Courier journal reporters show how not to bet on horse races gas oil ratio calculator


Jason’s a Louisville-area native who has followed horse racing since he was 5 and is covering his 13th Kentucky Derby this week for Courier Journal, where he covers high school sports most of the year. He likes to take off Breeders’ Cup weekend — in the middle of high school football season, no less — to watch the races.

This was only his third trip to Churchill Downs, and Saturday will mark his first Kentucky Derby. And in two trips to the track, he estimates he spent 95 percent of his money on mint juleps and five percent on a bet to win, presumably after a few of those drinks.

Jason: Betting with someone else’s money is the gambler’s dream, so I’m going to swing for the fences right off the bat with a $1 superfecta box on the 1-5-6-8. As they head for home, those four lead the way and I have visions of sharing thousands of dollars in winnings with my boss. But the No. 8 (Izzy the Warrior) and No. 5 (Red Again) fade to fifth and sixth, respectively, down the stretch and we’re in the hole.

Tom: How can you not bet on a horse named Whyruawesome? The names Allidoisdreamofyou and Izzy the Warrior also stood out. I went for a $2 box trifecta (meaning if those horses finish in the top three in any order I laugh all the way to the bank). I also put a $2 win on Whyruawesome.

Tom: Sometimes you’re just destined to pick a horse. With a name like King of All Media, how can I not pick it? I placed a bet for another $2 trifecta box, I threw in a horse named Bern James Bern because the paddock announcer told me to and I added No Funny Biz into the mix because this whole assignment is really a bunch of funny business.

Jason: All right, time to get a little conservative here with a 50-cent superfecta box on the 1-3-5-8. I also like the No. 2 (Paddock Crasher) at 14-1 odds, so I throw $2 across the board on him as well. This was a disaster from the start as the No. 8 (Zaevion) is pulled up just a few strides out of the gate, ruining my superfecta bet. Paddock Crasher is second early but fades to seventh.

I placed a $5 show bet hoping for a top-three finish with My Man Kan, who had 15-1 odds, according to the program. I decided to go for a $2 boxed superfecta (the top four horses in any order) based on their career winnings. That includes Grandpa’s Dream, Paddock Crasher, Better Watch Out and Zaevion.

Results, good. I picked all three of the same horses as James Scully, the expert from And I would have won a lot of money on my superfecta if Paddock Crasher had held in there, but I managed to make a couple bucks on the win by Grandpa’s Dream. Race 6

Jason: Just trying to cash a ticket here, so I’m going with a $2 trifecta box on the three favorites, 3-7-8. But at 13-1 odds, the No. 1 horse, Fritatta, leads from gate to wire and I finish second, third and fourth. Maybe it’s time to join Novelly on some $2 show bets.

Jason: It’s my last race of the day, so I play a couple of bets with my remaining money that might get me back to even for the day. I land on a 50-cent trifecta box on 2-3-5-6 and a $5 exacta box on 1-4. The No. 5, Sapphire Jubilee, is never in it and finishes seventh, ending any chance at the superfecta. But in the final furlong, it’s apparent the No. 1, Phantom Opening at 4-1 odds, is going to win and the No. 4 (Our Closure at 9-1 odds) is coming strong, giving me hope for my exacta. Alas, Our Closure finishes a length back in third and I’m done for the day. Sorry, boss.

I picked by names and colors this time. I bet $2 to win for Our Closure because the jockey’s silks are royal blue, my favorite color. I also bet $5 to show on Evasive Storm because I write a lot of weather stories for Courier Journal. Then I placed another $5 show bet on Nyime’s Treasure, the long shot. And to top it off, I placed a $1 trifecta box on Gallileo Gal, Saphire Jubilee and Phantom Opening, the latter because it reminded me of Phantom of the Opera, my favorite musical.

Jason’s takeaway: It’s much easier to spend someone else’s money than your own. And much easier to take chances with someone else’s money than it is your own. I was sort of swinging for the fences and going for the big payout. It just didn’t work out.

Tom’s takeaway: Horse racing is addicting and dangerous, especially when you’re playing with your boss’ money. But I had a blast and found that if you make small bets and are willing to lose anywhere from $2-5 just for the thrill of having a horse named Frittatta cross the finish line, do it. You may surprise yourself, just like I’m surprised I still have a job after losing more than $80.