Favorites Always Dreaming Wins Kentucky Derby, Canelo Alvarez Dominates Cesar Chavez

Posted on: May 8, 2017, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: May 8, 2017, 09:56h.

Always Dreaming, the odds-on favorite at 9-2 entering the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, proved to be the best thoroughbred of the day at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Always Dreaming Kentucky Derby odds
Las Vegas sportsbooks are off and running in May, thanks to Always Dreaming’s Kentucky Derby win and Canelo Alvarez’ victory over Cesar Chavez. (Image: David Phillip/Associated Press)

Always Dreaming cruised to a 2 3/4-length victory on a wet and muddy track by outlasting Lookin At Lee (33-1) and Battle of Midway (40-1).

While trainer Todd Pletcher’s winning horse received the most bets at Churchill Downs ($5.28 million), the short odds kept big payouts to a minimum.

Nearly $37 million in total was wagered on the actual Kentucky Derby, as a 20-horse field with no clear favorite attracted bettors to take long odds on hopes of a big payout.

It was the favorite that took the win, but Lookin At Lee and Battle of Midway’s second and third-place finishes did provide substantial wins for those who took them to place or show. However, combined, just $1.62 million of the track’s $36.8 million handle went on those two horses.

As for the other favorites, Irish War Cry (9-2, $5.22 million bet) came in 10th, Classic Empire (6-1, $3.87 million bet) finished just outside the money in fourth, and McCraken (6-1, $3.83 million bet) crossed the line eighth.

One interesting side note is how Churchill Downs was describing the conditions of the track prior to the Derby. The track was listed as “sloppy” early, only to be later changed to “wet-fast.”

Alvarez vs. Chavez

The Kentucky Derby was just the beginning of what turned out to be a successful opening weekend to May at Nevada sportsbooks. Following Always Dreaming’s win, sports bettors in Sin City turned their attention to Saturday night’s bout between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The much-hyped boxing match put the two Mexican superstars into the ring together for the first time. Chavez, the son of boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., was the big underdog, and like the Derby, the favorite horse came out on top.

The fight held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas took place in front of a sold out crowd of 20,510, many of whom were wearing either green or red to back their boxer and celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Despite having a four-inch height advantage, Chavez was overmatched. Alvarez was the favorite at 4-1, and he quickly proved oddsmakers correct. He landed 228 punches to Chavez’ 71, and after 12 rounds was declared the winner unanimously.

Oddsmakers Win

Favorites winning is good news for those who set and manage the odds. Bettors typically tend to like the underdog, as their bets come with the potential for larger rewards.

For instance, the NBA Playoffs are underway, and the Golden State Warriors are a big favorite in the Western Conference. Few believe any team can stop them from reaching their fourth straight NBA Finals.

Tonight, the Warriors will try and sweep the Utah Jazz and advance to the conference finals.

Sportsbooks have the Warriors at about -800 to win the West. A $100 wager on those odds would return just $12.50. Meanwhile, the same bet on the San Antonio Spurs (+940) would reward the bettor $940.