Kentucky Derby 143: My Picks

May 5, 2017

The field for the 143rd Kentucky Derby is set and as always all eyes of the sports world will be on Louisville, Kentucky for the first Saturday afternoon in May for the annual Run for the Roses.

As I’ve written about plenty already, the Kentucky Derby is a must-attend event. Whether you’re fortunate enough to make it to Churchill Downs or you’re having your own Derby party, it is a very festive day around the Bluegrass State and beyond.

Wagering on the race always makes it fun. For some of you beginners, here is a helpful list of some horse racing betting basics to help get you started.

If you choose to bet some exotics wagers (Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta etc.), this is the day to do it as the prices are generally high given the fact the field is as large as you’ll see with 20 horses breaking from the starting gate. In addition, this year’s crop of three year olds is deep and the field is pretty even.

There are easily 10-12 horses in this field which have a legitimate chance to win this race. With so many horses breaking from the gate, anything can happen. Things have to break right for your horse to cross the finish line first more so than any other race.

I do favor (No. 5) Always Dreaming slightly over a few others. The Florida Derby winner is always a horse I eye and usually include in my exotics and it has paid off historically for me. This year the prep race’s winner is even more appealing.

The next three horses I like are in this order (No. 17) Irish War Cry, (No. 10) Gunnevera and (No. 8) Hence. My exotics will key these around these horses.

I like doing a Tri-Wheel each year that keys a few horses on top with about half the field on the bottom in third place.

I have posted this Tri-wheel on every year since I launched the website in 2003. It has hit five times in those 14 years, including in each of the last two years. During that span the average $1 Tri paid $6772.70. My two best hits came in 2003 (Funny Cide) and 2010 (Super Saver).

In addition to my Tri wheel, I’ve picked the winner seven times in 14 years and had the exacta six times as well.

Let’s see if we can add to the winnings in 2017. Here are my picks:

$10WP – #5 Always Dreaming (total $20)

$2 EX Box – #1, #8, #10, #17 (total $24 – you can drop to $1 EX box and only pay $12 for bet)

$1 Tri Wheel
(total $120 – you can drop to down to $0.50 Tri wheel and only pay $60)

#5 Always Dreaming / #10 Gunnevera / #17 Irish War Cry with…

#5 Always Dreaming / #8 Hence / #10 Gunnevera / #11 Battle of Midway / #13 J Boys Echo / #17 Irish War Cry with…

#1 Lookin at Lee / #5 Always Dreaming / #6 State of Honor / #8 Hence / #10 Gunnevera / #11 Battle of Midway / #13 J Boys Echo / #15 McCracken / #16 Tapwrit / #17 Irish War Cry.


(from my favorite horse racing guru friend @RyanWolking)

I asked him if somebody had only $20 to bet on the race, based off the horses he likes what he recommended as the “best bang-for-your-buck” bet. He gave me this:

$1 EX Box
#1 Lookin at Lee / #8 Hence / #10 Gunnevera / #15 McCracken / #16 Tapwrit

Follow more of my Derby day action on Twitter @DanClasgens.

2 comments on “Kentucky Derby 143: My Picks

  1. Larry Creech May 7, 2017

    You left the 1 out of second that sucked. Why wasn’t the #5 in your exacta mix? I had five across on Always Dreaming

    • Actually I the #1 was in my listed exacta as a typo, I meant for that to be the #5. Either way I would lost. I loved Lookin at Lee until he drew the No. 1 hole. Then I backed off a bit. So close to a big hit though.