Kentucky Derby Bets Explained: How to read wagering pools

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Matt Tenby
Matt has been a writer for American Betting Experts since 2019. He loves to watch, bet on and write about soccer but is also a huge NBA and NFL fan.

Learning how to read wagering pools is the secret to successful online betting on the Kentucky Derby.

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Learning how to read wagering pools can make a significant difference for an astute horseplayer. Being aware of the money in play, and what it means, could be the difference between profit and loss. Here are a few things to look for within the tote system. Kentucky derby bets explained will help you ahead of the big race.

Distribution of money in Win/Place/Show pools

After handicapping a race, it is important to determine the best way to wager on your preferred horse or horses. Most professional gamblers will focus their attention on just the Win pool, and while this is the least conservative method, it is the one that gives you the best chance to show a profit long term.

In some cases a horse may have a significantly higher percentage of money in one pool than in another. A proper vision of these pools, especially just before post, can help make your decisions for you.

Early money

Looking at where money comes into the pari-mutual pools first can sometimes lead a horseplayer to a runner they may not have liked in their initial handicapping. Perhaps it is the owner or trainer betting their entrant before it is time to saddle their horse, or someone who is wagering a large sum of money regardless of the odds. In many cases this can be seen as knowledgeable, or what gamblers refer to as β€œsmart money.”

With pools as large as the ones in the Kentucky Derby, it is very hard to differentiate between smart money and funds bet by those with less information.

Payouts in the Horizontal Pools

Much like dollars sent in long before post time, identifying horses who were bet more in the Daily Double or Pick 3 pools can often land a horseplayer on a live horse. If a runner is the fourth or fifth choice on the tote board shortly before the start of a race but is one of the lowest payouts in the horizontal pools, in some cases that could mean a horse is more live than his or her past performances may suggest.

The size of the Kentucky Derby pools may not lend itself to this strategy, but it could yield some positive results on the races leading up to the Derby.

by The Racing Analysts of

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