Tacos and Trifectas: Kentucky Derby Showdown

Events / Travel

Welcome to Tacos and Trifectas! Each week, America’s Best Racing’s Southern California correspondent Jose Contreras - @LosPonies to those who follow him on Twitter - will provide a taco review along with a selection that he will key in trifecta bets in hopes of winning some cash to buy more tacos! Contreras will map out a trifecta betting strategy for how to key his main pick and keep track of his return on investment (ROI), which was positive in 2017.

Stop back each week if you love tacos and want a trifecta play!

This week’s eatery:

A special edition of Tacos and Trifectas featuring a carnitas taco duel between My Taco Guy and Carnitas El Momo at the Tacos y Cerveza event at Santa Anita Park.

Carnitas El Momo

Score: 8.9

  • Carnitas were nicely seasoned
  • Red salsa is hot!
  • Nice portion
  • Carnitas are their specialty, that’s why they have it in their name.

My Taco Guy

Score: 8.2

  • Their carnitas are shredded-style
  • Green salsa has a nice flavor
  • Side veggies are a nice touch

Recap of last wager: Our key horse Combatant had a pretty good trip but could not go by had to settle for fourth when just missing third by a head.

This week’s trifecta key:

Saturday, Churchill Downs, Race 12, Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, 6:50 p.m. ET

#14 Mendelssohn (5-1 odds): His UAE Derby win was visually impressive but one of the counter arguments is questioning the quality of runners that he defeated and that there was a speed-bias throughout the night. There is no denying that he’s a talented horse. I like his stride and I like that he’s shown no problems traveling and winning at different tracks over different surfaces. I like his post position toward the outside because we know he has tactical speed and I think he’s going to get himself into a good position heading into the first turn. We already know about the breeding, we already know about how much money they paid for him at auction, it’s now time to see if he’s the real deal. I think he is. I don’t expect his win odds to be anything worthy of a win bet so I’m just going to focus on putting the entire budget on trifectas. I’m tossing a couple of horses that I expect to be favorites at post time and if we’re right about Mendelssohn at least hitting the board, we should be in a good position to hit a nice trifecta. With this big of a field, I’m switching to 50-cent trifectas for this week.

Strategy on $108 Budget:
$.50-cent Trifecta: 14 with 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 with 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 ($36)
$.50-cent Trifecta: 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 with 14 with 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 ($36)
$.50-cent Trifecta: 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 with 5,9,10,11,12,15,16,18,19 with 14 ($36)

ROI Year to date: $756 wagered / $473.30 returned

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