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Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

While the Kentucky Derby is a tremendous pageant and spectacle to watch, it is an absolute bear to handicap. Here are a few guidelines that will help narrow down the fields a bit.

• Don't pick a horse with a trainer or jockey making his first trip to the Derby. The stress of the media blitz is generally too much for them and they will make fatal mistakes.

• Don't pick a horse with a new jockey. You really need to know your horse in a race like that so it isn't the place to pick someone getting on the horse for the first time. You might be able to make exceptions to this for some of the top jockeys but I still regard it as a negative factor even then.

• Although it has been broken in recent years, picking a dual qualifier is still a good idea. Don't let it blind you to other horses though as the way trainers are running horses is changing and the Experimental Free Handicap won't be as important in the future, in my opinion.

• Don't ignore dosage but don't follow it blindly. Look for a horse with a dosage profile that is highest in the middle giving it the classic bell shaped curve look. Try to stay away from horses with no stamina numbers (the two right most position in the profile). Where you should make exceptions is for horses with "young" pedigrees, ones with mostly younger horses in the early generations that haven't made it into the chef de race list yet to contribute to dosage figures.

• Stay away from horses with no two-year-old starts and/or fewer than 6 starts lifetime. This may change in the future though because horses are not racing as much in general as in the past.

•Your pick should have finished in the money in his last pre-Derby start. Since 1957, only Sea Hero and Thunder Gulch have broken this and they were both 4th in their final prep. A strong late move in that race is a big plus.

•Your pick must be a stakes winner and have run in at least one 1 1/8 mile prep race. He must have either 3 or 4 prep races since January 1st, no more, no less.

• Don't pick the post time favorite or the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner. They just don't win, at least not since 1979 except for last year's favorite Fusaichi Pegasus.

 

     
 
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