The 2014 Kentucky Derby is on its way, and fans who want to bet online will find plenty of outlets to make their picks as well as some expert help with the horses most likely to win “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”
This Saturday will be the 140th running of the derby, which is the biggest and most popular leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. While part of the popularity lies in the tradition of the track itself, with its giant-hat-wearing fans and mint juleps, for millions of others who watch the race at home the most fun lies in the betting.
Folks who want to bet on the 2014 Kentuck Derby online will have plenty of outlets, but may also wonder just whether it’s legal to bet online.
The answer is a big maybe. While the United States has cracked down on online gambling and online gambling across state lines is illegal, horse racing has remained almost universally exempt.
“It’s certainly closer to legal. Anything associated with horse racing tends to be legal,” said Joseph Kelly, professor of business law at SUNY College at Buffalo and co-editor of the Gaming Law Review.
The most important thing to consider when betting online, Kelly said, is that the site has the funds and intention to pay out winners.
In its review of online gambling sites, PC Mag found that the Kentucky-based TwinSpires appears to be a good pick. The site is actually owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, and the Kentucky Derby even places a link for it on its official site.
So now that you know where to bet on the 2014 Kentucky Derby, it’s time to check out the contenders.
The field for the 2014 Kentucky Derby has a clear-cut favorite in California Chrome, who as of Friday was listed at 5-2 odds. Wicked Strong, Hoppertunity, and Intense Holiday are also considered solid contenders.
The Kentucky Derby actually surveyed experts and compiled a power ranking of horses, which reads:
- California Chrome
- Intense Holiday & Ride On Curlin (t)
- Wicked Strong & Candy Boy (t)
There are other expert picks for those who want to make the 2014 Kentucky Derby a little more interesting. Seth Merrow, publisher of Equidaily.com and handicapper for Capitol OTB, offers a way to make a non-traditional bet with a good chance of a strong payout.
“I’m going for a replay of the strategy I touted in this space last year: the seven-horse exacta box. Again, it’s not a bet that makes sense on an everyday basis, but in the Derby, with its unique 20-horse field, the exacta box can offer fun, excitement, and value.
“At the $1 bet increment, a seven-horse exacta box will cost $42, and we win if any of our seven horses come in the top two.
“And the Derby exacta payouts over the last five years have been (at the $2 increment): $981.60, $306.60, $329.80, $152.40 and $2074.80.”
Merrow even offered his suggestion of what horses to throw into the mix: Intense Holiday, California Chrome, Wicked Strong, Danza, Tapiture, Wildcat Red, and Samraat.