Vic Zast

From the perspective of being an owner, an industry pioneer in corporate sponsorship, a track president and fan, Vic Zast writes the "Destinations" column for The Blood-Horse. His five-star ratings of international events have shed light on racing in all corners of the globe - from England, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai to Japan.

Vic is a regular contributor to MSNBC.com, a columnist for the Illinois Racing News and has written on racing for ESPN.com, National Public radio and The Age, Australia's leading daily.

Vic makes his home in Chicago and lives in Saratoga Springs in August.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010


Records Broken, Odds Gone Crazy


(CHURCHILL DOWNS, LOUISVILLE, KY – May 1, 2010, 9:15 am) People in Louisville greet each other on the first Saturday in May by saying, “Happy Derby.” The salutation is shared in the same manner as “Happy Birthday” or Merry Christmas.” That’s why when the weather becomes so sobering it’s a real letdown. Maybe the day will improve in the afternoon to bring smiles to the faces.

The ideal weather, a clever promotional tie-in with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund, a popular horse in Blind Luck and the appearance of Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne created a situation that caused Churchill Downs to break several records. All-sources wagering on the Oaks was up 55 percent and all-sources wagering on the entire card was up 20 percent. Attendance was 116,046, more than 11 percent than last year.

It appears betting will be strong on the Derby, too. The 136th running appears to be a race that no horse can win. When the two favorites drew inside and outside, they immediately lost support. Now the complicating factor of the rain will cause all sorts of other craziness.

Super Saver remains the betting favorite at 7-1. Lookin at Lucky, undoubtedly the Derby’s most accomplished performer, has inched up to 9-1. Devil May Care is only two points better at 11-1, the same that you’d get for Sidney’s candy if the race went off now.

Click on 'Continue Reading' or the blog title to view a Video from Vic at the Derby.




Written by Vic Zast

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