Mucciolo: Playing exotics in the Kentucky Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 29th, 2021

With a full field of 20 horses scheduled to go postward in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, it might be worthwhile to spread your wagers out a bit, rather than get fixated on a single contender.

Numerous things can go wrong in the 1 1/4-mile race, where young thoroughbreds are running a distance they have never tried before, against the deepest field they may ever face.

Kentucky Derby Exotics Wagers

  • $2 exacta box: 7,10,14,19,20
  • $1 exacta: 19,20 with all
  • 50-cent trifecta: 19 with 7,10,14,20 with all
  • 50-cent trifecta: 7,10,14,20 with 19 with all
  • $1 superfecta: 19 with 14 with 7,10,20 with all
  • $1 superfecta: 14 with 19 with 7,10,20 with all

While the exacta might not provide the monumental score many chase during the Run for the Roses, it often returns a healthy amount, even when one of the top two finishers is well regarded. I am a fan of the exacta box in races with huge fields, and I don’t mind coupling five or six runners together, if it seems appropriate.

The horses I will focus on for the gimmicks include #7 Mandaloun (15-1), #10 Midnight Bourbon (20-1), #14 Essential Quality (2-1), top pick #19 Soup and Sandwich (30-1), and #20 Bourbonic (30-1). Combining those five is affordable, and if two longshots come in, the return can be especially rewarding.