Yesterday was Derby day, Kentucky Derby day, and an hour before post time, my husband and I settled down in front of our TV to place our imaginary bets on which horse would win the 141st running of this iconic event. Having been introduced to Turf Magazine and the Daily Racing Form at the tender age of eleven (thanks to my older brother Richard), I have a bit of an edge on my hubby when it comes to picking winners. He bases his choices on the horses' names and/or the colors of the jockeys' silks. I, on the other hand, consider a horse's pedigree, general track record, and past performance against competing horses, and then combine those facts with the jockey's winning record to make my picks.
If you read my last blog, you'll know that back in April I was rooting for Dortmund to win the Derby. But after watching films of two of his recent races, I backed off the Dortmund bandwagon and began thinking American Pharoah (pictured above) was the horse who could sweep the field of nineteen at Churchill Downs. When it came time to share my first through third place picks with Fred, I listed American Pharoah to win, Firing Line to place, and Dortmund to show. Based on the rider's red, white, and blue silks, Fred picked Dortmund to win. With Dortmund breaking from the 8th post position, Fred decided to pick the horses in the 9th and 10th post positions as his 2nd and 3rd place choices. Those two horses were Bolo and Firing Line. Just for the fun of it, we decided we'd each pick a horse to come in fourth to see if we could win the superfecta, which is where you bet on the exact order of the first four horses to cross the finish line. I picked Frosted and Fred picked Carpe Diem.
How I wish our bets had been for real and not just a fun way to enjoy the race together. If I'd placed a $1 superfecta bet on American Pharoah, Firing Line, Dortmund, and Frosted, I'd have won $634. That's right -- those four crossed the finish line in the exact order that I'd picked them.
Fred and I generally go to the races only once every summer, and I have to tell you, I have never, ever been so lucky when placing a real bet at the racetrack as I was yesterday when I made my non-paying Derby choices. Could I ever do that again? Probably not, but it's fun to know it worked out on paper, even if I don't have the winnings to show it. :)