Freedman: Will Secretariat’s Kentucky Derby Record Be Broken?
The Courier-Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK. Pictured: Ron Turcotte aboard Secretariat
- The 2019 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 4 at 6:50 p.m. ET on NBC.
- Matthew Freedman highlights his favorite prop for the race.
The 2019 Kentucky Derby is today. At The Action Network, this is basically our Super Bowl. Aside from the Super Bowl. (And March Madness.)
I know nothing about horses — but there’s no way I’m not going to have at least a little action on the race, right?
Perusing all of the Kentucky Derby props on the market, I’ve found one that I think I can safely bet even though my equestrian knowledge is minimal.
Will Secretariat’s Record of 1:59:40 Be Broken?
- Yes: +1000
- No: -2500
I’m a pessimistic curmudgeon who’s going to bet against history being made almost any chance I get.
Based on my extensive research — I just looked at the Kentucky Derby Wikipedia page for about 15 seconds — I’ve noticed a few key points.
First, the race has been in existence since 1875: I’m doubtful that any horse this year will be able to do better than the best horse to run this race over the past 144 years.
Second, Secretariat has a dominant time. The closest any horse has come to breaking the record was in 2001, when Monarchos won with a time of 1:59:97. That’s more than a half-second slower than Secretariat. In a horse race, that seems like a massive difference.
Third, all of the best times at the Kentucky Derby have come in fast track conditions. Today the forecast calls for rain: We should expect a sloppy, muddy track. The fastest a winner has ever run in sloppy conditions is 2:02:66 (Mine That Bird, 2009).
Finally, in all The Action Network coverage I’ve read of the event, no one has talked about any particular horse as if it has a real chance to be one of the greatest of all time.
Favorites tend to be undervalued, but there’s no big favorite in the field. It’s hard to imagine a relatively unheralded favorite breaking one of the most impressive records ever.
At -2500, there’s a 96.2% implied probability that Secretariat’s record won’t be broken, but the true odds are likely closer to 99%.
I’d bet “No” all the way down to -3000.
The Pick: No (-2500)
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