I have a challenge for you. Name any current function in life more easily accessible than making a bet on this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Beyond locating a McDonalds or a foreclosed house you’re not going to have to try very hard.
So you’re “old school” and like to plunk your dollars down at the track. If you can’t make it to Louisville just Google the giant number of racetracks and simulcast facilities available throughout the USA. The pools open on Friday for the twenty colts into the gate on Saturday at exactly 6:24 EST. A post time to make everybody happy, including the actuaries who figured out the maximum opportunity to obtain the best national TV audience with the optimum possible potential for dollars wagered.
The Kentucky Derby is the equivalent of New Year’s Eve for horseplayers. Therefore, if you do head to the track expect longer lines at the betting windows filled with people who don’t know a Superfecta from Superman. Both tracks and simulcast facilities will be overloaded with novices lured by promotions handing out Derby hats, glasses and other 137th running trinkets. Bring the children if you must but beware of the traditional angry old men who show up daily hurling “f bombs” should they get shut out wagering. Being in line with one minute to go on any race will risk you high anxiety, getting someone breathing heavily down your neck.
Readers obviously know they have safer online alternatives including the hundreds of off shore wagering books anxious to receive all your horse racing bets including the Derby. Enjoy the convenience of your account if you’re a regular or just play on the first Saturday in May.
The only huge caveat is checking the rules!! Most offshore books have limit restrictions on exotic payoffs (exactas, trifectas, etc.). This particularly can come in to play with the Derby, the only race of the year which includes a 20 horse field of separate betting entries. That could conceivably result in giant exotic payoffs at Churchill Downs, which would be restricted to specific maximum limits by all offshore books. In short, you do not want to be mad and kicking yourself for poor strategy while celebrating a big win. Read the rules first.
If you’re anticipating those lottery type longshot payoffs and will be parked in front of your TV consider TVG, Twin Spires or HRTV. Three of the uh “legal” and taxed online wagering alternatives available on most cable television networks. A similar experience to the off shore wagering sites, nobody will be cursing at you at post time plus you’ll receive full track odds on every wager type. Most offer free programs or Daily Racing Forms with membership as well. But..you won’t get a free Derby keepsake t-shirt or glass like being at the track. So keep that in mind.
Most mind-blowing alternative this year has to be the advent of mobile wagering available in Nevada. Through applications on cell phones it is now legal to wager within the state’s boundaries on smartphones though Nevada casino accounts. So in case you’re wondering, it’s perfectly legal to be on the toilet at someone’s home in Vegas with your Samsung and bet the 5th race at Belmont. Like the Lakers +2.5? Legally text it right in as well. However..don’t get cute and try playing poker on Pokerstars.com That won’t work and is currently deemed illegal. If you’re confused, so am I and everyone else in this country right now.
I would suppose it would be hard to believe for anyone under fifty years old the only alternatives people had growing up loving to watch and bet the Kentucky Derby. Up until roughly the early 1980’s a handicapper had only two choices: get a roadmap to Louisville (without the aid of Mapquest) or ask a friend if they knew a guy somewhere willing to take your Derby action.
Regardless of your preferred wagering alternative, whether it be on-track, online, or by phone, no one has any excuse for being shut-out anywhere on Earth up until the very last second before post time. And before you may be tearing up your tickets or imaging them vanishing into cyberspace, here’s my $2 Run for the Roses analysis:
137th Kentucky Derby
17. Soldat Overall the most consistent performer. A mild pick in the most balanced field ever.
4. Stay Thirsty Stay Thirsty my friends. This improving horse has been lurking in the shadows of stable mate Uncle Mo.
8. Dialed In Gets going too late with Leparoux. Can win but a better investment for either place or show dough.