We’re a long way from the Kentucky Derby but many firms have already put up the Kentucky Derby 2016 betting odds which is great to see. There are a number of price differences between firms given a stronger emphasis on opinion and informed judgement than a strong betting market. The top six in the Kentucky Derby betting are listed below:
|Horses||Best Odds||Best Bookmaker||Horses||Best Odds||Best Bookmaker|
|Hit It A Bomb||20/1||Airoforce||33/1|
Songbird was an impressive two year-old in 2015, making her connections an impressive $1,500,000 in prize money. She’s unbeaten in four starts and she signed off in style when winning the fillies’ juvenile race at the Breeder’s Cup. Her jockey, Mike Smith, said after the race “Once we jumped out the gate, it was just a matter of me staying on... I almost felt like yawning as we went along. I don't mean that in a bragging way. She just gives me that much confidence.”
Get 16/1 on Songbird
Nyquist held onto his three race unbeaten record when taking the 2yo colts and geldings Sentient Jet at the Breeders Cup. He landed the £705,000 prize holding off the late challenge of Swipe with his rider, Mario Gutierrez commenting "He's always been a really good colt with a good mentality...Anyone can train a good horse and this is a good horse. I'm really blessed."
Aidan O’Brien’s Hit It A Bomb didn’t appear until the 27th of September 2015 but he made an incredible impression of racing fans and punters alike. Winning a 22 runner maiden at the Curragh, he sealed a weak contest at Dundalk before running out a brilliant winner of the juvenile turf race for colts and geldings. It was an excellent ride by Ryan Moore to get him home and the obvious unknown is his love for American dirt.
Mohaymen stayed away from the rich spoils of the Breeders Cup meeting and has ploughed his trade at Aqueduct in all three starts to date. Kiaran McLaughlin’s colt has perhaps been a little quieter than his rivals but he’s still racked up an impressive $350,000 in just three starts landing two stakes races in the process.
Get 25/1 on Mohaymen
Swipe is the most experienced of those in the top five of the Kentucky Derby betting odds having race seven times to date. His form figures: 2312222 perhaps fail to do him justice given he has been competing in very strong races including three group ones. He’s recorded some good times and was only pipped by Hit It A Bomb in the juvenile turf. He looks a strong type and connections will be looking forward to the Kentucky Derby 2016.
Get 25/1 on Swipe
In order to run in the Kentucky Derby, a horse must achieve enough points by winning or placing in specified trials races. The top 20 horses with the most points from all the trials races will then qualify for the Kentucky Derby and be entered for the race. No other horses can enter into the race without qualifying through the points system.
It’s quite a unique structure given most races are comprised of runners entered by trainers without a formal qualification process. However, there are positives to this system. It generally produces some really excellent fields with only the best horses qualifying for the race. If you don’t win enough races, then you simply aren’t good enough to enter. This can produce some extremely strong fields.
The qualifying races are held over a ten-week period before the Kentucky Derby with the key qualifiers listed below:
UAE Derby – Meydan (26th March 2016)
Louisiana Derby – Fair Grounds (26th March 2016)
Florida Derby – Gulfstream Park (2nd April 2016)
Wood Memorial – Aqueduct (9th April 2016)
Blue Grass – Keeneland (9th April 2016)
Santa Anita Derby – Santa Anita (9th April 2016)
Arkansas Derby - (16th April 2016)
It’s perhaps no surprise to see that six of the seven biggest qualifiers are all held in America. But with the UAE Derby, there’s a chance for winners outside of America to land a strong number of points and gain qualification. And given the UAE Derby attracts a global audience itself, there’s always a slim but exciting chance for a foreign raider to take part in the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby 2016 will be held on the 7th of May with a whopping $2 million on offer in prize money. The 2016 renewal will be the 142nd running of the famous race and this next renewal promises to be just as special.
Held in Louisville in Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs on American dirt. It’s open to colts, geldings and fillies with the latter receiving a small allowance. Incredibly, the Kentucky Derby has been run every single year without fail since 1875 which has undoubtedly led to its huge reputation. Furthermore, the Kentucky Derby attracts a bigger audience on course than the Preakness, Belmont, Breeders Cup and all other Stakes races. An astonishing 170,000 people turned up to watch the 141st renewal of the Kentucky Derby!
There are a grand total of 34 qualifying races with points up for grabs. The races are split into three levels of importance. The three point’s tiers are as follows:
Lowest Level: 10-4-2-1
Highest Level: 100-40-20-10
The point’s structure is clearly weighted to provide the best horses with the best chance to qualify with American derby’s offering 40 points to finish second. This is equivalent to winning four races at the lowest level. This provides a really competitive field for the Kentucky Derby and encourages the countries best horses to take their chance and qualify for the big race.
Billed as ‘the fastest two minutes in sport’, the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the famous Triple Crown, one of the hardest titles to achieve. The Kentucky Derby 2016 was won by American Pharoah (Spelt incorrectly but correct for naming purposes) in 2015 who famously went on to win the Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years. He won the Kentucky Derby in bright sunshine with a very quick track, receiving an extremely strong and punishing drive from Victor Espinoza.
In 2014, California Chrome sprung into the public eye with a brilliant performance to set up his Triple Crown attempt only to miss out later in the season. He was the 5/2 favourite and rewarded favourite backers in style. The year before him, Orb landed the spoils in extremely poor conditions with torrential rain and a track described as sloppy. He required strong reserves of stamina to ward off challengers and he continued the good run of favourites in recent years in the big race.
Word From The Track
Local knowledge is always important when placing a bet. Those who watch the racing day in, day out at the less popular meetings often have better knowledge and understanding of the draw and track. We share some local knowledge which you can have as exclusive betting expert Kentucky Derby tips.
Fast Drying Track
Churchill Downs is a very unique course. Although it’s a dirt surface, like most in America, it can look very sloppy and can become stamina sapping when wet. As a result, when the ground is wet, you need a prominent horse. It sounds rather strange that when the track is at its most stamina sapping best, you need a horse that’s very prominent and at the front. However, this is due to the large amount of kickback the track produces which slows the horses in behind down. It’s also much harder for horses to quicken when they are in behind at Churchill Downs when the track is very wet given the ground is harder to accelerate on. This gives the front runners and prominent horses a big edge and this can be taken advantage of by punters in-play or by backing prominent runners IR. Be careful though, Churchill Downs dries notoriously fast. With a heavy shower just before the first race, the ground can be standard just a few races later. Make sure you factor this into your betting – weather is key!
Californian Trainers Excel
Given weather conditions, horses based in Californian yards are generally more forward in the early part of the season. The Kentucky Derby comes relatively early in the season so horses which are forward have a better chance to show their class and true potential. Horses which are not in their coat and more backward will generally take longer to show what they’re capable of. The warmer, drier conditions of California generally aid horses in this regard and they can be a good value angle in the prep races on derby day and even in the big race itself.
As the Kentucky Derby 2016 gets closer, we'll bring you the very best risk free bets for all the great horse racing action stateside. Until then make sure to check out all the best horse racing free bets throughout the year here.