By Brian Monzo
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Saturday marks one of most celebrated events of the year: the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby. Nineteen horses will give it their all to bring home the roses and potentially put themselves in an elite class of Triple Crown winners.
My favorite part of the Kentucky Derby? The prices. Chances are the favorite could be 4-1, which is a great betting price. It’s a great race for wagering, as well as the hardest one to handicap in the Triple Crown series. This year will start the Kentucky Derby points system, in which certain qualifying races have a fixed number for winning as well as placing and beyond.
Nineteen horses. The field is deep, and the best horse doesn’t always win. In fact, more often it loses. The keys to the Derby are post position, being able to manage traffic, and having enough down the stretch to come away with the win.
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Obviously any horse has a shot in theory. But no matter how good, getting the first or last post position makes it nearly impossible to have the perfect trip.
Look at last year. Few will argue that Bodemeister ran the best race. Shoot, some would say Went The Day Well had the best run. But I’ll Have Another got a perfect trip from jockey Mario Gutierrez and found himself in a great spot to chase down Bodemeister down the stretch.
This field makes it even harder. In looking at each of these horses, there’s not one clearly above the rest of the pack. Honestly, I can look at the field and find a reason for 15 of the 20 horses to win.