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Betting the Kentucky Derby: How to Wager and Win on America's Biggest Horse Race Paperback – April, 2008

2.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Big-Race Days The Good Ol' Days When I was 11 or 12 years old I used to enthusiastically walk a mile or so from my parents' rental up Central Avenue to Yonkers Raceway, now known as the illustrious Empire City Racino. Back in those days I was financially loaded for bear. My bankroll consisted of $5, and I would like to say I earned it by mowing the neighbor's lawn or taking out the trash. The truth is, my father gave me the $5 starting bankroll. Now that I look back many years later, it probably was some type of small-time bribe for all the afternoons we snuck to the track when my mother thought we were at the beach, zoo, amusement park, shopping for groceries, or at a Yankees game. I believe the correct term for my old man was "juvenile enabler." My father was even kind enough to throw in an advance program, which he picked up at Dan's Tobacco & Candy store after working the 12:00 to 8:00 shift. In those days, $5 was all a responsible and patient harness handicapper needed to succeed. If you could expertly and confidently collect 9 or 10 show bets on drivers Carmine Abbatiello and Rejean Daigneault at $2.60 or $2.80 a pop, you were well on your way to a successful career. On the good nights when Carmine or Rejean didn't make an unexpected stretch break at 3-5, I'd leave the track with a $12 or $15 profit. All was well in the world of high-stakes harness-racing betting. Unfortunately, a lot has changed since the days of my harness-racing show parlays. The game has gotten considerably tougher to beat with a traditional "grind-along" style of play while attempting to compete with shrewder players and unimaginable advancements in technology. For starters, the parimutuel competition is much more prepared today than it was 15 or 20 years ago. Intricate computer programs that can track live odds and weaknesses in the betting pools, advanced trainer and pedigree information, superior speed and pace figures, and sophisticated betting syndicates (which are heavily bankrolled and professionally managed) in the United States and overseas make it much more difficult for the average player to find any value. Today, there are only a handful of bettors that consistently wager on the traditional win, place, and show format with any degree of success. There are just too many obstacles for this type of player to succeed in today's game. But do not despair! Today's horseplayer has a tremendous opportunity that was not available to his counterpart of several decades ago--a vast array of betting options beyond win, place, and show. That's a strong advantage in day-to-day play, but even more so on racing's biggest days--and there is no bigger day or bigger opportunity than America's most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Big-Race-Day Guaranteed Multi-Race Pools Today, the most successful players are those that consistently adjust to the changing times and have learned to save their bankrolls for the bettor-friendly, multirace bets, many of which have guaranteed pools. In these types of pools we're essentially looking for a collection of bettors that consist of the fewest tiger sharks and are instead bloated with schools of lazy winter flounder. Where do we find these uninformed, lethargic bettors? Fortunately, they exist almost every weekend of the year at racetracks across the country. The following monthly schedule of racetracks and big-race days offers the savvy handicapper the opportunity to play into portly pools where there are guaranteed to be uninformed bettors coughing up uninformed dollars. These types of days are what I like to call the New Year's Eve of racing days. You have your amateur sloppy drinkers on New Year's Eve, and you have your legion of recreational bettors on big-race days. There's nothing more appealing to the seasoned pro than watching the "Uncle Leos" and "Cousin Gracies" of the world betting on birthdays, anniversaries, favorite colors, and names of horses and jockeys. These big-race days are usually heavily advertised in the local media and consistently bring out novice fans and fledgling bettors. Mark your calendars and clear out the bank account. Month Racetrack Big-Race Days January Gulfstream/Santa Anita Sunshine Millions February Gulfstream Park Swale, Holy Bull Stakes, Donn Handicap February Fair Grounds Mineshaft H., Fair Grounds Handicap, Silverbulletday Stakes, Risen Star Stakes March Gulfstream Park Gulfstream Park Handicap, Hutcheson

Stakes, Richter Scale Handicap, Fountain of Youth

March Santa Anita Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap, Robert B.

Lewis Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap March Aqueduct Gotham Stakes March Fair Grounds Fair Grounds Oaks, Louisiana Derby March Bay Meadows El Camino Real Derby March Santa Anita Santa Anita Oaks March Tampa Bay Downs Hillsborough Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby March Sunland Park WinStar Oaks, WinStar Derby March Turfway Park Lane's End Stakes March Nad Al Sheba (Dubai) Dubai World Cup, UAE Derby March Gulfstream Park Florida Derby April Aqueduct Bay Shore Stakes, Wood Memorial April Santa Anita Santa Anita Derby, Potrero Grande

Handicap April Hawthorne Illinois Derby April Aqueduct Carter Handicap, Withers Stakes April Keeneland Vinery Madison Stakes, Stonerside

Beaumont Stakes, Maker's Mark Mile,

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, Commonwealth

Stakes, Coolmore Lexington Stakes April Oaklawn Park Arkansas Derby May Churchill Downs Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby May Lone Star Park Lone Star Derby May Pimlico Black-Eyed Susan, Preakness May Belmont Park Peter Pan, Metropolitan Handicap May Hollywood Park Shoemaker Mile Stakes, Gamely Stakes June Thistledown Ohio Derby June Belmont Park Belmont Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes,

Suburban Handicap June Colonial Downs All Along Stakes, Colonial Turf Cup June Churchill Downs Stephen Foster Handicap June Prairie Meadows Iowa Oaks June Hollywood Park Hollywood Gold Cup July Hastings Lt. Governor's Handicap July Woodbine King Edward July Belmont Park Dwyer Stakes July Calder Princess Rooney Handicap, Smile Sprint Handicap, Carry Back Stakes July Monmouth Park United Nations July Hollywood Park American Oaks, Triple Bend Handicap,

CashCall Mile, Swaps Stakes July Delaware Park Delaware Oaks July Colonial Downs Virginia Derby July Del Mar Eddie Read Handicap, Bing

Crosby Handicap July Saratoga Whitney Handicap, Go For Wand,

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, Diana

Handicap, Jim Dandy August Saratoga Alabama, King's Bishop, Travers, Sword Dancer Invitational August Del Mar Del Mar Handicap, Pacific

Classic August Mountaineer Park West Virginia Derby August Monmouth Park Oceanport Stakes, Matchmaker Stakes, Haskell Invitational August Arlington Park Secretariat Stakes, Arlington Million,

Beverly D. Stakes September Saratoga Woodward, Forego Handicap,

Spinaway Stakes, Hopeful Stakes September Philadelphia Park Pennsylvania Derby September Del Mar Del Mar Futurity, Del Mar Debutante

Stakes September Belmont Park Man o' War, Ruffian Handicap, Futurity Stakes, Gazelle Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap,

Jockey Club Gold Cup, Beldame Stakes, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Vosburgh Stakes,

Flower Bowl Invitational, Kelso Handicap September Santa Anita Yellow Ribbon Stakes, Oak Leaf Stakes,

Goodwood Handicap, Norfolk Stakes September Woodbine Woodbine Mile, Canadian Stakes, Summer

Stakes September Louisiana Downs Super Derby September Turfway Park Kentucky Cup Classic, Kentucky Cup

Juvenile Stakes, Kentucky Cup Sprint,

Turfway Stakes September Hawthorne Hawthorne Gold Cup October Breeders' Cup October Keeneland Darley Alcibiades Stakes, Sycamore

Stakes, Shadwell Turf Mile, Lane's

End Breeders' Futurity, Juddmonte

Spinster Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II

Challenge Cup October Belmont Park Frizette Stakes, Jamaica Handicap,

Champagne Stakes, Jerome Handicap October Santa Anita Clement L. Hirsch Turf, Ancient

Title Handicap, Lady's Secret Handicap,

Oak Tree Mile October Woodbine Canadian International, E.P. Taylor Stakes November Aqueduct Cigar Mile, Remsen Stakes, Discovery

Handicap December Calder My Charmer Handicap, Tropical Turf

Handicap December Hollywood Park Hollywood Starlet, CashCall Futurity Every year, around the start of the Triple Crown season and before the Breeders' Cup, acclaimed author and handicapper James Quinn writes an article about the necessity of having a fat wallet in preparation for a realistic assault on these upcoming big-race days. After all, these are the days when potential boxcar exotic scores exist and there are plenty of ripe apples in the betting basket. This sound money-management advice is one that the average handicapper and player should adhere to. In fact, I'd even go so far as to recommend that you cut out Quinn's annual betting-advice column and give it a permanent space on the refrigerator next to the household-chore wish list that's collecting dust. Although each handicapper's betting platform and financial comfort zone differs, do what you can to fatten your bankroll for these types of big-race days - even if it means sitting on the betting sidelines for several weeks. Remember: It only takes a few races and one special afternoon to make up for months of missed photos and tough beats.

From the Back Cover

"Information is always a great tool in handicapping. However, the biggest problem in handicapping The Kentucky Derby is too much information from too many sources. However, Dean Keppler has now solved that for the serious horseplayer with his new book, Betting the Derby: How to Wager and Win on America's Biggest Horse Race. Cut through all the noise and find out how to apply Beyer Speed figures, how to evaluate pre-derby workouts and learn which derby preps are the most meaningful. As always, once you have handicapped the Big Race, how do you bet it? There are two terrific chapters on money management and navigating the Derby Day wagering menu. A twenty horse field requires different strategies then an 8 or 9 horse field at Saratoga and you will find some great angles in this book. Save some time by learning how to sift through the pre-Derby media coverage and save money by maximizing your betting strategy on the Kentucky Derby."

Charles Hayward, President and CEO of New York Racing Association

"The Kentucky Derby, with its profusion of information for the player but nevertheless its high average mutuel, is proof that we confront a game of information management. This new volume by Dean Keppler is the antidote to information overload. Yes, there's a lot here to mull over, but Keppler sorts it out and steers us to what is truly essential."

Mark Cramer, author of Scared Money, Kinky Handicapping, and editor of the monthly C & X Racing Report

"The unique wagering potential of America's biggest horse race is neatly summarized in Betting the Kentucky Derby, an essential how-to guide that unravels one of the year's most challenging races. Handicapping author Dean Keppler provides necessary tools to identify contenders, and establishes rational parameters for horseplayers to use in making their own decisions. Though Betting the Kentucky Derby is geared toward the first Saturday in May, its value covers the entire racing calendar."

Brad Free, handicapper for Daily Racing Form


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Daily Racing Form (April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932910786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932910780
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,036,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I could have written this book in a half and hour ... and since you clicked on a horse racing book, so could you! Very, very, very basic stuff and I'm sure you already know almost all of it. I am a gigantic Daily Racing Form fan (the publication and some of their other books) so this isn't a smear review. Use that $10 or $15 you were considering on using for this book for your wagers at the track.
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This book was a complete waste of money and time. It took about an hour to read and was almost all fluff. The author used plenty of statistical data but never explained how and why to use it. He left the interpretation of the data up to the reader. A typical example of this would be: "Look at all the Beyer figures below. Do you see a pattern?" Uh, no, not really. Every single chapter was like this. I bought this book in hopes of gleaning a little insight into the upcoming Derby. What a mistake that was. Save your time and money and don't make the same mistake I made. Pass on this one.
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Format: Paperback
I have about 75 books on horse racing and handicapping and this is one of the worst. There is enough meat for maybe one chapter. The rest is filler. Very disappointing. All I expect from a handicapping book is one idea that leads to a winning bet I wouldn't have had otherwise. I don't think this book meets even that low bar.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again, new book with nothing new. Don't let the title fool you. This book does not tell you how to bet on the Derby. It simply rehashes old information. What a giant disappointment!
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Format: Paperback
Concise, easy read for us recreational players looking for a good basic approach, especially to a graded stakes race such as the derby . Worth the nominal cost, never meant to be an all inclusive book on horse racing. Understandable with worthwhile insight, easy read that won't bore you with overkill information.
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