For most of us, when we hear Kentucky Derby, visions of oversized hats and fast, fit horses race into our minds. One of the biggest days in horse racing, and all eyes turn to the track as we pick our pony and as we place our bets. Maybe you saddle up with your pick based on the most creative name. Do you take a risk on the underdog or just go with a safe bet on the horse with the hype? For me, I never even cared to gamble my $2, because I knew little to nothing about the sport and figured my $2 would be better spent towards a mint julep come race day.

This time last year, I didn’t know much about horse racing. My first experience at the track was for a sorority event. We all got dressed up in our darling derby dresses, made our way to the main event, but after placing our picks, we didn’t really invest much more time or attention to what was going on. That was the problem… we never went to the track and played to win; it was a social event, not a sporting event. Following horse racing as a sport seemed old and outdated. I didn’t understand the rundown, the rules, the lingo, and as a result there were pros who would kick our butts in the bets every time. How could anyone go to the track and actually pick the winning horse? To me, it seemed like nothing more than a lucky guess.

Derby Days… and for once I know what I’m doing!

Well this year was the first year I not only watched the derby, but I was invested. Yes, I placed a bet, but I also finally had a shot at winning. I knew all of the horses names, not just for creativity points (although, I would say Danzing Moon and Ocho Ocho Ocho were my favorites), but I had an idea about velocity and speed comparisons and how they might rank when stacked up against each other. So what could take a girl whose horse experience was little more than some trots around the desert at horse camp, to one who not only played to win, but watched a rooted for Dortmund to pull ahead? The answer is Rogue Ratings… and as you follow my experience from newbie to new face in the game, I am excited to share with all of you how you can go rogue and go home a winner!

Welcome to my blog, GOING ROGUE. Follow me on Twitter @KaylaGoesRogue and Instagram and Facebook @GoingRogue to see how I went Rogue and never looked back.

Rogue Ratings, what does it mean? If we are starting at the beginning, let’s start there… check out my next blog post to learn the lingo of horse racing 101.

About Kayla Staples

Going Rogue by Kayla Staples - Kayla Joy Staples is excited to be part of the Rogue Handicapping team. Originally from Tucson, Arizona this desert girl grew up exploring the outdoors, going to horse camps and was always up for a new adventure or challenge. Leaving Tucson for UCLA, Kayla became an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated with a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. After attending a sorority alumni event at the horse track a few years ago, Kayla became increasingly interested in horseracing, and connected with the Rogue Handicapping team to help bring horseracing to the new generation of novice players, who like her want to get in the game (with a little help from the pros).

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