addition to my contribution to the money pool, I'm pretty sure that between our table, we put our waitress through another semester of college. Beer wise, I think I tallied 6 tall Miller Lites by post time but hammered one more that I didn't need before the day was over. I did manage to make some decent money on a Canterbury race, which I promptly used to make additional derby bets. My main bets were on COLONEL JOHN and PYRO to win with a host of other horses including Z FORTUNE, BOB BLACK JACK, GAYEGO (finished dead pun intended EIGHT BELLES, R.I.P.). I did make some additional trifectas with BIG BROWN boxed but I didn't include EIGHT BELLES or DENIS OF CORK in any of my bets.

Even though I didn't get lucky on my derby bets, all-in-all, it was a very successful day in terms of fun to be had. Highlights for me were the conversations of about four 80 year old men at the table next to us, seeing the horses in person for the first time since Labor Day, taking in the ladies that get all dressed up for the day, and the dance party ride to Bumpers after the races. BIG BROWN proved to me that he will win the Triple Crown and I will be back in two weeks to watch the Preakness and hopefully SECRET FORCE very soon.




I knew a fellow in Florida who had a mind for numbers, an idiot savant, and he could scan the dog racing form and quickly decide if he wanted to bet or not.
I asked him why he sometimes did not bet on a race. He explained that he always waited for a race wherein the crowd was sufficiently out of sync with his expectations.
For example, a favorite bet of his was the perfecta box. Suppose that dog 1 was the overwhelming favorite. He would bet dog 1 to come in second with the field boxed first.
Sometimes when he made such a bet, he would extend it to the trifecta. However, to save money, he would extend the perfecta strategy to targeted trifectas with the favorite second and several good dogs boxed first and third.
Does this strategy seem like a good one?

Hill said...

I like the thoughts you have with that betting system. It really goes along the same lines as what I posted as my new favorite strategy.

The bet is an EXACTA (first two horses to finish the race) with the favorite over the field and the field over the favorite.

The nice part about this as I explained to others this weekend, is that, for the most part, figuring out who is the favorite is easy, but you can not win a lot of money. The hard part is figuring out who is going to place, show and so forth.

With this strategy you are picking the favorite and then any other horse can come in second and you win. This is not a big pay out, but if the placing horse is a long shot it can have a nice reward.

The flip side to the bet is that if the favorite you have choosen does not perform well you have the safety net of any other horse finishing first, but your favorite still needs to finish second. This scenario would be ideal, as the longer shot of the two will take top prize, paying out the gambling public even more.

The cost of a wager of this nature is all dependant upon the number of horses entered into the race. For example.

10 horse race

#2 is the favorite

You would wager $1 Exacta #2 with the field, and wager $1 Exacta field with #2.

Cost of bet would be $18.00 ($9.00) for each combination you just set up.

I hope that this makes sense and gives you something else to think about trying at the track. Good luck.

Krebs said...

I echo Hill on this, your friend seems to have a similar strategy. I like this in races where there is a heavy favorite and a host of other good horses whose lines are being overshadowed thereby creating value. I think this is another good play on days where the track is a little wet or downright sloppy, these seem to be the days when the longshots come out and surprise. I have heard of a similar strategy using trifectas and superfectas but as you start adding horses to the wager, you will want to be more selective and not bet the horses you don't think have a chance to win the race. You can afford to keep these horses in your exact because it's only an extra $2 for each side of a $1 bet but with tris and supers, the cost adds up quick. Certainly the payout would be much higher if the longshot beats the favorite but unless you have a big enough bankroll, you may suffer some big losses waiting for the perfect storm. Good luck.

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