Sports

Sportsbooks Gave Bettors 200-1 Odds on Eventual Kentucky Derby Winner I’ll Have Another

| by Alex Groberman

This past weekend, I’ll Have Another came out of nowhere to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby. And while some of the more diehard horse-racing enthusiasts around may have been familiar with jockey Mario Gutierrez and his three-year-old champ coming in, to most this was just another no-name horse and no-name jockey that likely wouldn’t win the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Lucky’s race and sportsbook in Las Vegas was one shop that apparently doubted I’ll Have Another’s prospects. It doubted the eventual winner’s so much so, in fact, that it at one point gave the horse ridiculous odds to win the Kentucky Derby. How ridiculous?

As noted by the Las Vegas Sun:

Lucky’s race and sports books, one of the only shops in town that offers futures betting annually on the Kentucky Derby, lost a significant amount of money because of I’ll Have Another’s triumph. Lucky’s — which runs books throughout Nevada including at the Riviera, the D Las Vegas, the Plaza and Terrible’s, locally — printed several tickets on I’ll Have Another to win the Derby earlier this year at odds as high as 200-to-1.

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“It was our worst-case scenario,” said Dan Shapiro, who oversees Lucky’s horse book. “It was the first time in four years, since we started offering futures, that we lost money.”

After the powers that be at Lucky’s noticed a good amount of bets coming in on I’ll Have Another, they lowered the odds from that 200-1 figure. And then they lowered them three times after that. It was to no avail, though, folks had a feeling about this horse.  

For what it's worth, Lucky’s wasn't the only place that listed I’ll Have Another as a heavy long shot. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Wynn Las Vegas also listed the eventual Derby winner at 200:1 in September of 2011.

Whoever put money down with those odds is rolling right now.

Just goes to show you, when it comes to gambling, even the pros get it wrong sometimes.

(Kudos to The Big Lead for the find)

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