One of the great things about Kentucky Derby is that everyone miraculously becomes the handicapping expert. With a 25 race card, Oaks and Derby Days at Churchill Downs provide a great opportunity to test one's handicapping mettle.
Our competitors for this event are Jerry Bossert, Turf Writer and Handicapper for the New York Daily News, Zach "Big EZ" McCrite from Louisville's ESPN 1450- the Ticket, Louisville.com editor-in-chief Zach Everson, Louisville.com's crack sportswriting staff of Josh Cook and myself, and my five-year old son, who pulled program numbers out of a cup at random
The bet is a $2 win bet on each race.
Throughout both days, we'll be updating the site and sending out Twitter and Facebook updates to keep you posted.
Oaks Day Race 1: While still awaiting the arrival of Everson and Cook, the early handicappers all attempted to beat the favorite. Bossert and Big EZ McCrite selected Yonakee (7). I selected Fortune Play, along with my five-year old (4). Alas, the Ravi's Song lived up to her favorite status.
Races 2-5: Louisville.com Editor Zach Everson has created an interesting strategy; namely, betting on the morning line favorites. He started playing in race 2 and has parlayed that to winning three of the four trips he's picked for a whopping Return on Invest (ROI) of $18.40.
Tied for second are our two "experts": Zach "Big EZ" McCrite and Jerry Bossert of the NY Daily News (both have only lost $2.60 so far in each of the six races).
Like father, like son! I should just pick numbers at random. The five-year old and I are tied, having lost $10 apiece. The good news is that one longshot hit and we're back in the game.
Joining us for Race 6 will be crack sports reporter Josh Cook.
Races 6-9: Everson's lead has started to diminish as the morning line favorites (including Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra) have failed to win. He's still $10.40 up on the track at this point and the only one in positive figures.
Big EZ's selection of Silver Timber and the 7.40 win money in the Turf Sprint has him down only $3.20.
Bossert sits at -$10.60, and my son and I are still hitting the bottom at -$18.
Oaks Day Wrap-up Everson's strategy has paid off. He leads with $9 and is the only one in postive figures after the 12 races on Oaks Day.
Next inline is Big EZ with -$9.20, followed by Josh Cook with -$14 and Jerry Bossert at -$16.60. Not having cashed a win ticket, my son and I remain tied at -$24.
Derby Day: Things start off easily enough with everyone (save the five year old and Josh Cook) selecting favorite Kettle River, who netted a whopping $1.20.
Thanks to a series of longshots in the seventh, ninth, and tenth races, I have assumed the lead.
Going into the Derby, I have $16.40, Josh Cook has $5, Zach Everson is now at -$7.80, Jerry Bossert is at -$23.80, Big EZ is at a net -$26, and my five year old is at -$44.