$1-million SHOWdown Returns With More Ways To Win

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Ed DeRosa

February 5th, 2015

The return of SHOWdown is always a big deal here at HQ, but nothing would be a bigger deal than seeing Director of Marketing Lucky Kalanges with the blanket of roses in one hand and a $1-million novelty check in the other for the player who successfully picked a horse to show in 19 prep races plus the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

Of course, successfully picking 20 consecutive show horses is easier said than done—especially since the races are defined by the Road To the Kentucky Derby schedule. Sure, there are likely to be a few gimmies along the way, but for the most part an average strike rate of 62.5% for a show bet is about right.

In racing terms, a 62.5% probability is 3-to-5 odds. The chance that something with a 62.5% probability would happen 20 times in a row is 12,089-to-1. Showdown costs $20 to play, so at least you know the $1-million prize (plus your weekly winnings plus your 19 shares in the $10,000 consolation pool) is an overlay!

For those who see picking a horse to show as a coin flip (i.e., 1-to-1 or even money) the waters get deeper in a hurry, as 20 heads (or tails) in a row is 1,048,576-to-1, but even at those long odds for 1 person, that means there is a 1% chance that at least one out of 10,000 people could do it.

So how do you get to be that one person? The goal absolutely has to be to survive and advance. Value as we normally discuss in racing has no place in figuring out how to get to the $1-million. Even if you’re betting into a minus show pool, you should always select the horse you think is most likely to show.

As a bonus to our social media users, is offering separate contests on both Facebook & Twitter and giving away more than $2,000 in additional prizes! For more information on these contests, click here.

If you’re out of the $1-million hunt, then you can adjust accordingly and maybe take some shots against a favorite you think is vulnerable. There is a $10,000 prize pool up for grabs for anyone who correctly picks a show horse in the Kentucky Derby. You get one share for every correct prep race, and the $10,000 is split among all the shares that get vested by getting the Derby correct with a $20 show wager on that race.

But that thought is moot for this weekend because everyone is alive for the $1-million going into the Withers Stakes at 4:13 p.m. ET on Saturday at Aqueduct, and if (when!) you survive that race, you’ll have to run it right back about an hour later in the Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park (links goes to free Ultimate Past Performances with comments).

Good luck this weekend, and don’t forget: After you put in your $20 show bets on, be sure to tell us on Facebook and Twitter who ya got!