VIDEO: Everything You Need To Know About The Kentucky Derby, Odds, History and More

By  //  May 6, 2017

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Kentucky Derby is steeped in history and tradition, so here are some facts about the Run for the Roses.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY– The first Saturday in May means it’s time  for the Kentucky Derby. The greatest two minutes in sports is the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

It is followed by the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore on (May 20) and the rugged Belmont Stakes in New York (June 3).

If one horse finishes first in all three races they win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, a feat accomplished just 12 times since Sir Barton did it first in 1919.

Some journalists began using the term Triple Crown to refer to the three races as early as 1923, but it was not until Gallant Fox won the three events in 1930 that Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form put the term into common use.

The amazing thing about the Triple Crown is that early on it appeared as if accomplishing the task would be easy.
Dung a span of 18 years seven horses captured the prize.

Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Citation (1948) all claimed the sport of kings’ top prize.

However, it would take a quarter century before another horse would win the Triple Crown, the great Secretariat n 1973.

The horse with the oversized heart that became a hit Disney movie still holds the track record in all three Triple Crown races, winning the final race, The Belmont Stakes, by thirty-one lengths.

ABOV AUDIO: Alan Zlotorzynski of Space Coast Daily Sports Talk interviews Mike Dempsey, editor-in- chief for and exclusive content provider for about the 2017 Kentucky Derby

The 1970’s made it look easy again as Seattle Slew and Affirmed followed Secretariat in the decade, winning in back to back years in 1977 and 1978.

But then it looked as if we may never see another thoroughbred win the Triple Crown again.

Thirty-Seven years passed before a horse with a misspelled name stole “America’s” hearts.

In 2015,  American Pharoah ended the drought with the sixth fastest time in Belmont Stakes history, and the second fastest time for a Triple Crown winner.

Between Affirmed and American Pharoah’s Triple Crowning’s, the horse racing world watched as 13 three year olds won the Derby and the Preakness only to falter on the tough mile and a half in the Belmont Stakes.

ABOVE VIDEO: Secretariat’s Triple Crown Run.

The Kentucky Derby is not only the most famous race in the world, it is one of the most unique to be contested all year.

The race is restricted to three-year-olds who will attempt to run a mile and a quarter for the first time in their young careers.

In addition, while most stakes races in the U.S. are restricted to 14 runners, the Run for the Roses allows 20 entrants, meaning it is one of the toughest handicapping puzzles horseplayers face all year.

Put 20 mostly lightly raced three-year-olds in the starting gate in front of 100,000 screaming fans and running a distance at which they are not proven, and the results can often be surprising.

Just in the last decade we have seen two of the biggest upsets in the history of the race. Giacomo rallied to pull off the huge upset in 2005, returning his backers $102.60 for a $2 wager.

Just four years later Mine That Bird came up the rail to pull off a shocker, paying $103.20. A lucky horseplayer can have a life-changing score in just two minutes.

The $1 trifecta (correctly picking top 3 finishers) with Mine That Bird on top paid $20,750, and correctly selecting the top four finishers in the superfecta for a $1 wage returned $278,503.

When Giacomo pulled off the upset in 2005, Closing Argument ran second at 70-1 betting odds and the $2 exacta paid a record $9,815.

ABOVE VIDEO: American Pharoah Wins the Triple Crown- The Derby, Preakness and the Belmont.

However, what is unique about the Kentucky Derby is that horseplayers can make a huge windfall even if the betting favorite wins the race.
In 2014 California Chrome came into the race as the 5-2 betting favorite in a field of 19, and did not disappoint, paying $7.00 for the win.

The exotic payoffs were still huge with 37-1 Commanding Curve running second and 8-1 Danza running third.

The $2 exacta paid $340 and the $1 trifecta returned $1,712. Favorites have been a good bet lately but not always.

Last year, Nyquist made it four years in a row in which the favorite won the Derby. From 1980-1999 no favorite crossed the line first.

Over the past 17 years, post-time favorites have won eight times and six have won the last 10. From 1980 to 1999, favorites were 0-for-20.
A slick wet track is predicted for the race so Don’t discount a long shot to have a say in the outcome.

Since 2000, there have been just as many winners with odds of 15-1 or worse, and the average price of the winner has been greater than during the period from 1980 to 1999.

ABOVE VIDEO: Jonny OddsShark interviews horse betting expert Mike Dempsey on how to bet this year’s Kentucky Derby.

That tells you if the favorite doesn’t win, a real long shot could.

In five of the past six years, a horse that was at least 15-1 finished first or second, and in two of the past four years, a 30-1 shot ran second.
2015 was the first time since 1996 that three horses with 10-1 odds or better completed the trifecta.

The last time that happened in consecutive years was 1988-89.

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While this article is written by Mike Dempsey, Space Coast Daily Sports Talk’s Alan Zlotorzynski  is no slouch when it comes to horse racing. Alan grew up in Maryland where his father owned race horses and taught him how to appreciate them as the beautiful animals and athletes they are.

Alan’s pick to win Kentucky Derby No. 143 is horse No. 17, Irish War Cry.

Alan can handicap a little and  likes a 17-15-14-10 finish today at Churchill Downs.

CLICK HERE for Mike Dempsey’s 2017 picks and race handicapping information. 


ABOVE VIDEO: Kentucky Derby stats and trends to help you with your wagers ahead of the Run for the Roses.


Mike Dempsey is one of the most knowledgeable horsemen in America and he’s also one of the sport’s true good guys.

He knows the industry inside and out, from the smallest races in California to the biggest races in the world in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup.

He’s editor-in- chief and  provides exclusive content for readers, advising them on horse wagering news and opportunities and dropping some of his free picks along the way.