2015 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Each year, it pays off to start learning about the Kentucky Derby contenders early. You'll not only want to research the horses themselves and their performance in past races, but you'll also want to learn everything you can about their jockeys and the trainers who have worked with them. You'll also want to research the opinions of experts in the field. Listen to commentators giving their own opinions on the horses, and also check into the reports they give concerning which way they expect the public to bet.

The odds you see when you go to bet also tell you something about the contenders. The horses with the lowest odds are the favorites that most members of the betting public are placing their money on. These horses are likely to win about a third of the time. The higher the odds on a given contender, the lower the public's confidence in that horse. These horses have the highest payouts, but they are the dark horses of the event - those least likely to win. Many bettors will choose a middle ground, betting on the horses that have low odds, but not the lowest, and then take the moderate payoff on the moderate odds if their horses go on to win.

Before you place your bets, you'll also need to decide what type of betting to participate in. There are a number of different type of odds you can wager on. The simplest type is a place bet, where you choose a single contending horse to place first or second. If your horse wins in either position, you receive the full payout. In a show bet, you select three different horses, one for first, second, and third. Likewise, if your contenders place in any of those three spots, you win the full payout. Win-place is another type of bet which is similar to a place bet, except that you'll score a higher payout if your horse actually wins than if it places second.

These are just several types of odds. The type of odds you choose will impact your winnings, just as the horse you choose will determine whether you win or lose. The earlier you start learning about the Derby and monitoring the performance of horses in other races leading up to the most exciting two minutes in sports, the more fun and rewarding the betting process will be. You can place your bets on the contenders in person if you get a ticket to the Kentucky Derby or online. Good luck, and may the best horse win!