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Kentucky Derby 2011: Building An Exacta Box

Many of you who are reading this article are likely going to your local OTB counter to make a wager on the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.

I can't blame you, as this race is full of potential for those who want to make good money off of a reasonable bet. There's no "sure thing" horse, and your best bet is to go for an exacta box.

An exacta box bet is desirable when you have a good feeling about two or three of the horses in the field, but don't know the precise order of their finish. Today's field features Dialed In, who is currently the favorite at 5/1 odds. Archarcharch, Twice The Appeal, Pants On Fire and Mucho Mucho Man all have odds better than 10/1.

When building your exacta box, you need to take into consideration a few long shots -- horses that could end up making you good money if they either win or place in the Derby today.

A few good options include Shackleford at 21/1, Master of Hounds at 18/1, and Twinspired at 27/1. Picking one of these "dark horses" to get into your exacta box could yield big rewards.

If you're unsure of who to bet on, pick illustrious trainers. Bob Baffert and Nick Zito both have horses running in the Kentucky Derby today. John Velazquez will ride Animal Kingdom, who is still considered long with 19/1 odds.

No matter what you end up betting on, do it responsibly and enjoy the race.