2018 Kentucky Derby Preview – Got a Hunch, Bet a Bunch

The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby beamed live on NBC at 6:34 PM ET on Saturday has 20 entries vying for horse racing’s most coveted prize. Let’s enjoy a few mint julips as we break down this year’s Run for the Roses.

The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports

I’ll bet you didn’t realize you had so many friends with such encyclopedic knowledge of horse racing as you do in the days leading up to the Derby. It’s funny because I always thought my UPS guy was … a UPS guy. But no, after signing for my latest package, he cornered me and proceeded to wax prosaic on all things Kentucky Derby and horse racing in general. It felt like a hostage situation. I smiled agreeably and even feigned interest when he began to tell me which horses liked the mud and why the favorites are a sucker’s bet. I recall my days as a kid hanging around Suffolk Downs and learned very quickly that the guys who make the most money on the ponies are those who say the least. So, without further ado, let’s introduce the entries:

1 Firenze Fire 50-1

2 Free Drop Billy 30-1

3 Promises Fulfilled 30-1

4 Flameaway 30-1

5 Audible 8-1

6 Good Magic 12-1

7 Justify 3-1

8 Lone Sailor 50-1

9 Hofburg 20-1

10 My Boy Jack 30-1

11 Bolt d’Oro 8-1

12 Enticed 30-1

13 Bravazo 50-1

14 Mendelssohn 5-1

15 Instilled Regard 50-1

16 Magnum Moon 6-1

17 Solomini 30-1

18 Vino Rosso 12-1

19 Noble Indy 30-1

20 Combatant 50-1

*Odds as of May 1

Who Ya Got?

Much like New Year’s Eve, where the true party animals are surrounded by the posers, the Kentucky Derby brings out the handicapper in all of us. Unfortunately, most of these opinions are based on nothing more than hearsay and a catchy name. But repeat an opinion often enough and get more than a few in the audience to nod their heads in agreement, pretty soon you will have a man who has not only persuaded others he’s knowledgeable but has convinced himself of the same. It works in politics and it works in handicapping.

But the inherent problem is that the overwhelming and vast majority of these sudden scholars have never even been at a track, bet a race, or even know that the Derby is for 3-year-olds only. So, let the pea-shooters pose and the pretenders pretend. Hey, it’s not like they can’t be right, it’s just that they’re so convinced of it yet don’t even have the stones to put their money where their collective mouths are. But if you do, here’s the best tip you’re going to get all week. Check out Sportsbook Review where you will find the best online sportsbooks on the planet and a rating guide that informs readers of the A+ sportsbooks all the way down to the dreaded Black List. And in addition, I would suggest you check out a terrific thread about this year’s Kentucky Derby in SBR’s Player’s Talk Forum.

Well, we’ve done enough talking so it’s time to give you the trifecta in this year’s Run for the Roses. But remember what they say about the difference between praying in church and praying at the track? At the track you really mean it! Let’s do this.

  1. Mendelssohn 5-1 – This bay colt, bred in the United States, has victories in Britain, Ireland, the USA and recently scored his most impressive win ever in the United Arab Emirates when he blazed his way across the finish line 18 ½ lengths in front of his nearest rival in the UAE Derby. His time of 1:55.18 smashed the previous record by more than a second. His Beyer Speed Figure was 106 in that effort, the highest of any winner headed into the Derby. This horse is a powerhouse who breaks out on top and gets stronger with every gallop in his wins on dirt, synthetic and Forget about those who tell you no horse exiting the UAE Derby has ever won the Kentucky Derby as evidenced by their combined 0-13 record. None of them were named Mendelssohn.
  2. Audible 8-1 – Last year the Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Kentucky Derby, and if lightning strikes twice then this year’s Florida Derby winner Audible, and also trained by Pletcher, will be adorned with a garland of roses after crossing the finish line ahead of all the others.
  3. Enticed 30-1 – Winner of the Gotham Stakes and second in the Wood Memorial, Enticed has the look of a horse locked and loaded to compete with the best in the world. He is only one of three horses in the race, with the other two being Mendelssohn and Flameaway, that has no strikes in the Jon White Strikes System. You can read about that system in a thread at SBR’s Players Talk Forum in Post #9.
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