It’s Derby Week-end…

I haven’t always been such a horse-race fiend, but I have watched the Kentucky Derby for all of my adult life.  I didn’t even know you could make a bet outside of Churchill Downs, but we would watch on TV,  pick a horse and get bragging rights if he won.  Before Betting the Derby, I seemed to be able to pick winners with a fair consistency, but now that I use real money to wager the race, I over-think and self-doubt, rarely cashing a ticket.  One year, I bet nearly the whole field to show—this does not pay off, folks.  Maybe the mint Juleps had something to do with it…

Even though it’s been run as long as the Derby, I didn’t “discover” the Oaks until a few years back.  The Kentucky Oaks parallels the Derby, running the 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies the day before the fellas.  Of course, there’s not quite as much money on the ladies, so occasionally a trainer decides to run a filly with the boys, but the Oaks is all girls…  I have done pretty well betting this race, but I am now beginning to analyze it to smithereens…

Of course, that’s what most would call handicapping. I’ve been to several helpful websites that teach about that art, and it seems to me that they compile even more data than I do:  past performances, lengths of race, turf vs track, onandon,  until I’m baffled and bewildered. It was a natural segue from those sites to examine the “how to bet” tutorials that show you, quickly and easily, how to bet $100–and win–on  superfectas and  trifectas, rendering me stuperfected!!!   I am seriously confounded and confused…I think it has something to do with math??….

stevemartin

Simplify!!  I’ll take the advice of Mom’s old friend, Jean, and put my money on the gray horse…(that would be Ocho Ocho Ocho at 50-1 or Frosted at 15-1 or Mr. Z at 50-1–no help there).   I could use Donna and Lana’s old method and pick the best-looking jockey (that, in my humble op, would be Miguel Mena, riding International Star at 20-1).   No, it’s all about the odds—I’ll pick any horse that has over 10-1 odds (currently 17 horses)…or pick the favorite (Dortmund*** at 3-1)  .No, the favorite never wins…   Calvin is riding El Kabeir (30-1) from the #7 gate, right next to Dortmund in #8;  if I know him, he might catch the jetstream and win his fourth Derby.  But  Gary Stevens is the oldest jockey riding Derby 141, on Firing Line (12-1), and this would also be his fourth win, so maybe I should bet the old guy. There’s a good-looking horse named Danzig Moon (30-1), so maybe the Moon reference (my daughter’s nickname) will lead me to the winning ticket.   It’s a gamble, anyway you figure it…  ***favorite as of this morning is American Pharoah at 5-2.

My technique for picking a winner in the Oaks is going to be:  buy a program, open it to the list of contenders,  close my eyes, and point…  That will probably work…

Oh, well, here’s a sure bet:  we’ll all have a good time…

derby

I’ll let you know how it goes…

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