Saying the Kentucky Derby is “just a horse race” is like saying a Porsche is “just a car.” Saturday marks the 139th running of this classic American sporting tradition, which is famous for crowds dressed in seersucker, drinking mint juleps and placing bets on the horses they think will make them some quick cash.
We already gave you our odds, but we figured we’d talk to an actual Kentucky Derby expert, so we called Ed DeRosa of twinspires.com. He’s a real numbers guy who’s been around the track for most of his life…and he knows what each kind of bet says about a man. Here’s what we gleaned from his breakdown.
1. “Bet” (The Straight Shooter)
What it is: Betting a single horse to place first.
What it says: Just like this wager, you’re a guy who knows what he wants and goes for it. Your confidence is a weapon and you use it well. When you see something you like, a nod is all it takes. You owe it to yourself to cash in on that bravado.
2. “Show” (The Easy Rider)
What it is: Betting a single horse for at least a third place finish.
What it says: Betting for show requires the least amount of effort on your part, which is why you dig it. You’re the kind of guy who does laundry once per month–even though you only own a week’s worth of clothes–and your ideal dinner is Easy Mac. You might choose your horse wisely after some research…but you also might choose it because of its badass name.
3. “Daily Double” (The True Player)
What it is: Betting on two horses to win consecutive races.
What it says: You know quality when you see it, but you have trouble committing to just one option, so you pick a couple good ones instead. Why play favorites? (This also probably describes your dating life.)
4. “Exacta Box” (The Pony Pro)
What it is: Betting all possible finishing combinations in a multi-horse wager.
What is says: This isn’t your first time at the track. You know the top contenders and have some favorites of your own. This “box bet” costs more, but–for a guy like you who knows all the odds–it’s worth covering your bases. Go ahead, don a nice suit and hat for derby day…you can wear it authentically.
5. “Superfecta” (The Super Bro)
What it is: Betting the first, second, third and fourth place finishers in the exact order.
What it says: Balls to the wall, bro. Go big or go home. You’ve made this aggressive wager with all the confidence in the world (and a few Jäger shots), and even though you probably won’t win, you’ll look good placing it. Girls will definitely notice your bold moves…but if you lose your shirt, don’t expect them to lose theirs.