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It was hardly a surprise when Orb won the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Based on the odds, he was the most likely winner of America’s most famous race, and he returned $12.80 for a $2 bet, but that was only the beginning of some nice payouts.

by Ed DeRosa

In addition to favored Orb, the top four finishers included second-choice Revolutionary with crowd favorite Calvin Borel aboard. The two horses fans most expected to be in the top four were and yet the superfecta paid $28,542 for $1.

With March Madness come and gone, imagine picking the Final Four and getting that kind of payday. You can’t, but the Kentucky Derby almost always produces big payouts on $1 bets.

What is the most your office brackets pool pays? Maybe a few thousand bucks to one person if it’s a big one? In 2013, 318 people hit that $28,542 Kentucky Derby superfecta!

And while a lot of the action is on track at Churchill Downs that day, plenty of people experienced the thrill of victory from their home, office, party, or on the go via TwinSpires.com and its mobile apps available for Apple and Android devices.

So what to make of the Kentucky Derby superfecta?

Example - Orb began a string of four consecutive favorites, and since Fusaichi Pegasus snapped a 20-year drought for favorites, the public’s wagering choice has won 8 of the past 17 Derbys.

However, the favorite overall has not done so well getting into the superfecta. I.e., if you think the favorite can’t win, it might be best to play against him altogether.

Of the nine losing favorites, only 2—Empire Maker in 2002 and his son Bodemeister in 2012—were in the superfecta with both finishing second. A 17-8-2-0-0 line looks impressive on the win end, but seven favorites out of the super from 17 races is a pretty juicy stat.

To me, this is the perfect spot for the either/or approach. Either the favorite will run well or he won’t, and you should have a strong opinion about that when placing your superfecta wagers.

I.e., don’t hedge with the favorite “just in case”. Use your capital to go for the big score if you don’t like him. Conversely, if you like the favorite make sure you hit if he runs well. Key instead of spread.

To review, if you like the favorite, key him; if you don’t, spread without him.

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