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Andie Biancone’s Tips For Making Your Kentucky Derby Picks

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Boardroom spoke to the FanDuel TV horse racing expert about what to look for when you make your Kentucky Derby picks.

Want to wager on this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, but have no idea where to begin? Giddy up.

While picking your favorite horse’s name is certainly one way to do it (how can you not choose a horse called Rocket Can?), there are, in fact, some fine details to consider when placing your bets.

Boardroom spoke with Andie Biancone, a racing reporter and analyst at FanDuel TV, about a few key factors for making your Kentucky Derby picks.

Having been with FanDuel TV since 2020, Biancone is the daughter of horse trainer Patrick Biancone and spent much of her childhood cleaning stalls in exchange for riding lessons. Plain and simple, she knows her horse racing and considers this year’s big race — as well as the entire undercard — to be can’t-miss events.

“These are the best horses in the country coming to this day,” she said. “It’s a huge deal.”

So, before you run to the ticket window or place a bet on your mobile phone, be sure you’ve brushed up on the following tips from our friends at FanDuel TV.

Kentucky Derby Picks: Factors to Consider

A Horse’s Recent Race History Matters

Forte may be the odds-on favorite, but Biancone likes what she sees out of the second favorite in the field, Tapit Thrice.

Not only is the foal riding a four-race win streak, but he’s fresh off a win at the 2023 Blue Grass Stakes, where he put up a resilient performance against fellow derby contestant, Verifying.

“These horses were fighting it out down to the wire, and it was the first time Tapit Thrice had to go face-to-face with another horse and fight it out,” she said. “He did not want to give up his lead.”

Biancone said since the race, the horse has reportedly been in the zone and is locked in more than ever.

“Tapit Thrice has got that runner’s high and is more understanding of what he’s supposed to be doing,” she added.

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Take the Track into Account

Churchill Downs is no ordinary race track.

Not only is the turf unique, but it boasts an incredibly long stretch — aka the distance from the final turn to the finish line.

Because of this, Biancone believes bettors should be fully aware that anything can happen in those final seconds, and that just because a horse is in the lead when it rounds the corner doesn’t mean it will stay in the lead.

“The (stretch) is very long and that gives an opportunity for a lot of horses to come from off the pace,” she said, likening the battle down the stretch to an all-out war.

The Impact of Post Position

When it comes to a horse’s post position, Biancone believes all the pressure is on those on the inside.

“It’s a lot like a freeway — the faster traffic always goes to the left,” she said. “If you’re galloping slow, you’re in the middle, and you let the faster traffic go inside.”

Because of this, much of the action is taking place on the inside of the track, which Biancone said can be a challenge.

“The one hole is pretty difficult to overcome,” she said. “They have the pressure of those 19 other horses on the outside.”

But again, Biancaone insists anything can happen. “It’s the Kentucky Derby,” she added. “Nothing is impossible.”

Horses Have Personalities

Getting to know a horse and understanding its capacity to handle pressure is crucial, according to Biancone. The crowd can also play a role.

“Horses are animals that are very sensitive to vibes,” she said. “They can sense the energy of the crowd.”

And while horses are incredibly sensitive and perceptive animals, Biancone said it’s important to choose one that is able to block out the noise and just race.

“You have to have a horse that accepts getting dirt in the face,” she said.

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