April is known as a slower month in sports betting, in part because the football season has long past, March Mania is over, and because regular season baseball is just starting. So, what else can one enjoy during these dog days until the beginning of the next NFL season?
Plain and simple: The 135th Kentucky Derby, which will be held at Churchill Downs this year on May 2nd, 2009.
This is the premier event in horse racing, where contenders have earned the right to run after winning in one of several derby prep races. Next to the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most active betting days. Also, it is the first leg of the legendary Triple Crown Event, awarded to a lucky horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, AND the Belmont Stakes. The potential for a horse to win the Triple Crown always excites horse racing fans, and millions will flock to online gaming sites and off track betting parlors to get in on the action.
Who’s favored this year at the Kentucky Derby? As of April 19, several horses have already be placed in this historic race, a couple of which are thought to be the top contenders:
- Musket Man – This horse had a great showing, taking home the honors in the recent Illinois Derby. Musket Man could surprise us at the derby this year.
- Papa Clem – After a strong win at the Arkansas Derby, Papa Clem looks strong. He waltzed his way down the track for an easy victory.
- Friesan Fire – A heavy favorite for the Derby, Friesan Fire bolted down the home stretch at the Louisiana Derby to claim a solid win. Owner Larry Jones could have his first Kentucky Derby winner with Friesan Fire.
- Quality Road – The Florida Derby winner, Quality Road, looks good but still needs to impress the horse racing handicappers.
- Mafaaz – Not heavily touted as a Derby contender, and by all counts ran a marginal race at the Blue Grass event. He’s still in contention, however, though facing long odds.
- Pioneer of the Nile – Despite winning 4 races in a row, horse racing experts think he will face much stiffer competition at the Derby. As a result, Pioneer definitely has momentum, but has yet to be really challenged.
- Dunkirk – Not heavily favored, using money to make the Derby lineup. Dunkirk’s racing abilities will be first tested at the Derby.
- General Quarters – Did great at the Blue Grass race, and is thought to be a strong contender. Many horse experts still need to vet this one out, though.
- Desert Party – A relative unknown, but definitely has potential.
- I Want Revenge – Fared well winning the Wood Memorial race, although many feel this horse has yet to face formidable competition. The Derby will be his first challenge.
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