Kentucky Derby For The Beginner

Churchill Downs Is The Center of the

Racing World This Week

Are you one of those that plan for the date set ahead of time, planning your Derby party,  making it as special as the Super Bowl? Or are you like me…. not aware until it’s the weekend of the event?

I must admit, horse racing is not my favorite form of gambling. But the Kentucky Derby is so much more. It’s one of the most famed horse races in the world, aptly named “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” It’s step one of the famed Triple Crown in horse racing. For the state of Kentucky, The Derby draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including residents, out-of-towners, celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families.

Churchill Downs

 So, here are a few facts for you beginners out there like me:

1) The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875

2) The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sweet syrup and is traditionally served in a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass.

3) The Kentucky Derby is host to some of the longest standing racetrack traditions in the U.S. Each year, you will find fans sipping Mint Juleps (drink made from whiskey, mint and sugar) and eating burgoo (a meat stew) at the racetrack. Women appear in lavish outfits with big, elegant hats. The University of Louisville marching band plays Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” as the horses are paraded before the grandstands.

4) This is actually a 2-week festival – The annual two-week series of events held in Louisville beginning with Thunder Over Louisville and leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Betting Rules
Depending on where and how you place your bets on the Kentucky Derby, the rules may vary a bit. Having said that, most times all bets must be made at least a few minutes before the race begins. This is why it’s important to start doing your research about the 2018 Kentucky Derby now while you still have time. Knowing the specific rules for betting on the Kentucky Derby is important, so choosing how you are going to place your bets is also something you should do as soon as possible.

Types of Kentucky Derby Bets Available

Mohegan Sun Racebook

Win – This is a bet for a single horse to win.

Place – This is a bet for a single horse to finish first or second.

Show – A bet the horse will place in the top three.

Across the Board (Win, Place & Show) – This is similar to a show bet, but if your horse wins second or first, the payout is much larger.

Exacta – This is a bet for the first and second places – in the exact order.

Exacta Box – This is like the exacta bet, except that the winners can be in any order.

Trifecta – This bet is for the top three finishers in a specific order.

Trifecta Box – Similar to the trifecta except the winners can be in any order.

Superfecta – This is the toughest bet but one with the biggest payout. It chooses the top four finishers in exact order.

Superfecta Box – This is the same as a superfecta except the order of the top four horses picked does not matter.

As you can see, there are quite a few options when it comes to horse races like the Kentucky Derby. Knowing the options and payouts is important for coming up with a good betting strategy to follow.

That’s all for now. Look for more coverage of this year’s Derby this week, including Kentucky Derby Celebrations at your New England Casinos.


Kentucky Derby 2017 – Renovations & Betting Tips

Improvements at Churchill Downs

In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.”  And let’s not forget the hats, the festival of two days, the mint julep. Click on this link about your best derby hats from Kirby Adams of the Courier-Journal:  Nothing quite as fabulous as a good Derby hat.

This year, visitors to the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday will be met with a revamped feel and a smattering of new amenities and capital improvements designed to enhance their dining and wagering experiences.

Rendering of 2nd floor Clubhouse renovation.

Renovation of Turf Club, Churchill Downs

According to Aaron Stanley of CDC Gaming Reports, Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs said “The big change you will see this year is the $16 million renovation project of the clubhouse.”  The new and improved clubhouse will feature 95,000 square feet of renovated space, 220 flat-screen televisions, 180 new pari-mutuel wagering windows and 133 restroom stalls… food and beverage offerings includes several bars named after prior Derby winners, such as Behave Yourself, Spend a Buck, Regret and I’ll Have Another.”


The $12 million video board, which will have a 15,224-square-foot screen towers over the backstretch, 80 feet over the ground and is  170 feet off the ground at its peak – higher than the iconic Twin Spires, which are 120 feet above the ground.  The board is clearly visible from the new, $14.5 million Grandstand Terrace seating area, which Churchill officials say represents the first major upgrade to the part of the track closest to Central Avenue — and overlooking the Kentucky Derby starting gate — since the 1950s.

Betting the 2017 Kentucky the Derby

CasinoCity Times

Gary Trask of CasinoCityTimes said recently interest in the Kentucky Derby has been at an all time high. Trask states, “When Nyquist won last year’s Derby, the attendance at the track was 167,227, the second-largest in history, and the total amount wagered ($192.6 million) was also the second-highest ever. Both records were set two years ago when 170,513 people witnessed eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, a race that prompted $194.3 million in wagers. predicts that $200 million will be wagered on this year’s race….. even though, overall, the horse racing industry is experiencing a steep decline.”

Trask also has some betting advice for this year’s Derby:

Avoid the far inside and outside posts – Since the 20-horse full field became the norm, it has made it extremely difficult for those horses to use early speed to get ahead of the pack, or to overcome hanging back and falling behind. Since  1964, only one horse has won at either the 1 or 20th positions. “Somewhere between 8 and 13 are probably the best spots to be.”

10 and 5 have been prosperous – The best starting post in Kentucky Derby history has been the 10, with 11.3% of the wins and coming in the money 30% of the time. The No. 5 post isn’t far behind, with a 10.3 winning percentage and coming in the money 23% of the time.

The “curse” of the 14 post – While horses breaking from the 13 post and out have won six of the last nine races, the 14 starting spot has been somewhat of a jinx, holding the longest current drought since producing a winner. For some reason, the last time a horse in the 14 block has won the Derby came way back in 1961.

Finally,  Longshots worth looking at – So, with Dempsey calling for the end of the favorites’ reign at the Derby, we asked if he had any longshots we could dive in on and “bet a little to win a lot.” He gave us three, keeping in mind that his opinion could change depending on the post position:

  1. J Boys Echo (33-to-1): Although he struggled in his final prep race with a fourth place at the Blue Grass in Kneeneland, he owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure earned this year by a Derby contender.
  2. Hence (22-to-1): Won the Sunland Derby, which produced recent Derby winners Mine That Bird, the horse that owns one of the biggest upsets in history by cashing a 50-to-1 ticket in 2009, and Firing Line, who ran second last year.
  3. Practical Joke (14-to-1): Trainer Chad Brown is one of the best in the business and won the Eclipse Award for top trainer in 2016. Practical Joke won two Grade 1 races as a juvenile and is lightly races so far this year with just two starts, including a place in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

BTW – A local plug for Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast (where, together you & Vito can make luck happen!).  A CT native with a Casino Podcast on the rise!  Today, he released his latest episode “How To Enjoy the Kentucky Derby.”  He’s a hoot, with guest Marco D’Angelo from 

The most exciting 2 minutes in horse racing takes place Saturday.  Where will you be to celebrate.  Later today, watch for NETimeGambling’s coverage of New England’s casino celebration of the Derby – Fancy Hats, Mint Juleps, and Roses, oh my!



Oxford Casino Sale a Positive Addition to Churchill Downs Shareholders

Oxford Casino at Night

Oxford Casino at Night

Shares of Churchill Downs (CHDN) rose a cumulative 4% in the first two trading sessions of the trading week. The diversified horse racing, casino and entertainment company, best known from the “Kentucky Derby”, announced the acquisition of Oxford Casino on Friday after the market close. Interestingly enough, Oxford Casino has only opened its operations in June of last year, so limited financial information has been available. The 25,000 square foot gaming floor holds 790 Class III slot machines and 22 table games, as well as a 140-seat restaurant, among others.

That’s all for now.