While poker offers the advantage of a good bluff, and blackjack the skill of sneaky card counting, when it comes to gambling on how fast a horse can run, there isn't a whole lot of control over whether you'll land a pot of cash. No matter the odds, the jockeys or the silly names given to the thoroughbreds, no horses are able to understand the concept of first-place finishes and what it means to the guys kicking and thwacking the daylights out of them. They just want their bags of oats. With a $600,000 purse on the line — not to mention plenty of risked reward for the event's spectators — the Virginia Derby kicks off at Colonial Downs at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, featuring plenty of pre-race food, music and a contest for the best fancy hats. $15-$200. 794-6700.