Handicapping

Money Management: An Effective and Efficient Superfecta for the Kentucky Derby – Part II

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

In Part 1, I laid the foundation for structuring a Kentucky Derby superfecta with its $1 minimum bet and large field of 20 horses. In this installment, I’ll present potential ticket structures utilizing the previously-defined methodology.

1. Determine Your Bankroll

The target bankroll will be in the neighborhood of an equivalent eight-horse superfecta box, which costs $1,680. I can recount a few prominent horseplayers using this as their benchmark for a Derby superfecta bet, so I aim for that budget. That may sound steep, but consider that the expectation of this bet has a 17-year average of $69,861 and median of $28,542 in returns. However, the 2017 Derby paid an all-time low of $542 for the $1 superfecta when the public choices finished 1, 2, 3, and 4, so it can go both ways.

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2. The Key Horse, A1

After much internal deliberation, I’ve embraced “The Champ” and will utilize Classic Empire as the primary key. I believe that his problems are behind him and he is firing on all cylinders at the right time. After his Arkansas Derby performance, I will take what appears to be the favorite as the linchpin key horse in the bet. As I peruse the rest of the contenders, I’ve hesitated to hang my hat on two “musts,” like we did with Dortmund and American Pharoah in 2015, but strong cases can be made for many other contenders. However, the overall cost of the bet is significantly reduced with another primary key horse involved. One can just replace one of the Ak with the other primary horse in the permutation cycling.

3. The Throw-Out List

These are the horses that are essentially bet busters. We’ll take our ball and go home if they find their way into the top four. These horses include Fast and Accurate and Untrapped. Most horseplayers would probably want to include Girvin in this list, too, after concerning reports in the past two weeks.

4. Handicap and Rank

Figure 1 lists the designations of each horse of our key horses as well as the rankings of the other entries. The ALL will be utilized to the extent of how high a horse is ranked:

Figure 1: Handicapping the rank of each horse in superfecta positions.

5. Write the Permutations in Groups

Figure 2 lists the permutations of 3 different variables, with the exclusion of the ALL on top. A total of 9 permutations are listed, but only 5 will be played in the superfecta bet. Additionally, Classic Empire must land in the money, as those permutations of him in 4th position are excluded:

Figure 2: Potential permutations per betting strategy.

6. Decide Which Permutations to Play

Now that post positions are determined, we replace our variables with actual numbers. Figure 3 lists the potential permutations with each horse’s number:

Figure 3

These bets total $1,328, which is $352 cheaper than an eight-horse superfecta box, our proposed budget for the bet. By narrowing the contenders and utilizing principles of permutations, we craft expanded coverage in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions. Furthermore, the Ak is comprised of two horses with double-digit odds. If, by chance, we are successful in picking the winner and anchoring the rest of the positions within our Ak group, we can win two superfectas and one trifecta. Now that would be a $uper day! See you at the post.

Kentucky Derby Wagering Guide

This is how I would play the superfecta for this year’s Derby. To see how the Racing Dudes are playing this year’s Derby or to access the exclusive Kentucky Oaks/Derby Wagering Guide, check out the Handicapping Products page.

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