2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders

The Race for the Roses 

This year’s Kentucky Derby, Run for the Roses, held at Churchill Downs will be held on May 6th. The race is one and one quarter mile on a dirt track. When you think of the Kentucky Derby, you may think of ladies in fancy dresses and big hats, men in suits and a beautiful warm day with big fluffy clouds in the a blue sky. You can feel the excitement in the air. The noise and the smell of horses are all around you. As the time nears for the start of the race, bets have been placed on the expert predictions, everyone begins to find their seats and settle in. The shot is fired and they’re off!

So, who are these horses? These three-year-old thoroughbreds are some of the finest specimens of their kind. The horses are bred for speed and endurance. They come from a long line of Thoroughbreds. Now if you were going to place a bet on a horse these are some of the best bets for 2017. These horses are in the top four as the favorite to win: Classic Empire, Practical Joke, Three Rules and Looking at Lee, but remember when placing your bet, there is also always the long shot.

You just can’t sign up to race your horse at the Kentucky Derby. The horse has to earn his spot here. This is done by a tiered point system in selected races. The twenty horses with the highest points earns a spot at the starting gate. These horses will travel across the country and around the world to race. Points are only awarded to the first four finishers in each race.

Classic Empire is a bay colt with a star, strip and snip, along with one sock on the left leg. The colts’ sire is American Pharoah and dam is Sambuca Classica. American Pharoah is a Triple Crown Winner and Sambuca Classica has previously produced three winning foals. Classic Empire is known for high cruising speed, is extremely smart and tends to see things other horses don’t. On January 21, 2017 he was named American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse.

Practical Joke is a bay horse with only a star, no other white markings. He is the fifth foal by Into Mischief and the fourth of the stakes place mare Halo Humor. He finished third at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile behind Classic Empire and Not This Time. Though Not This Time was a 2017 contender for the Kentucky Derby, he was retired because of an injury.

Three Rules is a dark bay horse. Was bred in Florida by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds Inc. He is bred from Gone Astray and Joy Rules. This is a horse that is improving with age. He has a beautiful stride. As a two-year old he won five races in a row.

Looking At Lee was bred in Kentucky by L and N Racing LLC. Looking At Lee’s sire is Lookin At Lucky and his Dam is Langara Lass. This is a powerful horse who starts off easy, gets it going , then takes off.

The race is over, the blanket of roses has been placed over the winner, but now what. The Kentucky Derby is only the first leg for the Triple Crown Winner. To become a Triple Crown Winner the horse must place first in: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and finally the Belmont Stakes. There have only been twelve horses to earn this title since 1919. The last horse to earn this title was American Pharoah-the Sire of Classic Empire.

How Horses Qualify for the Kentucky Derby

Ever wonder how horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby?
This race, famously dubbed “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” will have its 143rd running in May of 2017. Saturday, May 6 will be race day at the famous Churchill downs, named after John and Henry Churchill who provided the land the track sits on.

What kind of horses can race the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and is a mile and a fourth long. Horses are between 121 and 126 pounds (fillies are 121 and colts and geldings 126).

All horses in the Kentucky Derby must be a direct descendant of one of three stallions, Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian or Byerly Turk. These thoroughbreds are usually gray, black or brown in color and stand over 15 hands high. They have long necks, a well-defined head, and a short back. They usually possess a lean body and long legs.

All horses must be three-year-old thoroughbred horses leveled at Grade I, at the top of their class and with enough Group I winnings in past races to ensure the horse is actually fit for the race’s level.

How do horses qualify for the Derby?
For the past five years, the points system named The Road to the Kentucky Derby has been used to qualify thoroughbreds. This points system was created in 2012 to provide an easily understood path for the first part of Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown (or The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing) is a prestigious award for the three-year-old thoroughbred that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

The 2016- 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby contains 35 stakes races for the 3-year-old thoroughbreds. These 35 races are split into two different parts, the Kentucky Derby Prep Season and then the Kentucky Derby Championship Series.

The Kentucky Derby Prep Season features around 19 races and distances of about a mile or more. Usually, races are on dirt turf or synthetic tracks. Top finishers are awarded a sliding scale of points.

After the Prep Season finishes there are 16 premiere events that will make up the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. These 16 events occur over the 10 weeks that precede the first Saturday in May. These races are on dirt or synthetic surfaces only.
The points awarded to the top-finishing horses in these races receive much higher points than the Prep Season points.
The final race is considered a “wild card” race for horses to receive a few extra points. Non-restricted stakes races will break any tiebreakers.

Earning top points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby isn’t all that is required to race. There are several monetary fees required to participate in the Derby. Starter fees, nomination fees, and entry fees are all required to start in the Derby.

Only 20 horses will be lucky enough to be entered for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY. Winners of the 2017 Kentucky Derby are guaranteed a $2 million sum.

How to Bet on Horses

May you are wondering what is horse racing? Horse Racing can be a very rewarding sport if you do it right. It is when two or more jockeys ride in distance to see who has the fastest horse. In this game, you need to win more than you lose to come out with a profit.

Flat Racing

First, you need to know all the different types of horse racing there is. Flat racing is when the horses are running at a predetermined distance, running from 440 yards to up to 2 1/2 miles. This type of race will determine how fast they are and how much stamina they have. If you pay closely to these type of races, there will always be a consistent winner and a consistent loser. By studying the best horse will give you the best odds in these types of races.

Jump Racing

Jump racing is another form of racing. This type of racing involves horses jumping over large fences. This race is to test the horse ability to lift their body weight over obstacles; including the jockey’s weight.The bigger the course; the easier it is to identify how strong your horse is. Steeplechasing and hurdling are two forms of jump racing. It is best to pick the oldest horse when you pick your horse.

Endurance Racing

Endurance racing stands to be the most recognized type of race. In endurance racing, horses are measured by how much they can run at a set time. The first horse that crosses the finish line is the winner.Evaluate previous games;it will increase your chances of winning your bets. The longer the horses run, the stronger they are. Make sure they are healthy because it is the most important factor in horse betting.

How To Bet On Horses

With the knowledge of all the types of races there are, now you need to know how to bet on races. In horse racing you have to bet wagers, there are two types of wagers. Straight wagers and exotic wagers are the best ways to place bets. With a straight wager, you can only bet on one horse. You have 5 different ways to place this bet.
• Win – If your horse comes in first place you win
• Place- Your bet is your horse comes in first or second place
• Show- Bet your horse comes in first, second, or third place
• Across the board- You are betting your horse will win, place, and show
• Win/Place, Place/Show- You bet your horse to win and place, if horses come in second place then you only win the place bet. In a place/show you bet first, second and third place.

Exotic wagers have 4 different ways to place a bet.
• Exacta- Betting on two horses to come in first and second
• Quinella-Bet two horses to come in first and second in any order
• Trifecta-You bet three horses come in first, second, and third place in order
• Superfecta- You bet that four horses will come in first, second, third, and forth place in order

Now it’s time to place your bets. Go up to the teller and give them the racetrack number. Tell them the amount of your bet and the type of bet you are placing. Lastly give them the horse’s program number. It’s really not that hard to place bets in racing, so be sure to follow all steps to get the most successful outcome. Happy betting to you.