Plotting a Surgical Strike: How To Bet 2016 Kentucky Derby day

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

May 7th, 2016

This year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is one of the most challenging races I've handicapped. I'm confident in my top pick Exaggerator in terms of offering value in the win pool, and I think my other "A" selections--Gun Runner and Mor Spirit-- are the best threats to hit the board. How to best leverage that opinion is the question. 

If you take the "the Derby is just another race approach" then you maybe make a win bet, box your horses in an exacta and be done with it, but as a gambler the Derby attracts me. If my opinion that chaos will happen somewhere is correct then I can win a lot of money being right that one of my "A" picks will run well. That's a long winded way of saying I'll be wheeling my As up and down in the exacta. It's a $114 play that can pay generously if the bomb I didn't expect otherwise come in. Yeah, it's gambling, but that's why we're here.

As much as the Derby is for gambling, the rest of the card can be about making judicious plays, and I am beyond thrilled to be here live to cheer home Surgical Strike in race 9, the American Turf. I loved his races at Turfway. The Battaglia was a race he didn't have to win, and the Spiral showed he could handle the step up in class. At 15- or 20-to-1 hopefully I get a thrill with him rolling late.

The other horse I'm most excited to bet is #3 Allied Air Raid in race 5. He butted heads with some good ones last year, placing in graded stakes, and any of those races off the bench contends here, and we're getting a square price. He will figure prominently in trying to turn Tepin into even money.

Good luck everyone