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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

There are not many races in which the favorite wins and the exacta pays $340.

Then again, the Kentucky Derby is not exactly the Friday feature at Beulah Downs.

For the second year in a row, the combination of a victorious favorite and a 30-1 runner-up led to the kind of exacta payoff that rolls around only on the first Saturday.

A year ago, it was Orb, an inflated 5-1 favorite, and 37-1 shot Golden Soul running 1-2 for a huge $981.60 exacta.

This past Saturday, it was California Chrome prevailing as a 5-2 favorite and 37-1 shot Commanding Curve closing late for second for the aforementioned $340 payoff.

It was dramatically lower than the monstrous 2013 mutuel, but California Chrome was a significantly stronger favorite than Orb.

Still, a betting lesson about the Derby was reinforced through the presence of another seemingly unfathomable finisher in the trifecta.

Yes, another - and there's more to it than just last year.

This year marked the 18th Derby in the last 34 years in which a horse at 20-1 odds or more has finished either first, second or third.

Of course, tabbing the right fast and fit 20- or 30-1 shot is a different story - which is why the “All” button remains a handicapper's best friend on Derby Day.

Using the All button with California Chrome took all of the risk out of wondering who would finish second and turned an $18 investment into $170, which far exceeded the $63 an $18 win bet would have returned.

A year ago, the same $18 wheel with Orb on top returned $490.80.

It's a nice saver bet and it can also be twisted to hedge your bet.

For example, if you were sitting on a sizeable payoff with your Derby selection in a Pick 3 or Pick 4 it would be wise to use the All button to cover yourself with a wheel using your horse in the second position.

This way, if you have to suffer through the heartbreak of a runner-up finish, you can at least console yourself with a juicy exacta score.

It may not be the ideal strategy for a lot of races, but at least once a year it can come in handy.

THE LESSON: Wheeling your horse in an exotic bet like the exacta, even if it’s the favorite, can pay off handsomely at the Kentucky Derby.

KENTUCKY DERBY PAYOUTS

Betting Tip Inside2

Courtesy of Equibase

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Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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