Tech leaders debate tomorrow’s solutions at Colorado Law conference

first_img Published: Feb. 10, 2020 • By Andrew Sorensen In the middle of another industrial revolution, lawmakers and thought leaders are grappling with massive new problems, and often disagreeing about solutions. Should pharmaceutical companies be banned from delivering pop-up advertisements to doctors in the middle of a patient appointment? Should cities be banned from using facial recognition until the technology stops misidentifying people? Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Questions like these came rapid fire during the University of Colorado Law School’s Silicon Flatirons flagship conference in the school’s Wittemyer Courtroom Sunday and Monday. Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Anne Toth, CEO of Privacyworks, and Lisl Brunner, AT&T’s director of global public policy, all spoke at the conference, among others.“One of the solutions is that there may not be a solution,” Amie Stepanovich, executive director of Silicon Flatirons, said as she kicked off Monday’s portion of the technology and entrepreneurship law center’s flagship conference.The event’s theme was “Technology Optimism and Pessimism.” Most of the keynotes and panelists expressed a mix of both.Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly delivered a keynote highlighting the potential benefits of new technology, while also questioning the role his agency has in regulating it.“Once limited to Star Wars and Star Trek, holograms and 3D communications are not far away,”O’Rielly said.It remains unclear is how much oversight the FCC, originally created to referee radio companies, will ultimately end up with when it comes to these high-tech communications. “I recognize that unless Congress changes our authority, most of these debates will not be in the FCC bailiwick, and that’s OK,” he said.Panelist Chris Lewis, president and CEO of Public Knowledge, a company advising public agencies on technology, disagreed, saying the country still needs the FCC.“We’re in the awkward adolescence of online technology,” Lewis said. “The hallmark of being an adult is personal accountability.”That accountability is something Lewis said should be present for large companies, too. While there may not be clear solutions, having these debates is worthwhile, the speakers said.“There are very few opportunities like this. Some other institutions do some of this inside Washington, D.C., but not a lot outside,” O’Rielly said. “This is incredibly valuable to pull different perspectives together to debate these issues.”Stepanovich said that’s the big idea of the conference.“Productive engagement on important issues in tech, law, and entrepreneurship requires honest engagement and a comprehensive consideration of a wide diversity of positions and opinion,” she said. “Silicon Flatirons prioritizes convening folks from different backgrounds, political spheres, sectors, and experiences, and because of this, we have become a place to catalyze progress on some of the most pressing issues facing society today.”O’Rielly agreed.“It’s incredibly important. Silicon Flatirons has been a complete success from my perspective.”Categories:Law & PoliticsDeadlines & AnnouncementsNews HeadlinesCampus Communitycenter_img Panelists debate the future of technology at the Silicon Flatirons 2020 flagship conference. (Jordan Altergott/CU Boulder)last_img read more

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Missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos may have suffered ‘serious physical assault’

first_imgNew Canaan Police Department (HARTFORD, Conn.) — Missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim of a “serious physical assault” at the home of her estranged husband, according to arrest warrants obtained Monday.Clothing and sponges soaked with Jennifer Dulos’ blood were found in trash cans in Hartford, where the documents said surveillance cameras captured a man appearing to be her husband, Fotis Dulos, disposing of garbage bags, according to the documents.At one point the man believed to be Fotis Dulos was seen putting an item into a storm drain grate, the arrest warrants said.The new evidence comes over one week into the search for Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five from New Canaan, who was last seen on May 24, according to police.Fotis Dulos, 51, of Farmington, and his live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested on Saturday, charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and hindering prosecution, according to authorities.More charges are likely, prosecutors said Monday.Troconis and Fotis Dulos were shackled as they made their first court appearances Monday.They were held on $500,000 bond.Fotis Dulos is not expected to post bond, his attorney said; Troconis’ lawyer said she would.Troconis was ordered to have no contact with Dulos or the victim’s family.Their next court date is June 11.Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance came amid a contentious custody dispute between the former couple.In 2017, Jennifer Dulos filed for an emergency order for full custody of the children, which was denied, court documents show. Jennifer Dulos and Fotis Dulos had temporary shared custody of the children until the end of the divorce proceedings.Jennifer Dulos alleged that Fotis Dulos exhibited intensifying “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and controlling behavior,” stating that she was afraid for her safety as well as the physical safety and emotional well-being of their children.The mother alleged that Fotis Dulos threatened to kidnap their children on May 30, 2017, if she did not agree to his terms in the divorce settlement and that he had bought a gun that year.In Fotis Dulos’ amended reply to the motion, he claims that he legally bought the gun in 2017 for home security. He denied exhibiting “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and/or controlling behavior” and stated that he never threatened to kidnap the children.It is unclear where the Dulos’ five children are now, but a statement from family spokeswoman Carrie Luft on Friday said they are “safe and well-cared for.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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IndyCar’s Sebastien Bourdais: Formula One ‘has ruined every track’

first_imgSebastien Bourdais driving in Sunday's Dual in Detroit Race No. 2. ( Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports)Sebastien Bourdais driving in Sunday’s Dual in Detroit Race No. 2. ( Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports)DETROIT — Sebastien Bourdais thinks Belle Isle is tops.Rain, bumps and unseasonably cold weather — the French driver says he’ll take the island over Formula One’s famous Monaco track in Monte Carlo.On Sunday, Bourdais drove to victory in Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle during a rain-drenched Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.At the wheel of the No. 11 Dallara/Chevrolet for KVSH Racing, Bourdais gave a masterful display of wet-weather driving to beat Takuma Sato (A.J. Foyt Racing) and Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) in the Verizon IndyCar Series event.DUAL 1: Carlos Munoz notches first career victory SaturdayOn Monday, Bourdais, 36, who was born in Le Mans, France, was still in Detroit smiling about his win.Sebastien Bourdais poses with his trophy after winning Sunday in Detroit. (Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports)Sebastien Bourdais poses with his trophy after winning Sunday in Detroit. (Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports)“It feels really good,” said Bourdais, who won four consecutive Champ Car championships in 2004-07 for Newman-Haas Racing. “I’m enjoying my racing again after a horrible experience in Formula One.”After dominating Champ Car, Bourdais moved to F1 team Toro Rosso in 2008 to partner with Sebastian Vettel.It didn’t work out. Bourdais was replaced at Toro Rosso during the 2009 season, and then competed in sports cars and touring cars for several years before returning to IndyCar with Dragon Racing in 2013 and on to KVSH Racing last season.“I didn’t feel wanted or that I could work with the team in Formula One,” said Bourdais during a visit Monday to Detroit radio and TV stations. “Now I’m with sort of an underdog team competing against the Penskes, Andrettis and Ganassis, and it is feeling great.”VERSATILE: Montoya strengthens case for best driver of eraRunning low on gas, Bourdais still managed to drive away from the field late in Sunday’s race at Belle Isle. Would he change anything on the 2.35-mile track?“I think Roger and his team nailed it completely,” said Bourdais of Roger Penske’s recent repaving and widening of the Belle Isle circuit. “Perhaps the braking zone in Turn 7, maybe some work there, but Belle Isle is good, hard American racing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.“It’s challenging (racing) on concrete. Driving in the rain at Detroit — it’s tougher than any Formula One track, including the streets at Monaco. F1 has ruined every track. They have taken the character out of them, made them vanilla. It hurts me. Monaco is now a frigging parking lot with a couple of turns.”HAAS: Launching Formula One team will be ‘awesome’Bourdais said IndyCar is better racing than F1, and for the right reasons.“Too much in Formula One is all about the wrong reasons,” Bourdais said. “Money and position — it is not about the racing.“In IndyCar, no one makes money. It’s just great, pure racing.”Brudenell writes for the Detroit Free Presslast_img read more

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MTN-Qhubeka’s Augustyn set for return

first_img8 January 2014 John-Lee Augustyn, once a fast-rising star in the world of cycling, will make his return to the sport and the professional peloton after well-documented injury woes disrupted his promising career with a first appearance for Team MTN-Qhubeka in the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race. The event takes place in Gabon from 13 January and Augustyn is very motivated and hoping to make a positive contribution to Africa’s only Pro Continental cycling outfit. Team MTN-Qhubeka enjoyed a very successful first year in the Pro Continental ranks in 2013, highlighted by Gerald Ciolek’s victory in the Milan-San Remo. The team was also second among Pro Continental teams in terms of victories.‘Feeling good’ “My training has been going really well. I’ve been feeling good on the bike as well,” Augustyn said in a statement from Italy on Tuesday. “I just have a bit of bad luck now with a cold that’s going around here, so for the last few days I’ve been cutting the training load to try and get healthy again, but I will definitely be ready for the race.” Augustyn said he is very happy with his condition for this time of the year and is looking forward to building gradually through the coming months.Goal “My goal is to get back into the racing side of things and be there to support the team as much as I can. I will then take it from there on, maybe I feel good and surprise myself.” His programme after Gabon includes Le Tour de Langkawi and the Giro del Trentino among others. “My early season goals are to get back and feel comfortable in the peloton again. We will also know in these couple of days if we get into the Giro d’Italia. “Right now there’s not too much of a high expectation on my shoulders, but I will definitely give my absolute best to make the team,” Augustyn concluded.Famous fall Before injuries derailed his career, Augustyn made his mark with Team Barloworld and captured headlines around the world during the 2008 Tour de France when, after cresting the Col de la Bonette in first place he failed to negotiate a hairpin bend and fell 30 metres down a slippery, shale mountainside before scrambling back to the road and finishing the stage. Having shone with the South African-sponsored team, he subsequently moved to the powerful Team Sky squad, but injuries, including a debilitating hip problem, led to his decision to take an indefinite break from cycling in May 2012. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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3 Pearls

first_imgBusiness is growing ever-complex: more vendors doing more things, shrinking company budgets, a workforce starving for opportunity and a quest to find what really matters to those you seek to recruit. There are consultants and technologies and process flows and hierarchies and interactive templates and places to be and people who want to be there. My boss put his hand on my shoulder and said: “Don’t Go Getting Insecure On Me” “I don’t know where this company is going or any of the things you’ll achieve in the next 50 years, but you seem like you’ll be a good dad” Human Compassion! We tend to scramble when times get tough, when our back is against the wall, when our production isn’t perfect…. That’s the worst thing we can do! He was right… in so many ways! So there you are in an airport bar, hanging your head in your beer, trying to understand how after two decades of professional experience you still haven’t mastered your trade. When the devices are turned off, the consultants go home and people stop telling you what you HAVE TO DO; only one thing matters: Don’t Go Getting InsecureMy Boss had flown in for a major presentation. I got my suit dry cleaned, my car washed, my hair cut and shaved my pretty little face. I picked him up at the airport eager to impress. I was excited to show off how awesome I was in front of our customers. The minute you start doubting yourself, you empower the irrelevance of the unknown. It’s a fools game! Happiness is not dictated by your organizational title. Some of the most-miserable people I know have high profiles and big pay checks. Originally published on Dave’s Weekly Thought blog. As we walked back to the parking garage, I searched for an explanation for a circumstance that was out of my control. If you reflect on the key points in your career you’ll be reminded less of some mind-blowing gadget and more by advice you have received. We arrived to the appointment to discover our contact was not there…. Don’t Forget to Remember! When I stopped worrying about the status others assigned me, I started carving it out for myself. The most-talented people didn’t always get promoted & determination was often perceived as selfishness. You Are Not Going to Change Them, You Are Going to Become One of ThemThe progression as far as I knew was simple: perform exceptionally well as a representative, get promoted to manger.. then director… then VP. I was more talented and more determined than anyone around me and I wasn’t going to relent until I landed in the C Suite. You Seem Like You’d Be A Good DadEvery morning I would get in early to chat with our Operations Manager. He had no influence on my career development, was not a vanguard for organizational advancement and would be fired a few years into my employment at company X. But he could really weave a story! We talked about PEOPLE in all the places he had been. We talked about music and movies and sports. He spoke with a voice that mirrored a journalist. He could make any topic seem worthy of pursuit and we never talked about work. Having been in technology sales for nearly 20 years I am ever-surprised by humanity’s inexhaustible ability to rear it’s head when we need it most. It’s All Pretty Exhausting! When we got back in the car I offered 30 sentences deflecting blame in an effort to save face. … I was ill-informed … It was not the big bonus paychecks I received at the company, the onstage accolades for sales performance or the trophies that would soon gather dust in my mothers house that ended up being important. When the reality of my sweetie being pregnant arrived in our morning conversations, the man who meant nothing to my career development, told me the most important thing I needed to hear: Follow me as we reflect upon the Human Stuff:last_img read more

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Senator Suggests Setting Up of Permanent Law Reform Commission

first_img He said the country should consider one similar to the Law Commission of England and Wales. Opposition Senator, Alexander Williams, is suggesting that a permanent Law Reform Commission be set up in Jamaica. He pointed out that the Commission of England and Wales was established to review laws and to make law reform recommendations. Opposition Senator, Alexander Williams, is suggesting that a permanent Law Reform Commission be set up in Jamaica, which would seek to ensure that, among other things, the laws are simpler, fairer, and modern.He said the country should consider one similar to the Law Commission of England and Wales, which is an independent body set up by Parliament by the Law Commission Act of 1965.Making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on October 25, Mr. Williams argued that the time has come for a comprehensive debate on the matter.He pointed out that the Commission of England and Wales was established to review laws and to make law reform recommendations and proposes changes to the law that will make it simpler, more accessible, fairer, modern, and more cost effective.The Senator contended that Jamaica could benefit from the establishment of such a body as the law is constantly in need of considerable review and updating.Importantly, Mr. Williams further noted that another plus is that the proposed commission would be an independent body.“It is non-political and is staffed by those with considerable legal expertise.  So the advice given is focused on improving the law and not for any other political motive,” he said.Another benefit, he added, is that even if all the recommendations are not implemented, they still have important alternative uses, such as guidelines or vehicles for discussion.“In addition, legislation is not the only way in which some recommendations can take effect. Some can be implemented by the courts. Law reform commissions’ reports also have a significant effect in changing views and in providing guidance to the courts on particular subjects. This can lead to a gradual change in the law by developments through the courts,” he said. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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CBI presents DP Kohli Award

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday felicitated more than 30 officers and officials during the 18th DP KohliLecture at Vigyan Bhawan here in Delhi. The probe agency also gave out the DP Kohli Award to the Best Detective Constable, which was first initiated by the Kohli himself. Kohli was the founding Director of the CBI. After a two year break, the annual lecture made a comeback, with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi conferring the awards to the officials before delivering an address on “The Role of Police in Strengthening Justice Delivery”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The DP Kohli Award was given to M Chandrashekar, Head Constable, Bank Securities and Fraud Cell, Bangalore for 2016; Anand Rajaram Pandhare, Constable, Special Unit, Mumbai for 2017; A Sekar, Head Constable, Anti Corruption Branch, Chennai for 2017; and Satheesh Kumar, Constable, Anti Corruption Branch, Bhubaneshwar for 2018. In addition, the Gold Medal to Best Investigating Officer of the agency was also given out to JS Yadav, Inspector, Anti Corruption Branch, Jodhpur for 2015 and Devraj V, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Economic Offences-III, New Delhi for 2016. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KMoreover, CJI Gogoi also gave out the Police Medal for Meritorious Service to the CBI to 27 officers and officials of the probe agency and also felicitated three support staff of the agency with the Best Employee Award. In fact, the trophy for the Best Branch of CBI for 2016 was also given to the Economic Offences-III, New Delhi and received by Vijayendra Bidari, who heads the branch. Delivering the inaugural address at the event, CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla said that the agency has always enjoyed the trust and confidence of the public and even though the organisation has often been put through rigorous scrutiny; values of industry, impartiality and integrity imbibed within officials of the CBI has always equipped the agency to face all kinds of challenges.last_img read more

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Muharram A tale of tears

first_imgYou may have noticed a holiday on the tenth day of Muharram, the day of Ashura, and wondered what significance this day must hold for the people who prepare and walk with their tazias (replicas of the mausoleum of Imam Hussain) and participate in processions, mostly adorning black with feet left bare. A closer glimpse at the congregation will reveal many sombre eyes, brimming with tears. Though the reason may remain unknown to you, grief as the underlying fact stands uncontested. Also Read – Remembering Sudhir PhadkeTo dig deeper, let’s take a few steps back in history. In 680 CE, in Iraq, a military general named Hurr and his 1,000 horsemen were ordered to take Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, captive and restrict his movement towards Kufa. When Imam Hussain encountered Hurr’s army, he noticed that his enemy’s caravan was parched and quite thirsty. Despite limited supply of water, Hussain ordered his men to quench the thirst of his rival’s army and also tend to their horses. This gesture impacted Hurr so profoundly that he switched sides and fought alongside Imam Hussain against the tyrant Yazid’s army. Also Read – YOUR HEALTHY FESTIVE PALATEThe confrontation started when Yazid I, the second Caliph of Umayyad Caliphate, the son of Muawiya, declared himself the ruler and demanded allegiance of loyalty from Imam Hussain. Hussain knew Yazid I was a tyrant ruler and despite knowing the consequences for himself and his family, Hussain rejected the proposal.Hussain said, “Someone like me, does not pledge allegiance to someone like him.”Then the inevitable happened and the battle became certain. Supply of water from the river Euphrates was cut off by Yazid’s army to Imam Hussain’s camps. Knowing that they are well outnumbered against the mighty army of Yazid I, Hussain called his companions and followers, proposing before them the option to leave if they so desired. However, unsurprisingly, not a single man left. Hussain then turned the night lamp off and asked his companions to leave again so that they don’t feel shy or embarrassed. Still, none left. The Battle of Karbala was fought on October 10, 680 CE (10 Muharram in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar) between the army of Yazid I and a small army led by Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at Karbala, Iraq. Hussain’s men including Hussain himself and his six-month-old child were martyred on the day of Ashura, that is the tenth day of Muharram, and his women were taken captive. Zayn al-Abidin, the son of Hussain who was not given permission to fight due to illness, was the only male survivor from Hussain’s family. Since then, Hussain’s sacrifice is remembered and is widely mourned across the globe.Shia Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain during Muharram while Sunni Muslims voluntarily fast on the last day. Since the sighting of the moon in the month of Muharram, Shias could be seen participating in the majlis (religious congregations to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain) at imambaras or azakhanas. Big tazias are taken out on streets and a rhythmic narration of the tragedy of Karbala is recited by both men and women. On the tenth of Muharram, massive processions walk the streets, mostly barefoot, to reimagine Karbala (within their own city) and for the symbolic burial of tazias.During the Mughal era too, Muharram was observed in Delhi with the emperor himself actively participating in rituals. In her book, City of My Heart, author and historian Rana Safvi elaborates upon how the emperors observed Muharram across different days leading to the tenth day of the month. As an excerpt from the book reads: On the eighth day, the Badshah becomes Hazrat Abbas’s Saqqa, wearing a simple red cotton lungi and carrying a mashq (waterskin) of sherbet on his shoulder, which he distributes to children. Once he does that, he consecrates the maleeda (crumbled rotis with sugar). On the tenth day, called Ashura, fresh earthen cups called kooze are filled with milk and sherbet and a red thread is tied around their mouths. Earthen bowls filled with fresh halwa are kept for consecration. Children come running to drink the sherbet and taste the halwa… Despite the passage of time and popularisation of technology, the essence of Muharram has remained sacred while its cultural significance has been enhanced by many folds. Now, zakirs (religious scholars) are widely heard on social media platforms and maintain a wide audience of dedicated followers. With Facebook Live, Twitter Live, YouTube and more – their reach has amplified to many more new corners and strengthened in older bastions. The imambaras may have traversed the journey from traditional khus mats to modern-day expensive carpets – but the basic essence of these majlis remains untarnished. “Muharram also taught us discipline. As kids, we remember how we were told to maintain the decorum inside imambaras – sit quietly and listen to the learned scholars. Even now, I do make it a point to visit my homeland during Muharram whenever possible. It carries such deep nostalgia that we have grown up with,” said Akbar Nawab, a resident of Lucknow, currently residing in the United States for research work. The white horse that one sees in Muharram processions is the replica of Imam Hussain’s horse named Zuljanah. The horse used in Muharram for making a replica of Zuljanah is often home-groomed. It is necessary that they are never used for rides, maintaining the required sanctity for observing the occasion.The food items distributed at the end of a majlis is called tabarruk. With the passage of time, items featuring on the tabarruk menu too have changed. From traditional namakparas wrapped in small paper packets to expensive sheermaals in sophisticated khaki paper packing, today’s tabarruk has come a long way from its traditional counterpart. Sherbet too is distributed at sabeels (small cubicles serving drinks) on various days of Muharram.Not just Shias but Sunnis and even Hindus in various parts of the country today observe Muharram. Honouring Hussain and his ethos, large tazias are prepared in the courtyard and preserved for devotees. Depending on their size, they are ceremoniously carried on the devotee’s shoulders or on wheeled carts to the locally-designated Karbala within the city and buried. This also brings the communities closer. The message of Karbala stands stark even in today’s world: Come whatever may, one should never stoop down before injustice and tyranny. That is the reason why Imam Hussian, despite being martyred with his men, is still remembered across the world while the mighty Yazid’s name has quickly disappeared.last_img read more

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The Kentucky Derby Is Getting Predictable

Belmont Stakes1.430-0.77 Co-favorite victories counted as winsSources: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Daily Racing Form Update (May 6, 10:50 a.m.): Although Classic Empire was the morning-line favorite, the odds have since shifted. As of 10:50 a.m. Saturday, Always Dreaming is now narrowly favored to win the Kentucky Derby in what is considered a wide-open field.One of the cardinal rules of horse racing is that betting on favorites is fun — who doesn’t like having a winning ticket? — but it’s the quickest way to go broke. Except, that is, in the most famous race in America.The Kentucky Derby should be nearly impossible to handicap. The horses, at just 3 years old, don’t have much experience and are still maturing. Many of them have never run this distance before, or run at Churchill Downs. And even if a handicapper can sift through all that uncertainty and use a combination of past performances and pedigree to identify the best contenders, it can all become irrelevant thanks to the abnormally large Derby field — with as many as 20 horses creating gridlock and chaos, results ought to be utterly unpredictable.That’s what makes the last several years of the Kentucky Derby so strange: It is, seemingly, getting more predictable. For four straight years, the favorite has come out on top. It began with Orb in 2013, then continued with California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist.In total, 16 favorites have won the Kentucky Derby in the last 50 years.1Including Forward Pass, the favorite in the 1968 Kentucky Derby who initially finished second but was awarded the win after first-place finisher Dancer’s Image was disqualified for failing a drug test. Bets on Dancer’s Image may have been paid out before the horse was disqualified, but for the purposes of this thought experiment, we’re counting things as if Forward Pass won the usual way. And that has produced a compelling betting strategy: Forget all the wonky handicapping. Over the last half-century, placing a $2 bet (the smallest bet you can make on a single horse in the Derby these days) on the favorite each year would have netted you $107.80 on a $100 investment — a 7.8 percent profit. But in just the last 20 years, returns on that same strategy would be much better: 74 percent. Now the question has become: Is the recent rash of victorious favorites a coincidence? Or a sign of something bigger?Before these last four years, the Kentucky Derby had for decades been known for its unpredictability. Between 1980 and 1999, not a single favorite won. Before 2013, it had been four years since a favorite wore the roses.There are two rational explanations for this trend. The first is chance. These horses, after all, are the favorites for a reason. And this kind of streak is not unprecedented — favorites won four straight years from 1972-1975, too.But there’s another rationale that would indicate that this is more than a fluke. It explains why the Kentucky Derby is getting chalkier and why the mega-longshot winners we once saw regularly in this race might become increasingly rare.When Orb won the Derby in 2013, that wasn’t just any year. It was the first year that horses qualified for this first leg of the Triple Crown under a newly implemented points system. This “Road to the Kentucky Derby” awards points to the top four finishers in a select group of races. The top 20 get to run in the Derby.What’s more important than the point system is the mechanism it replaced. Before 2013, horses qualified for the Derby based on their winnings in graded stakes races.This created chaos in the Derby. In some instances, horses that were elite in sprints — races shorter than a mile, which are excluded from the new qualifying system — could crowd the Derby, a route run at 1¼ miles. In other instances, horses that weren’t good enough made it in anyway. But these horses didn’t just fade down the stretch into irrelevance. They regularly introduced anarchy, transforming the subtle mechanics of a race in a way that allowed longshots to thrive.There’s no more illustrative example than the 2005 Derby, when 50-1 longshot Giacomo stunned the world. Giacomo’s best friend in that race was a 71-1 longshot named Spanish Chestnut, which led for the first three-quarters of a mile. In the last two races Spanish Chestnut ran before the Derby, it finished sixth twice. In other words, it didn’t belong. But during those first six furlongs, Spanish Chestnut set the second-fastest pace in Derby history.Predictably, Spanish Chestnut couldn’t sustain such a hot pace, ultimately fading and finishing 16th. But while this longshot was in the lead, other horses got sucked into running that fast and wound up tiring, too. The favorite that day, Bellamy Road, was close by, in fifth place, when Spanish Chestnut started to slow.At that same distance, three-quarters of a mile, Giacomo was in 18th place out of 20 and trailed by 14¾ lengths, the farthest behind of any eventual Derby winner in more than a quarter-century. But when Spanish Chestnut — and every horse that tried to keep up with Spanish Chestnut — tired, Giacomo had enough gas left in the tank to pass 17 other horses.The new points system is better at weeding out the Spanish Chestnuts. That means longshots like Giacomo are even less likely to encounter the volatile circumstances that enable them to win.The strategy of betting the favorites for 50 years would also pay off in the Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown’s second leg. In fact, in the long run you’d make more than you would on the Derby — the Preakness has offered returns of 11.4 percent. But in any single year, betting on a favorite in the Preakness can be less attractive: When American Pharoah and California Chrome won, for example, they went off at odds shorter than 1-1, meaning that if you cashed in on a $2 bet, your winnings would likely be counted out using more quarters than dollar bills. Essentially, it requires risking a lot of money just to win enough to pay for a celebratory cigar. Preakness Stakes1.544+0.23 On the other hand, because the Derby is so uncertain, favorites can be had at good value. This year’s morning-line favorite, Classic Empire, is priced at 4-1. That would offer better returns any Preakness favorite in the last half-century.At the same time, the biggest sucker’s move is betting a favorite in the Belmont Stakes, which at 1½ miles is longer than almost any other race these horses will ever run. In other words, nobody knows how the horses will handle the distance. What’s worse, the favorite will often be racing for the third time in seven weeks, which can leave a horse worn down. A bet on the favorite in the Belmont in the last 50 years would have cost you 38.7 percent of the money you staked. There’s a reason we went nearly 40 years without a Triple Crown winner before American Pharoah came along.All of this means that the best betting strategy for this year’s Derby may also be the dumbest one: Bet on Classic Empire. Kentucky Derby2.732%+$0.16 RACEAVG. FAVORITE ODDSFAVORITE WIN PCT.AVG. PROFIT ON $2 BET Outcome of betting on the favorite, 1967-2016 read more

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