How to Bet the 2012 Kentucky Derby
The most exciting two minutes in sports is about to get underway. The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 7th at Churchill Downs. There will be millions wagered on this race, and figuring out how to go about betting the Kentucky Derby can be a head-scratcher.
While it’s not certain that one of the favorites will come through as we’ve seen over the years, a good place to start would be by looking at the favorites. I’ll go over the top five contenders below and give you a look at why they are the most likely to end up in the winner’s circle on Saturday. I will also list a few Derby facts that can be useful.
My goal is to provide you with information you can use to be successful on Derby day. There is no exact science when it comes to horse racing, which makes it a very tough sport to handicap. As a result, when you do bring home a winning ticket it makes the feat even more gratifying. That’s especially the case this year as the field is as wide open as it has ever been.
Bodemeister (4/1) – Easily the fastest horse in the field, Bodemeister is the early favorite to win the Run for the Roses. He had easily the best prep race of any Derby contender with his nine and a half length victory in the Arkansas Derby. However, history is not on Bodemeister’s side considering he’s trying to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby despite never racing as a two-year-old.
Union Rags (9/2) – The 9/2 favorite in Pool 3 of the 2012 Kentucky Derby, Union Rags has been among the top contenders since winter. He and Bodemeister are expected to be the favorites on race day. Union Rags did suffer a bad trip in the Florida Derby in his final prep race, finishing a disappointing third. However, he ran his final 1/8th mile in 6.37 seconds, showing off his tremendous closing speed.
Gemologist (7/1) – The son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, Gemologist has a lot going for him heading into race day. Not only does he have a tremendous pedigree, but this colt also has one of the best trainers in the business in Todd Pletcher. Oh yeah, Gemologist also has five victories in five career starts.
Dullahan (8/1) – There is a lot of hype, both positive and negative, surrounding this horse heading into the Kentucky Derby. Many believe Dullahan can only run on turf/synthetic tracks since that’s where his only successes have come. Others think that his ridiculous closing ability will be perfect for the Derby. I don’t think there’s any in-between for this horse. Dullahan will either be among the top three, or somewhere at the back of the pack.
Hansen (10/1) – Few horses come into the Kentucky Derby with better results in their final prep races. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall at Churchill Downs, then stalked the leaders before winning the G3-Gotham on March 3rd. He got out to early leads at the G3-Holy Bull and the G1-Blue Grass before fading in the final furlong of both races. He has a good post position at 14, so as long as he stays outside and tries to stalk the leaders, he should compete for a win.
Take Charge Indy (10/1) – Jockey Calvin Borel certainly draws the attention of bettors on Derby Day considering he has won the Run for the Roses three times. Now, aboard the G1-Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, Borel looks to implement his rail-skimming style to another victory. This horse was sired by A.P. Indy, the winner of the Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 1992 Eclipse Award winner for Horse of the Year. Take Charge Indy has proven to be versatile enough to win from gate-to-wire, or to stalk from the middle of the pack.
Kentucky Derby Facts
- Twelve Kentucky Derby winners have sired Kentucky Derby winners so be sure to keep up on each horse’s pedigree heading in.
- The winningest post position is #2 with 29 winners. Next in line is post #1 with 12, followed by posts #4 and #5 with 10 winners each. None have won from post #15.
- There have been 33 odds-on favorites of which 17 won and 11 finished second.
- Only three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby out of 38.