From HRI Foreign Desk — Another calendar year has started, which means the start of a new Triple Crown series is upon us. The racing action in the United States gets underway with the illustrious Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs, before the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes follow in the weeks after.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest betting races of the year in the US, with beginners’ often looking to place a wager to get involved in the action. You can find horse racing results summary by TwinSpires from past derbies here.
However, what are the key steps that all beginners must take into account before making a wager on the famous race this year?
Stay Up To Date With News
Unlike other editions of the Kentucky Derby, there will be as much attention with what’s going on off the course, as well as on it in the build up to the Triple Crown opener. At present, seven-time winning trainer, Bob Baffert is unable to enter any horses in the race due to the punishment handed out by Churchill Downs after the failed test recorded by last year’s winner Medina Spirit.
The Hall of Famer is still continuing to attempt to get the decision overturned, but at present there will be no runner from the Baffert yard this year. Staying on top of the latest developments is crucial to gamblers, as they will want to avoid betting on Baffert’s horses if there is no chance that he can win the race.
Follow Prep Races
The Kentucky Derby field is decided over the course of six months in the build-up to the big race, with 42 prep events being staged around the world. Qualifying points are earned by horses that finish in the top places, with races such as the Jeff Rub, Blue Grass and Wood Memorial Stakes all offering the most points for the winner. Prep races aren’t just held in the US either, as there are qualifying points up for grabs in races in Japan, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The most successful prep race has been the Florida Derby, with 15 winners of the race going onto to win the Kentucky Derby. In recent seasons, the Santa Anita Derby has been a successful prep, with three winners competing in this race in the past four years.
Despite being among the most prestigious prep races on the calendar, the Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial have both failed to produce a winner of the Kentucky Derby in ten years.
Check The Odds
Many of the leading sportsbooks available online will offer an ante-post Kentucky Derby betting market. That means that bets can be placed on the race up to 12 months before it gets under way. Regularly checking the odds available is essential in helping finding the best value for the Triple Crown race, and ensure that you can get the best odds possible on the selection that you wish to make in the race. Odds can change regularly, but they are most likely to alter following a big victory for one of the leading contenders in a prep race.
Find The Best Sportsbook
As well as finding the best odds to make your selection, newcomers to betting should also shop around and find the best sportsbook to make their Kentucky Derby wager. This includes looking at the welcome bonuses available, as some sportsbooks will offer free bets after making a qualifying deposit or bet.
Furthermore, bettors should ensure that they find a horse racing-leading sportsbook to bet on the Kentucky Derby, as these will offer extra places on the big race, which means that you could get paid out on each-way or place bets on up to six places rather than the typical three.