Many people eagerly await the Kentucky Derby to make their only bets of the year. This makes it a hugely exciting and unique occasion, but it also means that those occasional bettors need some help.
Expert picks provide a simple way of choosing a Derby horse, but how far can you trust them?
It’s Incredibly Difficult to Predict
The first point to make here is that choosing a Kentucky Derby winner isn’t simple at all. Even someone who has been in the horse racing world for decades and has studied the horses very closely can’t give you a guarantee of getting it right.
If we look at the favorites for the 2022 version of this historic race, we can see that the likes of Epicenter, Messier, Forbidden Kingdom, and Cyberknife are all among the horses getting heavily backed by experts.
These are all great horses and any one of them can win the big race on May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. You can check how the odds are shaping up right now if you click here: https://www.bovada.lv/kentucky-derby
In terms of past upsets, there have been several occasions in which the strong favorite has lost to an outsider. One of the most recent came in 2009, when Mine That Bird won the 135th Kentucky Derby in dramatic and unexpected fashion. His horse now lives a quiet life, retired on a farm in Roswell.
Try to Do Your Own Research
It’s worth pointing out that this race comes at the end of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of qualifying races. The horses that run at Churchill Downs have all qualified to do so, and these races let us see who qualifies in style and looks to be in good form.
This gives you an excellent chance to carry out your own research, as you can watch races like the Louisiana Derby and the Santa Anita Derby. A league table shows us who has been performing well in the run-up to the Derby, and the horse at the top of this table is usually the favorite when the main event begins.
For example, the current standings for the 2022 Kentucky Derby show is that Epicenter is quite far clear of the field with 164 points, which explains why he is currently the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. Second place goes to Zandon, with 114 points, and his win in the recent Blue Grass Stakes has seen some people decide to back him for May 7.
The last big races run were the Santa Anita Derby, which was won by Taiba, and the Wood Memorial, won by Mo Donegal. Performances in these races don’t give us a definitive answer to the question of who will win the big event, but they do let us see which horses are looking good right now, and the experts will take them into account.
Look for the Expert’s Track Record
If you’re going to trust someone else’s opinion on the Kentucky Derby winner, you’ll want to find someone who has a strong track record in this respect. Take a look at whether they’ve managed to pick the winner in the Derby or in other big races in the past.
As we’ve seen, this isn’t an exact science and no one can get it right every time. However, those horse racing experts with the best reputations have built up their profile with years of solid tips and a few spectacular successes.
Even the experts change their opinions over time too, as they follow those races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby that we looked at earlier. These events give them extra chances to see how the favorites are shaping up, and there is nothing wrong with someone changing their opinion based on what they see.
Of course, the best known horse racing experts also influence the market. When they give a tip for a certain horse, you can be sure that a lot of people will back it, which is likely to see its odds reduce.
Have Some Fun
Don’t forget that this race is also a chance to have some fun and enjoy one of the horse racing world’s biggest days of the year. It’s up to you how seriously you take it. If you want to spend a lot of time researching the horses and jockeys, this should increase your chances of winning your bet.
But if you just want to feel part of a big day and have an extra reason to watch the race, you might not bother putting so much effort into it. Everyone has their own way of choosing their Kentucky Derby horse and whatever works for you is fine.
You might even decide to go against the experts’ opinions and choose an outsider. This can be an exciting way of following the race, as you’re sure to get a big win if a horse with long odds wins it for you. There’s a way of betting on the Kentucky Derby that suits everyone.