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Can You Handicap and Win Your Horse Racing Bets at the Kentucky Derby?

Some people think that it takes too much money to win the large payouts the Kentucky Derby has to offer, and therefore only rich people can win. Others believe there are simply too many comparable horses to make an effective wager. I have found that neither of these is necessarily true.

Get in the Pools

What is a pool? In pari-mutuel wagering, a pool is the collective dollar amount of all wagering into a particular type of bet. The Kentucky Derby has the largest gambling pools of any North American horse race. For example, last year's Derby Total Mutuel Pool was $47 million for all types of bets.Takeout Times reviews

Last year, the Exacta Pool was $21 million, Trifecta $25 million, and Superfecta Pool was $8.5 Million, all of which are huge. The Exacta and Trifecta pools are larger because they are easier to hit, and since so many people win them, the payouts aren't nearly as large as the Superfecta, despite its 1/3 sized pool.

To illustrate, the payouts for last year were: Exacta $152, Trifecta $2337, Superfecta $202,569. You can see that the Trifecta is the most popular bet because it can win you good money without spending too much, but the Superfecta payout was humongous, and likely provided a life changing score for many.

The highest Super on record was in 2005 when Giacomo won at 50-1. The $1 Super paid and astronomical $864,000! That means that (after track takeout) there were only 7 winning tickets out of $7.4 million wagered. Undoubtedly there were at least 1 or 2 rags to riches stories that year.

Get Some Takeout

This is the percentage of the wagering pool that the track takes out for itself and uses to pay for operating costs, taxes, and profits. They typically run around 17% for win / place / show and 20-25% for the exotic wagers (Exacta/Tri/Super) and vertical wagers (Pick 3, Pick 4, etc)

Churchill Downs is a particularly good wagering track since it has the lowest across-the-board track takeouts in North America, at 19%. This is another reason why the Derby can be so profitable.

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