One in four US punters selects a horse to bet on by its name alone, study finds

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  • When placing your Kentucky Derby bets, would you pick a horse just on its name? A United States study has shown that 25% of Americans would bet $50 or more following a Kentucky Derby hunch, based purely on the name of a horse.

    Ahead of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday 7 May 2022, researchers from the legal online gaming platform UScasinos.com surveyed 1,018 Americans to try to find out why specific horses in the 2022 Kentucky Derby were popular, or not. The survey polled people from across the United States covering various age groups with a 50/50 split between men and women.

    The study of the US population’s habits around this year’s Kentucky Derby found Call Me Midnight was the most popular horse to back based on its name (10.30%), followed by Happy Jack (9.20%), Dash Attack (7.50%), Forbidden Kingdom (6.10%), Crown Pride (4.90%) and Un Ojo (4.90%). The least favored horses were Barber Road (0.70%), Classic Causeway (0.80%), Shipsational (0.90%), White Abarrio (1.10%), Mo Donegal (1.10%), and Grantham (1.20%).

    The most popular horses for Kentucky Derby bets are those whose names are considered to have positive connotations (48.11%) like friendliness, confidence, and dynamism.

    According to the survey, Americans betting on instinct are more likely to lay odds on horses whose names they’ve never heard before.

    When choosing a horse name on instinct, Americans prefer those relating to something new (21.61%), to some curiosity or historical fact (18.96%), to their lifestyle (12.38%), or those containing something associated with a movie or TV show they have enjoyed (11.98%).

    As for the Kentuckians, selecting a horse name because it brings them back some memories of the past is one of the most important reasons when betting on intuition (19.05% of Kentuckians).

    By state, Texas, with the most respondents (86), would wager on a total of $2,480, followed by Florida ($1,990), California ($1,670), and Pennsylvania ($1,460).

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