My TwinSpires blog colleague Derek Simon inspired me to post my own line for Pool 1 of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands future wager, which opens Friday, February 10, and closes Sunday, February 12.I've included Derek's "fair odds" to compare with the prices I'm willing to take, and we clearly have some disagreement with Empire Way leading the way, as Derek lists him at 100-to-1 while he's one of the few I'd take a shorter price on.Judging by the morning line, Empire Way is likely to be a horse I bet, though Union Rags interests me a great deal at 10-to-1. I've never taken that short a price this far out, but he is absolutely the fastest horse to date. He wouldn't need to improve between now and May to win the Derby, and any improvement makes him a Triple Crown threat against this group.That said, the vagaries of Derby wagering make taking a short price this far out extra precarious because any misstep on the trail knocks a three-year-old's Derby day odds down significantly. Most recently we've seen this with Monarchos in 2001 and Super Saver in 2010. Both lost their final Derby preps before winning the Derby and both paid more in pool 3 of the future wager than either paid following pool 1.A similar situation could happen with Union Rags. He could be 10-to-1 now, lose the FL Derby and be that same 10-to-1 price in pool 3. It's no fun to accept two months of exposure with no reward.So for that reason I'm unlikely to venture into anything too low, but if I have a winning Saturday then it'll be hard not to parlay some of it on my favorites for the Derby. I do like looking at the 40- and 50-to-1 range because I can bet $25-$20 to win $1,000. It's a nice reward for relatively low risk, but I never look to get too rich off it because of the variance involved in betting on outcomes that have a less than 5% chance of happening. Day in and day out, I'd much rather hammer a 3-to-1 horse who I think should be 2-to-1.
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.