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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Trinniberg: A Case Study in Longshot Betting

5/2/2012

By Dick Downey

Here's the question. What will be Trinniberg's odds at post time of the Kentucky Derby? You might be surprised at what bettors have done with longshots the last two years.

Trinniberg enters the Kentucky Derby without ever having raced two turns or beyond seven furlongs. Yet people will make win bets on him.

Some will do so because they don't know any better, and some will do so despite what they know. Others simply get Derby fever and do inexplicable things. But two things are for sure. Trinniberg deserves really high odds, and the winner won't be revealed until the race is run. Just about anything can happen -- and sometimes does.

Win betting on the Derby has changed a lot during the last couple of years.  
Consider the odds on these longshots in 2007. Sedgefield was 58-1, Teuflesberg was 51-1 and Bwana Bull was 50-1. In 2008, when Big Brown was the favorite, Z Humor was 63-1, Anak Nakal was 53-1 and Recapturetheglory was 49-1.

Mine That Bird won at 50-1 in 2009, paying $103.20, but he wasn't the longest horse in the field. That dubious distinction belonged to Atomic Rain at 55-1. Join in the Dance was 51-1; Advice was 49-1 and Flying Private was 46-1.

But Mine That Bird's longshot win has changed all that and led to a frenzy of longshot betting.

In 2010, the highest odds horse in the Kentucky Derby was Discreetly MIne at 31-1, and Make Music for me was next at 30-1. In 2011 it was Decisive Moment at 39-1, with Derby Kitten next at 36-1. Perhaps the trend will creep up this year, but if Trinniberg deserves to be 125-1, or 500-1 for that matter, you better bet his odds won't be as high as he deserves based on his past performances.

The net result of this is that horses with quality past performances at two turn have inflated odds the last couple of years. In 2010, the favorite was 6-1, and the second choice, winner Super Saver, was 8-1. The third choice at post time was 9-1.

Last year, the Derby favorite was 5-1; Nehro and Pants On Fire were co-second choices at 8-1; and next in line were Mucho Macho Man and Midnight Interlude at 9-1.

The bottom line is that if you like quality horses with quality past performances, this is a good time to get quality odds on them in the Kentucky Derby.

 

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