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Another record year for Derby Home Rental, LLC

Derby Home RentalDerby 2015 was another record year for Derby Home Rental LLC, my business that helps Louisville, Kentucky-area homeowners rent out their homes for Derby weekend. This year 58 homes advertised and 38 of them rented—both all-time highs.

Over the past year, I redesigned the website with a responsive theme that looks better on mobile browsers and devices, installed a SSL certificate to improve the site’s security, took several measures to speed up the site’s load time, commissioned a new logo, and added a Tiny Letter newsletter that informs subscribers when a new home advertises on the site.

In addition, I created or overhauled our social media profiles. You can now keep up with the latests ads via

Derby Home Rentals also was mentioned in an Aol Travel article on the Kentucky Derby.

Thanks to everyone who advertised and rented a home this year. And, remember—the earlier you advertise your home for Derby weekend 2016, the better your chances of finding a renter. is now

Louisville Derby Home RentalAfter discussions with Churchill Downs Inc., the URL has changed to (For six years, I’ve owned and operated Derby Home Rental LLC, which helps Louisville, Kentucky-area homeowners advertise their homes to rent during Derby weekend.)

For the next year, the old site will have a message directing visitors to the new one. It’ll take a little bit for search engines to digest and process this switch. We had record traffic last year—9,840 visits and 41,108 page views—and I will monitor the site’s search engine status and work to continue that growth.

Relatedly, my email address for that business has changed to

Also, at no additional cost to advertisers, I’ve added accounts for the site on

Every home will now be advertised on those networks as well as Please follow us on those pages. Thanks!

Kentucky Derby 140: My handicapping thoughts on the race

Kentucky Derby 2007

It feels a bit strange not covering Kentucky Derby on site (first time in five years) or being at Churchill Downs for some part of this weekend (first time in seven years). So here are the thoughts I jotted down when handicapping the race. (Human-interest lines don’t factor into my betting, but I suspect I’m in the minority on that one, so I included a few here.)

1. Vicar’s in Trouble—Strong sire, beat tough competition in Louisiana Derby, increasing speed figures last three races. Jockey, Rosie Napravnik, would be first female to win Derby.

2. Harry’s Holiday—Heavily raced, doesn’t have the speed, doesn’t have the breeding

3. Uncle Sigh—Out of his league, doesn’t have the speed, part-owned by Wounded Warriors

4. Danza—Won his biggest race, but got a clean trip; lightly raced; dam’s sire breeds for distance; strong workouts

5. California Chrome—Not good breeding, already raced 10 times, due for a setback, will be over bet

6. Samraat—Poor breeding, doesn’t have the speed

7. We Miss Artie—Out of his league

8. General A Rod—Lightly raced, bred for distance, competitive, may not have the speed

9. Vinceremos—Horrible last race, but it was on Polytrack; does much better on turf; bred for distance

10. Wildcat Red—Outperformed his pedigree; super competitive

12. Dance With Fate—Doesn’t have the speed, hasn’t run on dirt this year

13. Chitu—Dam’s sire bred for distance, lightly raced, has the speed, may be out of his league

14. Medal Count—Bred for distance; great workouts; coming back off just three weeks rest and raced eight days before that; poor showing on only dirt race this year, but had a bad trip

15. Tapiture—Strong jockey-trainer combo, not great speed figures, sire breeds for distance, lost to two other in field last time out

16. Intense Holiday—Bred for distance, sped increased last four races, only raced three times this year

17. Commanding Curve—Lightly raced this year, likely out of his league, doesn’t have the speed

18. Candy Boy—May not have the speed, lightly raced this year

19. Ride On Curlin—Lots of wide trips might mean he’s used to the distance–or that he’s terrible in a crowd; well bred, and for distance; three straight faster races; over raced. Jockey is Calvin Borel, three-time Derby winner, which is good for him but bad for betters as he’ll be over bet.

20. Wicked Strong—Bred for distance. speed has increased last three races, strong workouts. Boston connection.

I’m playing a few combinations, but Vicar’s in Trouble, General A Rod, Chitu, Medal Count, Intense Holiday, and Wicked Strong factor heavily on them. Wildcat Red probably would too, but I already have a $10 win bet on him at 60-1 from a future pool, so I’m covered there.

Some notes

Louisville area homeowners: Rent out your home on Kentucky Derby weekend for fun and profit

Louisville, Kentucky. Derby Home Rentals.

Yes, I’ve left Louisville. But my Louisville, Kentucky. Derby Home Rental. business is still very much operating—and set to have its best year yet.

As I described in an article for Louisville Magazine, “What’s Mine Is Theirs,” the site helps Louisville-area homeowners rent out their homes during Kentucky Derby weekend. Last year homeowners made as much as $9,000 for a three-day rental.

Derby fans are already looking for homes to rent, so don’t delay.

Just $250 to advertise your home on this high-ranking website—no commissions that cut into your profits. Guidance for preparing your home and sample draft contact between you and renters us included.

For details, read “How do I rent my house out for Derby weekend?”

Looking to rent a home for Derby? Read “How do I rent a house for Derby weekend?”

Unintentional comedy at its best: Racehorse owner profiles

From The New York Times’s “Orb Finds Joy in Mudville”:

Orb is owned by Ogden Mills Phipps and Stuart Janney III, who are first cousins and prominent members of the Phipps racing empire. Six generations of the family have been involved in the sport, stockpiling victories in the biggest races, all except the Kentucky Derby. Easy Goer finished second for the Phippses and McGaughey behind Sunday Silence in 1989. Throughout the lead-up to the race, the family insisted they did not have Derby fever. But a glance at Phipps during the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” showed he might have had more emotion inside than he was letting on.

Afterward, the owners gave credit where it was due, to [Shug] McGaughey, who has trained for the family since 1986 and has been a fixture in his barn throughout the week, carefully watching over his charge and getting his hand dirty in the process.

“This is a time to reflect on our terrific trainer,” Janney said. “I certainly hoped it would be his time, and it was.”

Phipps, who is known as Dinny, quickly chimed in, “Well, he’s right about that.”

Read Louisville Magazine’s ‘What’s Mine Is Theirs’ for my tips on renting out your home for the Kentucky Derby

Louisville Magazine's April 2012 coverUsually on this site, I provide the back stories for my articles. But with my piece in Louisville Magazine‘s April 2012 issue, “What’s Mine Is Theirs,” the story is the back story—namely how I started a side gig renting out my home and advertising other Louisville homes for rent during Kentucky Derby weekend.

Download a .pdf of my article here.

And, while I’m on the subject: are you a Louisville homeowner interested in renting out your house for fun and profit during Kentucky Derby weekend? If so, visit my Louisville, Kentucky. Derby Home Rental website. has its second-best month ever (me = editor-in-chief) just finished its second most successful month ever, bested only by last May (a month when Kentucky Derby-related traffic usually gives us a huge spike).

Visits in February 2012 increased 53 percent compared to February 2011 and 22 percent compared to January 2012 (and for those of you not familiar with the Gregorian calendar, February is also a shorter month). Thanks to the site’s writers and readers!

What excites me most is that this growth is not the result of a few articles striking search engine gold, but rather steady traffic day in, day out—which means we should be able to maintain it.

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