Ten Things That Can Irritate the Serious Kentucky Derby Handicapper

By Dick Downey

1. You, the serious handicapper, have not picked the winner.

2. The guy in the box next to you won two tickets to the Derby in a raffle. He hits the exacta by betting his street address. None of your exacta horses has hit the board.

3. Your brother-in-law, who goes to the races once a year, picks the winner because "that horse's name sounded the most like a Derby winner to me." (Hint--this year's candidates: Castledale, Imperialism, Lion Heart.)

4. Minister Eric wins the Derby and your grandma has bet $2 across the board on him because she liked the idea of Pat Day riding a horse named after a minister. You have thrown Minister Eric out of every bet you've made.

5. The fraternity boys in the box behind you, after they've spilled a drink on your wife's Derby hat during race 8, hit the trifecta by boxing the bar code numbers on a beer bottle they smuggled into the track. You have spent $400 on the hat, $264 on your trifecta bet, and your horses have run first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

6. Your wife gets mad at you because you get mad at the fraternity boys, but not until after they've hit the trifecta.

7. You've never bet on jockeys and you are not about to start now. Your father-in-law, who has watched the Derby at home because he can't stand crowds, calls you at the track to say his jockey won, just as you are looking back at the Form to figure out what in the world happened to your horse.

8. The superfecta has paid $24,482. The experts come on TVG to explain how this was perfectly predictable. The only thing predictable in fact was that you have one horse on the board.

9. Your bets are in the trash can and then you read some wisenheimer article about things that can irritate you.

10. Alternate scenario: You have picked the winner, and all your wife can talk about is how her hat is ruined.