With a Wide-Open Kentucky Derby Field, Fans Expect Big Payouts

May 03, 2008 10:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Post positions and odds for the Saturday’s Kentucky Derby were announced Wednesday. With no standout horses, handicappers are struggling to identify favorites and bettors are hoping for large payouts.

30-Second Summary

The Kentucky Derby is known for its crowded 20-horse field and often unpredictable results. This year’s race is shaping up to be even less predictable than usual.

Anyone who says they know what's going to happen is lying,” says the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman.

Unbeaten Big Brown, the 3-1 favorite, drew the far outside post, from which no horse has ever won the Derby. Even before the post position was announced, many analysts discounted Big Brown due to his lack of race experience.

The next two favorites, 4-1 Colonel John and 6-1 Pyro, drew posts 10 and 9, respectively. There are questions about both horses regarding their races on synthetic dirt.

Colonel John has raced only on synthetic dirt, while Pyro ran poorly on a synthetic track in his last race. Critics wonder whether Colonel John can adjust to Churchill Downs’ dirt track and if Pyro’s bad outing can be blamed on the synthetic dirt.

Few other horses have distinguished themselves, but none can be disregarded. Even the last horse to make the field, Denis of Cork, has had great workout runs that indicate he is a genuine contender.

“The first thing I do when I handicap a race, I throw out the horses I'm sure can’t win,” says odds maker Mike Battaglia, “Well, if you start looking at the horses in this race, who do you throw out?”

With the race so wide open, handicapping expert Andrew Beyer is planning to throw out the favorites, “dive into the tri and super pools, spread quite a bit and try to come up with a monster payoff.”

Headline Link: Post-position draw

Opinion & Analysis: Race is wide open

Key Players: The favorites, the filly, the local favorite and the last horse in

Reference: Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing Guides


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