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I’ve got the horse right here – all 20 of them!

Apr 30, 2002 10:47 AM

NO MORE ENTRIES, NO MORE FIELD! That was the message from Churchill Down’s Racing Secretary Mike Battaglia in announcing the changes affecting the betting of the Kentucky Derby.

"This is a first, there will be no more betting entries," Mike said. "All horses will have their own betting number and interest."

Of course, he added, the Kentucky Derby will still be restricted to 20 entrants, with the auxiliary gate possibly playing a role in the running.

What does this do for bettors? According to some bookies around town, the additional bets will increase the payouts, especially the exotics, perhaps by geometric proportions.

"You’re going to see some fantastic payoffs," said the sports director at a popular locals casino. "Take Castle Gandolfo, for instance, whose odds would have been pulled down if he were coupled to stablemate Johannesburg. Standing alone he could go off at 20-1 or more."

Check the GamingToday web site, gamingtoday.com, for last minute odds changes, and all the latest betting selections. The site will also list special prop bets that will be posted in Las Vegas casinos.