So after the weeks and weeks of prep races, top 10 lists, and whatever else we all do to prepare for the Derby, we come to the point where it's time to make final selections. We might be able to make a case for all the horses in the field, but we can't bet them all (at least if we want to actually win some money).
There are two ways that I will try an attack tomorrow's Derby. The first will be through the Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools and the second is through win and exotic bets on the Derby itself.
I've come down to the following horses as my top 5 based on potential value on the board, pace, etc:
1-Lookin At Lucky
If the odds board were to change drastically before the race tomorrow, my Top 5 will probably shift. The early betting for the Derby opened this morning and Super Saver was bet from 15/1 on the ML to 7/1, while Lucky drifted up to 8/1 and Sidney's Candy drifted to 11/1. There's not a ton a money in the win pool so these odds will probably change a lot before the race, but if they don't, my top 5 would change. I like Super Saver at 15/1 but 7/1 isn't a number I like as much. One the other hand, if Lucky were to go off at 8/1, I'd be very tempted to play him to win, even with the bad post. I have him at 5/1 on my line so that would represent nice value.
While I think the pace is going to be fast, I don't know how many are going to really gun to the lead. I expect Conveyance and Line of David to be in front heading into the first turn but I won't be surprised at all if Joe Talamo is content to tuck Sidney's Candy right behind those two (if he can get over). Of course, with a 20 horse field somebody is going to either break poorly from the gate or get squeezed at the start, it's just a matter of who. Looking at past races, the filly 11-Devil May Care has had several times where she didn't go into or come out of the gate in an orderly fashion. She can't afford to do that tomorrow.
I'm going to use all of my top five horses in my Pick 4 plus 20-Sidney's Candy and 6-Stately Victory, which will make me potentially seven deep. I haven't finished sketching out my Pick 4 as I want to see how the track plays early on, but my plan is to use those seven.
My Pick 3 play will be sort of a coverage bet for the Pick 4 and will likely contain only 3-Noble's Promise, 10-Paddy O'Prado, 12-Conveyance, and 14-Mission Impazible.
If it turns out sloppy tomorrow (and it certainly looks like that is going to be that case), I'll be even more behind Super Saver as I think his speed would be a huge asset in the off going (unless we get a muddy/tiring track).
I'm going to keep my Derby specific bets pretty simple, probably something like below for an exacta play and playing the top combination a couple of more times than the bottom:
4-16 w 1-2-4-6-10-17-16 = 12 combinations
1-2-4-6-10-16-17 w 4-16 = 12 combinations
And then either a single trifecta or superfecta play keying my top selection in the 1 spot:
16 w 1-2-4-17 w 1-2-3-4-6-10-12-14-17-20 = 32 combinations
I probably won't go as deep in the last two legs if I play the super ticket, just to keep the costs from getting out of control. If it comes up wet, I'll swap out Awesome Act for Super Saver in the top position.
So, enough about who I like, how do you plan to play the Derby?