Happy Horseplayer – April

We are weeks away from the beautiful roses, swirling humanity and thundering hooves. Yep, it’s almost Derby time!

As we get closer there is nothing better than taking stock in our handicapping checklist. The Happy Horseplayer wants to share his many years of handicapping to make your Oaks and Derby a winner.


1. – Don’t bet over your head just because it says G2 or G1.

2.- Stick to your bankroll amounts

3.- Start reading; The Downey Report, The Paulick Report, The Bloodhorse, and Equidaily.- Keep a close eye on barn notes from the Churchill Downs site.

4. – The final two weeks you should pay close attention to final works and how they come back.

5. – Know the racing menu – Which races offer a guaranteed pick-three or pick-four.

6. If you don’t play a pick-six, don’t start on the toughest day of the year.

7. The real value is found in the Derby exacta pool – Make sure you make a nice $1 exacta on the longshots you love.

8. – Don’t be afraid to make a solid place or show wager – (8-1) for the place and (20-1) for the show will pay much more than you ever thought.

9. – Sing “My Old Kentucky Home,” have a julep or two, and sport a Derby hat. – Go ahead and get in the mood of the day. – In the famous words of Irvin S. Cobb: Until you go to Kentucky and with your own eyes behold the Derby, you ain’t never been nowhere and you ain’t seen nothing.”