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Kentucky Derby Betting Should Revolve Around Four Horses

After a tough 2020 Triple Crown Season where thoroughbred racing ran the Belmont Stakes before the Kentucky Derby, the top trainers, owners, and three-year-old horses in the world are back at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. PPH sportsbook agents should expect plenty of 2021 Kentucky Derby betting action for the May event.

2020 was tough on every sport. Thoroughbred racing was no exception. Like Fonner Park in Nebraska and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma, some tracks increased horse racing betting handle because they were the only open racing venues.

But the more prominent racetracks, like Belmont Park in New York, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Santa Anita Park in California, and Churchill Downs in Kentucky, struggled. Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, saw an $85 million drop in handle. 

Thoroughbred racing analysts assign the entire drop to running the 146th Kentucky Derby on September 5 instead of May 2. In 2021, the Twin Spires racetrack will run the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown on its traditional day, the first Saturday in May. 

The thoroughbred industry, Churchill Downs, and every horseplayer on the planet are happy that the Derby returns to its regular day. Pay per head agents that offer free betting software should also be satisfied that the Derby is back on the earliest Saturday in May.

Moving the Derby to September caused most bookie agents to lose out on horse bet revenue. A typical Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown is the best possible news for oddsmaking agents.  

Pay attention to the action on the following four Kentucky Derby contenders

The Run for the Roses is the single thoroughbred event that attracts everyone’s attention. Even gamblers who shun racetracks place a few bucks on the horse they believe will win the Kentucky Derby. 

Betting on the Kentucky Derby broke records in 2019. Kentucky Derby betting on the 2021 race could break the 2019 record handle. 

After the Derby draw, four horses have emerged as horseplayers’ top choices. Racebook agents should see the majority of bets on the following equines.   

Essential Quality

The Godolphin owned and Brad Cox trained runner is undefeated after five starts. Essential Quality won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This year, the Tapit sired colt took the Grade 3 Rebel and the Grade 2 Blue Grass. 

The 2-to-1 morning line Kentucky Derby odds will turn off plenty of horseplayers. But just as many believe Essential Quality is the best Triple Crown prospect since Justify took the TC in 2018. 

Rock Your World

Rock Your World will have to buck history if he hopes to win the Kentucky Derby. Most Derby winners show more than three races in their past performances.

If any horse appears capable of winning the one mile and a quarter Run for the Roses after only three races, it’s Rock Your World. The John Sadler trained runner loves to race, which is why he’s won a stake on the turf and the dirt.

Rock Your World’s sire, Candy Ride, did the same thing. The Santa Anita Derby winner has a ton of fans. 

Also, unlike Essential Quality, Rock Your World offers horse racing moneyline odds that are generous. At 5-to-1, the second-choice on the morning line will attract plenty of action.  

Known Agenda

Two-time Derby winner Todd Pletcher puts the saddle on Known Agenda. The Grade 1 Florida Derby winner has the tools to get his picture taken on May 1.

But Known Agenda must break from post-position 1 to win the race. The good news? More horses, eight, have won from the first post-position than from any other starting spot.

The bad news? The last horse to win from post-position 1 was Ferdinand in 1986. Known Agenda’s owners will count on jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to get the Grade 1 winner out of the starting gate and into a good position before the first turn.  

Highly Motivated

Chad Brown won the 2017 Preakness Stakes with Cloud Computing. Highly Motivated is a better Triple Crown prospect than Cloud Computing. 

The Into Mischief sired runner almost held off Essential Quality in the Blue Grass, losing to the two-year-old champion by a neck. Highly Motivated has the speed, distance pedigree, and connections to win the Kentucky Derby.

He’s also the wise guy choice. Odds on Highly Motivated have depreciated to around 10-to-1. His odds could be closer to 5-to-1 or 6-to-1 before they break from the gate. 

Set bet limits and payout limits on Kentucky Derby betting

Bookie software agents make money on the Kentucky Derby the same way they’d score a profit on any horse race. The key is to limit wagers and payouts. 

Limit horse racing wagers to $100 or less. Then limit payout limits to what you feel comfortable paying. 

Players like to call bookie agents looking for better odds. If you wish to give players better odds, do it, but let the player know you must set max betting and max payout limits.   

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