05/01/2010 10:41AM

Derby Day 2010


10:40 a.m.: I don't believe the Kentucky Derby favorite is going to be 8-1 or named Super Saver. I know, I know, the odds don't usually change radically from the early returns of Oaks Day betting, but common sense and the Oaks-Derby probables suggest there are going to be some major market adjustments in the next eight hours.

Consider the chart below, which lists the Oaks-Derby double willpays and then converts those payoffs to equivalent win-odds. Lookin at Lucky, 9-1 in the win pool at the close of Friday betting, is effectively 3-1 in the double pool. Do you really think he's going to pay $20.00 to win the Derby while completing a $22.40 double from Blind Luck?

(Update: Payoffs changed to reflect $2 rather than $1 willpays.)


So if you're trying to figure out what price your horse is likely to be by post time, I would suggest using the Friday win odds and the implied-double odds as a reasonable range, i.e. Lookin at Lucky will be higher than 3 but lower than 9, with Awesome Act (7-1 to 13-1), Super Saver (7-1 to 10-1) and Sidney's Candy (8-1 to 11-1) vying to be the second choice.

As for the weather situation, described here by DRF's Marcus Hersh, races 3 and 5 have been moved from the yielding turf to the sloppy main track. The only early scratches in the six graded stakes so far are Hooh Why from the Distaff Turf Mile, Dr. Zic from the Humana Distaff, and Cool Coal Man (who ran yesterday) from the Churchill Downs.

12:15 pm: The first four races on the Derby card were run pretty formfully despite the wet track, with winners coming from on and off the pace, inside and out. Not that it's likely we'll have the same track by 6:24 p.m. They're harrowing the track right now for the first time, and the current meteorological wisdom seems to be that it will be clear for the next couple of hours, uncertain thereafter.

That's one of the reasons I'm still struggling with how heavily, if at all, to get involved in the pick-6 with $154k carryover that starts in a little more than an hour with the 6th race, the Eight Belles. Some of the races in the sequence were really tough even without the uncertainty of the weather, and how much do you really want to spend to get alive to a reasonable number of Derby horses?

1:10 pm: So I played, not much more than yesterday despite the carryover and a tougher-looking sequence. The only single A is Hot Dixie Chick in the upcoming Eight Belles. Here's the matrix:


The Eight Belles begins not only the pick-6 but also the portion of the day where the time between races starts stretching out. The gaps between the next six races are 42, 51, 53, 54 and 98 minutes. The two remaining pick-4's start with the 8th (2:59 pm ET) and 10th (4:46 pm) races. Network television coverage switches from ESPN to NBC at 4 p.m.

1:25 pm: Buckleupbuttercup? Never mind. Alive for five.

2:30 pm: Phola? Not my day.

2:45 pm: Handle through the first three races was down 22 percent against last year, from $5.8 million to $4.5 million. I'll update the chart below as the day goes on. (Update: Through race 7, handle is down 11 % from last year at $20.5 million vs. $23.1 million.)

3:45 pm: With $17.80, $15.40 and $19.20 winners in the first three legs of the pick-6 and the Derby still to come (with 19 horses currently between 8-1 and 28-1), it's not too soon to be thinking about a possible $800k-plus carryover. Churchill is dark for four days after today, so the carryover card would be Thursday, May 6.

5:15 p.m.: Looks like there are three live pick-6 combos into the Derby: a $947.640.60 payoff if Devil May Care, Jackson Bend or Awesome act wins, otherwise a $947k carryover into Thursday:

Congrats to those cashing tickets today. I can't make heads or tails out of most of the results. It looks like I will be only technically correct about not having an 8-1 favorite, as Lookin at Lucky is now the choice at 7-1. This year will almost surely obliterate Harlan's Holiday's 2002 mark of being the longest-priced Derby favorite at 6.00-1. That year, however, there were SIX horses who went off at between 6.00-1 and 8.10-1. There has never been a Derby bet like this one.

Heading into the Derby, handle is off just 4 percent from last year. Through the first 10 races, the total is $42.4 million vs. $44.2 million, with over $100 million expected to be in the pools on the day's last three races. [Update 9 pm: As the updated pools chart above shows, handle ended up being UP 4 % year over year due mainly to gains in Derby betting.]

6:15 pm: With only $229k separating Lookin at Lucky and Super Saver in the win pool at the moment, the guy who won the $100,000 free bet from Churchill Downs just cut that gap almost in half by betting it on Super Saver to win. A safe and lucky Derby to all.

7:05 pm: A few very quick afterthoughts on Derby 136:

*A week ago, WinStar's top Derby hope was Endorsement and Pletcher's was Eskendereya. Both suffer untimely injuries, but WInStar and Pletcher end up in the winner's circle anyway with Super Saver.

*Ice Box and Lookin at Lucky will get plenty of support in the Preakness off their rough trips today, while Super Saver and Paddy o'Prado both appeared to have dream trips.

*Despite the perception (and betting) that this was an almost random Derby, the top three finishers were all among the top seven betting choices.

*Will we have to hear about Pletcher's dismal 1-for-28 Derby record next year?

*Super Saver was the second choice but not one of the three live pick-6 horses, so there will be a $947,640 carryover when racing at Churchill resumes Thursday. They haven't drawn the card yet, but I'm guessing that after two days of racing that included 12 graded stakes and seven allowance races,the sequence is going to be heavy on maiden and conditioned claimers.

*I'll fill in the late results and pool totals later. Time for a julep or something. 

John Blankenship More than 1 year ago
Why no dime supers?? Based on my calculations - based on dollars wagered per horse in the superfecta - comparing the last Breeders Cup they would have had an add'l $2.7M if they had dime supers. The BC $/horse is double with the dime supers. In calc only used last 8 Dby races excl Dby and excl BC Classic. If they check the Tri pools on the last 8 races, they will discover that over $1M more was bet in those pools(compared to 2009) because they had $.50 bets in tris instead of $1. Wake up CD elitists you are throwing away handle. John Blankenship
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
On muddy days, I can't help but think of your short story "Off-Track", Steve. Let's get that collection to Disney, bro! Jack, I share your concern about the rail/inside post and the grandstand turn rail that comes up pretty quick. It seems like a disaster waiting to happen, with some of the the rough riding we witnessed this year. Maybe this is a central issue that would beg for fields to be limited to say fifteen runners. The current number makes a mockery of the event since a few don't really belong, and the traffic situation might hinder a deserving winner, in this case Ice Box.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
TC: Afleet Again isn't Triple Crown nominated--his connections would need to fork up a six-figure nomination fee to run in the Preakness or Belmont. The trainer says that his next start will likely be a stakes race at Monmouth.
Gharza More than 1 year ago
The leading money trainer in the country, ridden by the best CD jock and a horse out of the 2001 Kentucky Derby winning sire Maria's Mon, by a mare who's out of the 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy won the 2010 Kentucky Derby. End of discussion.
peat moss More than 1 year ago
chisox Gambling winning are income,normaly if you hit a big bet under 300-1 nobody would know who you are.This guy was on national tv,his name and that he is from houston tx was heard by everyone including the IRS.
track sloppy More than 1 year ago
Am settled down now, but still say shoes are very important. When winnowing down for the Derby winner, I have certain restrictions that have to be met in his 2 YO year.I then check for all dual qualifiers and the 4th horse (MAKE MUSIC FOR ME) and the winner #4 both were Duals. I had commented to a fellow player that what would it be like at CD if it was an off track.This was away back in February. By the way, the interviews at night with the DRF writers can get you at least one of the Super horses. But on race day, to leave out completely the shoe changes --there is no excuse for that. When you are a very picky player like I am, I find that you need everything in order before you play the Super. I'll be pushing daisies next sloppy track on Derby Day.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Is it just the angle of the TV cameras or does a straight run from the one post position run right into the rail where it curves into the stretch? This means that the rail horse in the Derby not only has to break fast but he also has to go to his right against 19 other horses. Wouldn't it be fairer to leave post position 1 in the starting gate empty and start with number 2? It still wouldn't be a picnic for the 1 horse, but at least he would have open track in front of him, not a fence.
Bonapartiste More than 1 year ago
Kent D in Stretch on Paddy O Prado in Derby.. Anyone else see how he cost the connections 2nd place.Should Kent D be suspended for not riding through wire. /He raised whip was looking behind him and got caught sleeping ! I watched replay 100 times and Kent D let up. He thought he had 2nd wrapped up. I did not have anything wagered on Paddy but feel for the connections and exacta players who used him !!
Dave More than 1 year ago
Jim asks whether the guy with the $100,000 win bet on Super Saver will have to pay taxes on $100,000 or $900,000. There are actually three questions - (1) will any taxes be withheld; (2) will anything be reported to the IRS; and (3) how much is taxable? Answers - (1) No - withholding applies to pari-mutual payoffs of $5,000 or more having odds of 300-1 or more; (2) Yes - the $100,000 prize will be reported, but the $900,000 payoff will not be reported because tax information reporting applies to winning pari-mutual payoffs of $600 or more having odds of 300-to-1 or more; (3) It's all taxable - Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code states that gross income includes all income, whatever the source. The absence of a 1099 or W-2 is irrelevant under the Code.
jcp More than 1 year ago
How come it seems like there is only one jockey that knows that staying close to the rail is the shortest way around the track?