Reminders When Betting the Derby

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 11, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Reminders When Betting the Derby

On the first Saturday in May, everyone is a horse racing fan. Some wager, many watch, and even more do both. As a reminder, keep these tools in your arsenal. – At the time of this blog there are only 21 days until post time. Best of luck from Winning Ponies!


Forget trying to use the “last year angle” as a must for wagering. – That meaning you play a horse that won a prep that produced the 2020 winner. – That is in the history books and a new race awaits with fresh runners. You need to keep an open mind taking into account all of the facts. So, toss out this little habit and you’ll thank yourself after the race. After all, that prep may have been one-sided, and other important preps took place earlier in the year. Just take it all in and don’t wager off of last year’s playbook.


If there has been a late equipment change in the last race or two. Go ahead and toss this runner. – The trainer may be reaching to find the answer to a bigger problem with an equipment change. – The only change to this plan is if the horse ran a couple “lights out” efforts that sizzle the field. – For me, I’ve found this not to be the case. They have had plenty of time to find what works best for their runner. That last-minute adjustment is a wild guess trying to fix what isn’t working.


Look at each Derby as a new race. Toss out facts about how many geldings have won, and the few fillies who wore the roses. We see some runnings that are incredible and others a bit lackluster. Just take it all in and weigh out the facts. Each year is a new race and you would be cutting yourself short by not taking everything into account.


Play runners who have raced in 2020 and 2021. This is a horse with a solid foundation to improve. – Don’t be sold on one very quick work. “Morning Glory” runners can have a big work over the track and the past performances have been average. – I like to see runners who have had around four to five races. Each horse has so many races in the tank and don’t get caught up in the colt who has ten starts taking three starts just to break his maiden. – Look for efforts where they may have been closing late to finish a solid third or fourth. Look for a good work following as this is a sign of a horse on the improve. Most of the time you’ll get a square price when he goes to post. – Toss out any runners who have not run a 1 1/8 in their last race as they are going 1 1/4. – If there was a problem event in their last effort, keep this in mind if they recovered to finish up strong. – Use G1 or G2 runners for their last race. The field will all be bringing their “A” game and you don’t want to be outclassed when they turn for home. – If a trainer is making a switch to a high percentage rider off the last race win. Pay attention. They are looking for a jockey who has been there before and doesn’t make many mistakes on the big stage. – Keep up and do your homework. With 21 days until we hear “My Old Kentucky Home,” you need to read up daily on horses and how they are doing moving forward. It never fails. There will be a late defection, and a horse showing sharp works like he has never done before. Take it with a grain of salt and pay attention. – Don’t buy into the “post position” jinx about which gates offer a better chance. Many won’t play the #1 post and steer clear about the outside posts. Just keep an open mind.

Each year Winning Ponies has been your one-stop shop for all things Derby. They are ultra-effective year-round but really shine on the marquee days. An easy-to-use color-coded tier system that can be used by the first-time player or a seasoned professional. It allows you to see how the race will take shape and make your day a winner. – Be sure to tune into the “Winning Ponies Internet Show” every Thursday, or catch it on the podcast at your leisure. John Engelhardt will be talking with the best handicappers in racing bringing you the inside scoop. – Check back these next few weeks for blogs, updates, and free selections. Nothing like building your bankroll leading up to the big day and there’s no better time than now! – So, what are ya waiting for? – It’s almost post time!