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A Trip to Las Vegas to Place A Kentucky Derby Future Wager

2013 Kentucky Derby Logo

                Monday December 10, 2012 at 5:30 am my dream of getting to Las Vegas early enough in the Derby future betting process to possibly catch a winner at really good odds starts to feel real. My wife and I start the boarding process for a flight to Las Vegas for a week of relaxation and fun.

                Awhile back in the summer I caught an online article that talked about the opening odds for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Wynn Las Vegas that included a current list of horses and opening odds.  I tried to cut and paste the list but was not successful so I hand copied it on a legal pad. I read those names and odds several times. Ever since I learned of future odds for the Derby several years ago, I had really wanted to participate in a way other than through my ADW giant in February.  I’m not a life changing horseplayer, but I have for some reason done well handicapping the triple crown the last few years, and so sometime within a month (of finding the list) I brought up the idea of a December  trip to Las Vegas to my wife and she agreed to go (or we could go).

                Shortly after I recovered from my Breeders Cup hangover I brought the list of future horses back out and started what research I could find on them. I had to avoid getting caught up in the research on each and every one (approx 220 entries). I eliminated most of the Euro runners. I eliminated others based on a wide range of reasons all of which at this time of year can be wrong. And this isn’t really about pounding out a mostly impossible find, but for once maybe spread my futures pool around and see what happens. As I said early on, I have not done too badly in the last few Triple Crown race years and that is because I make myself stay open minded as late as possible. Last year at least until after the post draw for the Derby did I make my conclusions. My research went on for the last three weeks of November in my spare time. I took the week before the trip off to percolate my ideas and drew my conclusions late the night before the flight. I don’t take electronic devices with me to Las Vegas so I would be operating out of my Moleskin memo book and my stubby cheap Vegas sports book pencil.

                We arrived in Las Vegas on Monday 12/10/12. At the end of that day I’m sure both our necks were tired from looking around. I didn’t sprint down to Wynn right away. In fact I purchased a Daily Racing Form at the sports book in my hotel and placed some bets on Tuesday just to stay in shape, kind of like an easy 3 furlong workout a few days before the big day. The Form is always a treat for me since I live in a rural area and don’t have access to one regularly. I read it cover to cover and always bring one home just to pick up once in a while to remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to try and handicap Thoroughbred races.

 When my wife and I stay in Las Vegas the days sort of get muddled and it was Wednesday night that I decided I better get to Wynn and get the bets placed. I did want to make that last as long as possible though. On Wednesday it was raining lightly with a cool breeze which made the 20 minute walk a little less enjoyable. That was soon forgotten when we walked into the big casino. We drifted around until we found the sports book. Really not too hard to find with that big board glowing with all the upcoming action of Pro Football, College Football, and Pro Basketball taking up most of the board.  Ten years ago the big flat screen televisions would have left me agape but by now it is what we all seem comfortable with even at the level of billboard advertisement in southeastern Ohio where I live. I walked to the front of the book and started reading the unbelievable amount of sporting events I could place a bet on. Wynn has list after list of events behind a large glass enclosure to the left of the ticket makers. Under that enclosure there are many many more filing cubbies for even more events, not necessarily up to the minute. In one of these cubbies is where I found 2013 Kentucky Derby wagering futures! A four page list of approximately 224 possible entries with odds as of 12/8/12.

I took out my Moleskin memo book and thumbed through my top choices and found their names on the list. I looked at the odds of those and all the others. After some time my wife asked “why are we here again?” That is when I realized about 20 minutes had passed since I had set down next to her with the list. Really I didn’t want to just do this carelessly but neither did I want to complicate it. I handed her the list and told her to pick a couple if she wanted. Anything that made her palm itch or eye twitch, whatever horses she wanted.  I finally decided on my own choices and looked around still taking it all in when she nudged me and told me her choices. Now I made the walk to the counter and placed my bets on her choices and then mine. I handed her the slips with her horses on them and stuffed mine in my wallet. I took one last look over my shoulder and thought I really like this place.

We flew home the following Saturday. Mission accomplished. I did let my wife know how much I appreciated her company and her supporting my handicapping trip. She never asks how much am I wagering nor does she ask the question” where did this come from?” when I share a windfall from handicapping the horses. Later I placed the tickets in an envelope and put it aside in a safe place.

As I finish writing this I am watching closing day at Betfair Hollywood Park and I realize Santa Anita will be opening soon and it is time to start my marathon show parlay wagering to accumulate my bankroll for the Kentucky Derby.

Oh and just what were my choices for my futures bets? Well the top ones are #7307 Archwarrior at 35/1 (opened at 150/1).  #7346 Fortify at 65/1 (opened at 75/1). And Gulfport at 45/1 (opened at 150/1). I actually let the connections push me in that direction at this point in the process. I’m sure there are much more accomplished handicappers with endless opinions as to where I went wrong but that is what I have settled on. It is kind of like one of those nights when I go to the harness races and feel lost and overwhelmed with unjustifiable information to make a wager from.

Written by Ron Porter

 

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Older Comments about A Trip to Las Vegas to Place A Kentucky Derby Future Wager...

It was easier last few years with earnings. Id bet some horses that already made the cut, Delta Jack Pot winners, BC winners, Major states etc. Any horse that had $200K plus in earning was in the KD. This year 2/3 of the futures might not make it. I guess thats why the field was 3/2.
That's great. It's always fun to place future wagers and have extra reasons to follow certain horses. Good Luck! Now what about that marathon show parlay strategy? I'd like to hear more about that!
  • elvis · It pays to check around because each casino may offer different odds on the same horse. One year I had Smarty Jones at 50-1 odds. I usually pick ten horses between 25 to 50-1 odds. Last year, five of the ten I picked were in the race. Sorry to say, I didn't win though. · 556 days ago
By betting all 4 you'd only be getting 3-1 on the 3 shorter priced colts. Better to await attrition and the firming of your opinion. Have fun.
The future wager was a bit disappointing (for me at least!) The face of the wager with the 24 horses they gave will definitely change by March 2. We have the El Camino, The Southwest, The Risen Star, The Fountain of Youth and then The Gotham which is being run on the same day that pool 2 begins. If more people take advantage of pool 2 and bet the "newer" horses then the odds should get better for your horses. I placed a few bets in Pool 1 mainly because I can't help myself but my horses weren't listed and there was no way I was going with the "All Other" bet at close to even money!
I like, Itsmyluckyday (14-1), Flashback (15-1), Goldscents (15-1), and Uncaptured (57-1), all racing AFTER pool #2 opens/closes. Wouldnt you think waiting until pool #2 would pay more? If they dont run they cant really climb the board, what do you think?
Oops. My thought,
This is sad, I cant figure out how to make a new thread. So this will have to do. I need some expert advice! You guys will have to do. LOL. Topic = Future Wagers.
Thats terrific! I want so bad to do the same. Good luck on your picks!
some race books are palatial and others are an after thought

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