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2014 Kentucky Derby: My Futures are Not So Bright

For the most part I am a pretty good handicapper. I can pick winners now and then. I understand my strengths and weaknesses as a handicapper and thus I have started to focus on certain wagers and with that I have tried to improve the ways that I construct my tickets. As a result I am off to my best year ever having already cashed three nice sized horizontal wagers, when in 2013 I did not collect a single “signer”.
I am also like a lot of handicappers in that I enjoy having the action that goes with betting and that is why I make Kentucky Derby Futures wagers. I don’t bet very much because I recognize the difficulty of cashing one of these bets, but I try, because it is fun.
This year I made a total of $34 early Derby bets and at this time it is clear that my futures are not so bright, since I have only $14 worth of tickets that are alive. The good news is that if I get lucky and cash any of those bets I will turn a profit.
For the 2014 Derby, Pool 1 ran at the end of November during the 2013 two year-old season. Since it now looks like Cairo Prince will make the field I still have a 26-1 wager that is alive. However, I have torn up my ticket on Honor Code.
Pool 2 closed on February 8, just before the running of the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita. Here I made 8 different win bets for a total of $22. Still alive is a $2 bet at 32-1 on Candy Boy, which was a good wager at the time because he did win the Lewis, and two bucks at 69-1 on Intense Holiday. I like this bet because I like the running style of Intense Holiday even though he fell short in the Louisiana.
Tear up Pool 2 win tickets on: Commissioner, Havana, Matterhorn, Strong Mandate, Tonalist, and Top Billing.
I did not make any wagers in Pool 3, which closed on March 1, just before the Gotham. This should show that I am not completely lacking in discipline as a bettor.
Pool 4 ended on March 29 before the horses ran in the Florida and Louisiana Derbies. With the Derby prep races basically complete, 16 of the 23 Pool 4 horses have enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field. Four horses [Dance With Fate, Wicked Strong, Danza, and Medal Count] that were in the Pool 4 mutuel field have made it into the Derby starting gate.
In Pool 4 I made $1 exacta boxes: Cairo Prince, Candy Boy, Hoppertunity, and Intense Holiday with the mutuel field. I lucked out here and got my current top Derby selection of Wicked Strong in that field. The $1 exacta payouts range from $71.30 to $189.90.
Here is my $14 worth of live Futures bets.
$2 win: Cairo Prince (Pool 1) = $54
$2 win: Candy Boy (Pool 2) = $66
$2 win: Intense Holiday (Pool 2) = $140
$1 exacta (Pool 4): Cairo Prince/field = $71.30
$1 exacta (Pool 4): field/Cairo Prince = $69.90
$1 exacta (Pool 4): Candy Boy/field = $151.40
$1 exacta (Pool 4): field/Candy Boy = $132.00
$1 exacta (Pool 4): Hoppertunity/field = $120.20
$1 exacta (Pool 4): field/Hoppertunity = $106.40
$1 exacta (Pool 4): Intense Holiday/field = $189.90
$1 exacta (Pool 4): field/Intense Holiday = $152.10
Considering that I usually do not bet on Derby day, I may still have some wagers for which to root. Clearly the outlook is not bright, but if somehow Intense Holiday wins and a field horse like Wicked Strong runs second I would have a pretty good day. Regardless I have probably gotten $34 worth of fun and two Horse Racing Nation blogs from the 2014 Kentucky Derby Futures Wager. 


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Older Comments about 2014 Kentucky Derby: My Futures are Not So Bright...

I hit the future exacta last yr with orb over field. futures r tough. unless you can go to vegas and get 200-1 on horse, its tough
Good luck to you, Roses4U!
I like your win bet on intense holiday- Todd's best shot
I find pool 3 to be the only pool worth betting and then only the exacta. The field comprises 10 in the derby at this time and I wheeled it with 4 others. Noble Moon is out but the other 3 are in.
Nothing huge there, Matt, but you still might come out ahead, and ... that $34 did buy you a whole bunch of fun. Good luck!

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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