When handicapping the big stakes races such as the Kentucky Derby there are pit falls and traps to avoid. Pay attention to the derby prep races and how these horses did in the races leading to the big day. Take not of how well they raced along with how bad.
10 days before the derby when all the prep races are done workouts are all the media and people following the derby have to look at. No matter how fantastic these workouts are don’t put too much weight on them, remember how each horse raced in the prep races and use this for the basis of for your decision. Now if the horse is working out like a monster and kicked some butt in the prep races lading to the derby that is just icing on the cake. These horses entering the derby are all physically fit regardless of the last few workouts actually most trainers are just trying not to screw their horses up before the big show.
Another pitfall to avoid is the post position draw for the derby and other big stakes races. The derby now has an hour show dedicated to this. Their are a variety of horses that broke from various post positions to win the derby. The only post positions that merit any attention is the 1st and 20th. The 1st actually is worse than the 20th because the horse does not have much choice but to hit it hard early to avoid getting shuffled back. Its not post position that matters but the kind of horse breaking next to you can make a difference. If your selection is a speed type or stalker you want dead closers around you. Your horse can get out of the way of those breaking to either side. If you have a stretch runner you want speed horses breaking next to you so they will quickly get out of your way.
By understanding and recognizing the profile of the modern day Kentucky Derby champion you can go through each horse finding the legitimate contenders.
a.) Every derby winner since 1882 had at least one start as a 2 year old.
b.) Recent derby winners have all for one reason or another missed the Breeders Cup Juvenile.
c.) Every derby winner from 1990-2001 (except Charismatic) had at least 3 starts going into the derby. They also outside of Silver Charm had 3 two turn preps.
d.) After speed figures were introduced in 1992 outside of Charasmatic and Sea Horse posted a triple digit number by his 1st or 2nd start at age 3. Average beyer for a Kentucky Derby winner from 1992-2001 was 110.
e.) Last but not least out of the 12 Derby winners from 1990-2001 only two were speed horses. Speed horses only win 17% of the time in the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby can be difficult to handicap but with these tips you should be at the betting window cashing your tickets outside of the millions of people who just miss it. Kentucky Derby 2013 is right around the corner so its time to go big or stay home.
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