Kentucky Derby 2016 – Tote Beginners Guide

There is not long to go until the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby and  you will be able to bet on all the action at For Irish and UK racing fans the Kentucky Derby might be on their radar as an event but not as a betting proposition. So we have decided to help you get involved with the “Run For The Roses” with our beginners guide to the Kentucky Derby!

The Tote pools for this weekend at Churchill Downs are sure to be massive and with a Pick 6 guarantee of a whopping $1,000,000 on Derby day it could really pay to get involved.

The Basics

The Kentucky Derby is open to three year old colts and fillies and is run over a mile and a quarter (10 furlongs) at Churchill Downs racecourse. It was first run in 1875 making this the 142nd running of the race which is known as “the fastest two minutes in sports”. The record for the race is held by Secretariat who ran the race in 1:59 2/5 secs in 1973.

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the American Triple Crown which also contains the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. The Triple Crown was won last year by American Pharoah who was the first horse to complete the sequence since Affirmed in 1978.

The race this year is due to go to post at 18.34 ET (23.34 GMT) and twenty runners are declared for this year’s renewal.


The Leading Contenders



Trainer: Doug O’Neill

Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Gate: 13

Forecast Price: 3/1

Unbeaten in seven starts to date, Nyquist has been favorite for this race since his win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year. He has shown himself to be adaptable tactics wise tracking the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but forcing the pace when an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Florida Derby last time. His trainer and jockey have already combined for a Kentucky Derby success with I’ll Have Another in 2012 showing they know what it takes to win America’s most famous race.


Gun Runner

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Gate: 5

Forecast Price: 10/1

Lightly-raced with only four career starts to his name, Gun Runner was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on his latest start. He tracked the pace that day before taking the lead on the home bend and quickening clear of his rivals to record a 4 ½ length success. He must now step forward again and although he looks a horse of real potential he has yet to prove it on the Grade 1 stage.



Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Gate: 11

Forecast Price: 8/1

The Desormeaux brothers are represented here by Exaggerator, a horse whose name sprung to the fore of the betting when he decimated the field in the Santa Anita Derby last time. He has taken on the likely favorite Nyquist on three previous occasions and has been beaten each time but the step up in trip seems to be in his favor. He is versatile tactics wise and will look to give trainer Keith Desormeaux a first winner in the race. Jockey, Kent, has won the race on three occasions; Big Brown (2008), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000) and Real Quiet (1998).



Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Gate: 14

Forecast Price: 10/1

Undefeated in five prior to the Florida Derby, Mohayman finished a well beaten 4th that day behind Nyquist. However that may not have been his true running as he had previously comfortably beaten the 3rd finishing Fellowship in a previous run. He was a very expensive yearling ($2.2 million) and is very highly regarded by connections. He has it all to prove now but it would not be a major shock if Mohayman provided trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with a first Kentucky Derby winner.


Mor Spirit

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Gate: 17

Forecast Price: 12/1

Second on two of his three start this season, Mor Spirit represents Bob Baffert, the trainer of the now legendary Kentucky Derby winner American Pharaoh, winner of the triple crown last year. He will be partnered by Gary Stevens, winner of the race of three occasions. Mor Spirit would be the first horse in a while to win the Kentucky Derby without winning a major trial but thanks to his connections many will fancy him to do so.


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