Thursday 15 August 2013

Horse Betting - Are you looking forward to the Kentucky Derby 2014?

The popularity of horse racing has ebbed and flowed over the years. The industry has done a generally poor job promoting itself and in particular hasn't attracted a younger demographic—a problem when your 'core constituency' is older. But while the sport overall hasn't kept up with the times the Kentucky Derby is an exception. It has remained the marquee race of the US thoroughbred scene through all of the changes in the sports as a whole. More impressively it continues to set attendance records year after year—a sign that while the growth of horse racing may be stagnant the Derby itself is more popular than ever. High Stakes Derby is your premier source for online horse betting.

Much of the success of the Kentucky Derby has to do with the long running traditions surrounding the race. It's the biggest event of the year in Louisville, Kentucky had is seen as a tangible sign of the arrival of spring. The Derby is the focal point of a week of parties, concerts and other social activities. In fact, the social component of the Kentucky Derby may be more significant than it's status as a major horse race. Serious horse racing bettors consider the Breeders' Cup the biggest event on the betting calendar but for casual fans and the mainstream public the 'Run for the Roses' is the biggest and most watched thoroughbred horse race of the year.

 The Kentucky Derby is held every year on the first Saturday in May at the iconic Churchill Downs race course in Louisville, Kentucky. The live attendance at the Kentucky Derby as well as the TV ratings exceed every other major horse racing event in the United States. For three year old thoroughbreds it is the first leg of horse racing’s ‘Triple Crown’--along with the Preakness Stakes and Belmont. The Kentucky Derby is contested by the top three year old horses in the sport and is one of the biggest career goals for the jockeys, trainers and owners. 

The horses that have competed at the Kentucky Derby are legendary and include the greats of thoroughbreds including Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. Of course many people attend the Kentucky Derby and never see a horse. The race weekend is one big party and the official drink of the Kentucky Derby 'the mint julep' is well known. For many Kentucky Derby attendees the race is a blurry series of tasty cocktails and fancy hats culminating a week long schedule of music and parties. Kentucky is also home to much of the US bourbon industry and use the great promotional opportunity to fuel the festivities.

Along with the tradition and parties there's the betting. Not only is the on track betting handle at Churchill Downs huge the race attracts heavy wagering action at Nevada's racebooks along with simulcast facilities all across America. It's definitely the most 'handicapped' race of the year with Kentucky Derby contests and betting pools at parties nationwide where neophytes who've never as much as opened a copy of the Daily Racing Form try to pick the winner of the 'Run for the Roses'.

The horse racing industry is forever trying to come up with ideas to popularize their sport among a new—and younger—audience. Trying to co-opt the party atmosphere and excitement of the Kentucky Derby would be a good first step to drawing in new fans that would hopefully become lifetime devotees of 'The Sport of Kings'.