Deposits and withdrawals are crucial elements of the online gambling world. Kentucky Derby betting sites that have clearly detailed policies for putting in money and getting it out are the ones you should be seeking. If the site in question is a little foggy about the whole. Will history repeat itself in the 2021 El Camino Real Derby? Saturday’s renewal of the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve prep race has drawn nine entries, including a filly—#7 Javanica—with a big chance to win the $100,000 race. Kentucky Derby Betting – Handicapping the Kentucky Derby. Since favorites rarely win the Kentucky Derby for a variety of reasons including big, bulky.
Are you looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby online? If so, then you’ve come to the right place to find a list of the best Kentucky Derby betting sites and so much more. Whether you’ve got experience betting on the big race or are brand new, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve packed this guide with all of the details you’ll need to know to find the perfect betting website for your unique needs. Up first, we’ll get things started by showcasing our selections for the top Kentucky Derby betting sites. After that, we’ll provide you with the information you need to know about bet types, betting on the race, frequently asked questions, and more.
Are you ready to bet on the Kentucky Derby now? If so, then you don’t want to miss our list of recommendations below. Here, you’ll find our collection of the top Kentucky Derby betting websites. We’ve scoured the internet with the end goal of bringing you a list of the best of the best. The best netent casinos. If you’re looking to bet on the race online, these are the operations you’ll want to use. You can learn more about why we’ve selected these gambling websites in the next section below if you’d like some color regarding our process.
|Rank||DE Gambling Site||Sign Up Bonus||Get Started|
|#1||Betway Sports||100% up to €150|
|#2||22bet Sports||100% up to €122|
|#3||Spin Sports||100% up to €200|
|#4||10Bet Sports||100% up to €50|
|#5||Guts Sports||100% up to €50|
There’s a chance some of you might not be ready to dive into betting on the race just yet. If you’d like to learn other things such as how to bet on the Kentucky Derby or types of derby bets, be sure to stick around and check out everything this page has to offer. Once you’re ready to find the perfect gambling site to use for your Kentucky Derby betting, you can come back to our list of suggestions featured above.
If you don’t have a ton of time, you might want to use the links below to skip ahead to different sections on this page. But if you’re looking to get the most out of our guide on Kentucky Derby betting sites, you’ll want to check out everything so that you don’t miss out on any of our essential tips and details.
Finding the Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites
If you don’t already have a spot to do all of your online Kentucky Derby betting, you’re probably wondering how you can go about finding the best ones. The path of least resistance is to simply select one of the choices from our list of recommendations above. We’ve spent lots of time checking out all available options, and we’re confident these operations are the top spots for you to bet on the Kentucky Derby.
However, we understand some of you may want to check out options yourself to determine which one you might use. Below, we’ve included a list of criteria with critical areas of importance as we looked for the top Kentucky Derby betting sites. Check these out and be sure to keep each of these in mind as you hunt for the online sportsbook to call home for all of your derby related wagers.
Selection of Kentucky Derby Wagers
One of the first things we checked out as we were looking for the top Kentucky Derby betting sites was the available selection of race-related wagers. Ideally, it’s nice to be able to place all of your derby wagers in one spot so that you don’t have to bounce around. On our list of suggestions above, you’ll find tons of betting options for the big day. As you go about hunting for an online sportsbook to use for betting on the Kentucky Derby, make sure they offer you all of the types and options you desire.
Just because a Kentucky Derby betting site offers an extensive collection of race-related wagers doesn’t mean that’s the one you should use. For us, it’s also essential we’re getting a good bang for our buck when we place our bets on the big race. One of the top things we scrubbed our list of recommendations for was competitive lines and odds, and you’ll want to do the same. By working with an online sportsbook offering excellent lines, you’ll end up earning higher profits on your winning wagers.
One of the most important things you should keep in mind at all times as you search for a Kentucky Derby betting website is your safety. Unfortunately, not all online sportsbooks are trustworthy operations. Because of this, you’ll need to do your research to ensure you work with one who you know will keep you protected. If you work with one of our top picks above, you’ll be working with one of the most secure operations in the industry.
Something else you’ll want to check into is the historical reputation of any gambling website you’re considering. As we did our research looking for the top Kentucky Derby betting websites, we made sure our recommendations all had a long and stable past without any significant hiccups. You’ll want to do the same so that you don’t end up using an operation that’s brand new or has a rocky past.
Promotions and Bonuses
As you hunt for a Kentucky Derby betting site, make sure to also check into the bonuses being offered by any operation you’re considering. With online gambling, there’s often a potential to score some large welcome bonuses along with promotions which are specific to the big race itself. Your goal should be to find an online sportsbook that allows you to maximize your bonus-earning potential.
Quality customer service and support is vital to us. While you hope you’ll never need help from the Kentucky Derby sportsbook you end up using, it’s always a possibility. As you look for the ideal online gambling site to call home for all of your horse racing betting needs, make sure to test out their support. You’ll want to see how easy it is to reach their team and if they provide you with helpful and quality answers.
Ease of Use
Finally, the one other vital area you should investigate for any potential gambling website you’re considering is the site’s ease of use. When you’re betting on the Kentucky Derby, it’s essential you can get it done quickly and without any headaches. That way, you can get back to enjoying life. Try out the website for yourself to see how easily you can navigate things and find what you’re searching for.
While this may not apply to everyone reading this page, it will apply to many. If you’re interested in betting on the Kentucky Derby from your phone or tablet, make sure you locate an online sportsbook which allows you that flexibility. We’re big fans of mobile sports betting, which is why each one of our recommended Kentucky Derby betting sites will enable you to enjoy the convenience it brings to the table.
Types of Kentucky Derby Wagers
Sportsbooks like to keep things interesting for their clients, which is why Kentucky Derby betting sites are often tasked with coming up with numerous betting options for an event. In this section, we’ll look at some of the most common ways to wager on the event.
To gain a payday on this wager, the bettor must correctly choose the winner of the race. This bet offers a larger payout than the “place” or “show” options. If made at Churchill Downs, the minimum required wager is $2.
This is also a bet on the winner of the race, but it’s often made months in advance before the field is even set. Since so much uncertainty surrounds the event at this stage, it’s common to see larger payouts (such as risking $100 to win $2,000).
This option allows punters to wager on world-class sires months before the race occurs. If one of their offspring wins the Kentucky Derby, then the punter receives a hefty payout.
If you bet on a horse to “place,” then you’re predicting that he’ll finish in first or second place.
The punter collects a payout if their horse finishes in the top three.
The bettor chooses two horses to finish first and second, but he must also predict the exact order. This offers a greater payout because of the degree of difficulty. There’s also the option to “box” the bet, which means the order doesn’t have to be exact (thereby
reducing the payout).
This option is harder than the exacta because the bettor must choose three horses and predict the exact order they’ll finish in. This offers an even bigger payout, as the odds are heavily stacked against the bettor. A less profitable option is to “box” the bet, which
removes the need to predict the exact order.
These wagers allow oddsmakers to exercise a certain amount of creativity because they don’t deal with the specific winner of the race. Instead, options might include one of the following: the over/under on the length of the National Anthem, the over/under on the official
winning time, and the number of words in the name of the Derby winner.
Easiest Bets to Win
With so many options to choose from when it comes to Kentucky Derby bet types, many of you might be wondering which of these wagers are the easiest ones to win. Below, we’ve included a list of the bet types which have the highest chances of winning when you’re betting on the big race.
- Outright Winner
One key thing worth pointing out is that although the bet types listed above are the easiest ones to win when betting on the Kentucky Derby, they also tend to pay out less than more challenging wagers like a trifecta or exacta. Part of the reason other bet forms often pay out more is because the chances are lower that you’ll win the bet. As you think about what types of bets you want to make on the race, be sure to consider the full risk vs. reward picture.
Biggest Upsets in Kentucky Derby History
2018 Kentucky Derby Recap
In 2018, the favored horse going into the race was Justify. To the delight of his owners and all of the sports bettors who selected him as the winner, Justify ended up winning the race by 2.5 lengths while dominating the rest of the field.
To many, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear the favored horse ended up winning the race. However, there are a couple of key things which made Justify’s win a relatively unique one. For starters, he was the first horse in over 135 years to have won the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old. Another interesting fact is that only one other horse has won the race in the past 100 years with just three career starts. In short, Justify practically came out of nowhere and ended up being a complete rock star during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Those of you who closely follow the horse racing scene probably know what happened next. Justify went on to win both the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes to become the 13th horse in history to win the much cherished Triple Crown award.
If you’d like to read more details about the 2018 Kentucky Derby, be sure to check out the official recap from the Derby’s main website.
Betting on the Upcoming Kentucky Derby
Are you planning to wager on the Upcoming Kentucky Derby? If you are, you’re not alone. In 2018, it’s estimated over $2 million was legally wagered on the big race according to an article published by Money Magazine. If you’re planning to get in on the action, we’ve included some key details here which you can use to get yourself started. Check these out so you can get the ball rolling with wagers as soon as you’re ready.Key Details
- Date: Saturday, May 4th
- Location: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
- Best Places to Bet Online: Check out our chart of top Kentucky Derby betting websites at the top of this page
- Bet Timing: You can begin placing wagers now on the big race. As it gets closer to the day of the Derby, more betting options will become available
While you’re here, we wanted to provide you with easy access to some of our other most popular pages which might be helpful to you as you prepare to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Check out the included links below, and be sure to explore the ones that can help you continue to expand your knowledge of betting on the big race.
If you’re not sure what the difference is between a filly and a gelding, you’ll want to check out our horse racing glossary that’s linked below. On this page, we’ll fill you in on all of the need-to-know terminology that surrounds horse racing betting.
Are you a regular horse racing sports bettor? If so, then don’t miss the page linked below. This page will showcase our top picks for the best all-around horse racing betting sites. Each of these selections will be an ideal fit for you no matter if you’re betting on the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, or any other horse racing event.
One of the toughest parts of betting on horse racing and other sports is getting a good grasp of understanding betting odds. Below, we’ve added a link to our page about calculating betting odds so that you can learn everything you’ll need to fully understand all of the odds on your future Kentucky Derby wagers.
If you’re new to sports betting, one of our best resource pages is the one linked below which is focused on bankroll management. On this page, we’ll help you learn about these plans, and we’ll coach you on how you can create a custom bankroll management plan to help you get the most out of your available Kentucky Derby betting dollars.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you didn’t find everything you were searching for above, then be sure to check out the FAQs included below. Here, we’ve added some questions we often receive from readers about Kentucky Derby betting sites. Hopefully, you’ll find these FAQs helpful if you’re still searching for answers.
Is it easy to bet on the Kentucky Derby online?
Absolutely. If you’re new to online sports betting, it’s nothing to be intimidated about. Even if you don’t already have an account established, you could be set up and running in 15 minutes or less in most cases.
To get started, first decide which gambling site you’ll use to bet on the Kentucky Derby. We’ve listed our picks for the top ones at the top of this guide. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll sign up to open an account by providing the website with some basic information like your name and address. Then, before you can place any Kentucky Derby bets, you’ll have to fund your account. To make sure you can begin wagering immediately, you’ll want to use an instant deposit method like Skrill or Neteller. Otherwise, you may have to wait a few days for your funds to clear.
Once your account is open and funded, you’re in business to begin placing bets on the big race. If you choose to work with one of our recommended Kentucky Derby betting sites featured above, you’ll benefit from the ability to bet from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. No matter which device you decide to use, you’ll be able to bet on the Kentucky Derby in a matter of moments.
Are these the only sportsbooks where I can bet on the Kentucky Derby online?
No. There’s a huge number of gambling sites out there who will offer wagers on the race. But with so many options available, we think it’s crucial you end up betting with one of the best ones. With that in mind, we created this guide to help you quickly know which operations are the top Kentucky Derby betting sites. If one of the options on our list of suggestions doesn’t seem to be the one for you, there are other online sportsbooks offering action on the big race.
Is it safe to gamble online?
Gambling online can be very safe as long as you work with a betting website that can be trusted to protect you. Our list of recommended Kentucky Derby betting sites showcased at the top of this guide are operations we fully trust to protect you. If you’re going to do your own search for a website to use, be sure to spend some time researching it to ensure it’s a legit and trustworthy establishment.
Why should I bet on the Kentucky Derby online?
For many folks, online sports betting offers a couple of significant advantages over betting at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. Below, we’ll cover two things to give you an idea of why you might consider betting on the Kentucky Derby online.
Perhaps the most significant advantage online betting provides is convenience. With an online sportsbook like the ones we’ve recommended above, you don’t have to drive into your local land-based establishment. Instead, you can bet from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Thanks to this, you’ll save time and gas money, and you’ll be able to place all of your Kentucky Derby wagers in a minimal amount of time.
The other main reason many individuals like to do their sports betting online is because of the bonuses which can be gained while doing it. Part of the reason we suggested the Kentucky Derby betting sites at the start of this guide is because of the sizeable bonuses they offer their clients. Between welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, and other offers, you might have the chance to pick up some great bonus cash. Compared to brick and mortar sportsbooks, you’ll almost always come out ahead in the bonus department when choosing to gamble online.
Should I sign up for more than one Kentucky Derby betting site?
It’s your call if you want to use more than one betting site for placing your Kentucky Derby wagers. If you’re new to online sports betting, our advice would be for you to stick to just one website until you’ve got a good hang of things. If you’re an experienced or more advanced bettor, you might want to use more than one online sportsbook. If you go this route, you’ll be able to shop your odds and lines so you can ensure you’re always getting the best possible bang for your buck.
We hope our guide about Kentucky Derby betting sites has been able to equip you with all of the knowledge you were hoping for and then some. If you’re a newcomer to our website, be sure to take some time to see what else we have to offer. As you look around, you’ll find we’ve got lots of other helpful guides, tips, and reviews about gambling. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with all of your Kentucky Derby bets!
The Kentucky Derby is the most popular betting race in the United States. It’s the Super Bowl of horse racing and creates considerable media attention and interest from casual sports fans and bettors along with industry insiders and horsemen. Known as “The most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby generates huge betting action as America’s most wagered-on horse race. The Sport of Kings has clearly generated an interest from the casual fan when it comes to the Kentucky Derby, as wagering records, live attendance and Derby telecast viewership are at all-time highs.
NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage has averaged more than 14 million viewers each year since 2008. Fueled by a postrace inquiry and Country House’s controversial win, the 2019 race was the highest-rated Kentucky Derby Kentucky Derby since 2015 and third-most watched Derby since 1989 with 16.34 million viewers.
The 2020 Kentucky Derby broadcast on NBC saw a peak audience of 9.8 million, which is down from the 2019 race peak of 18.5 million.
The 2020 rescheduled Kentucky Derby in September drew a total betting handle of $79.4 million, down 52 percent from the record $165.5 million bet on the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby. Still, the total amount bet on the 14-race Derby Day card was $128.3 million. That was better than any other race day in 2020, illustrating the Kentucky Derby’s unique position in the sport. The full-card amount, however, was down 48.9 percent compared to the record amount bet on the 2019 card.
An interesting note about the 2020 Kentucky Derby day card. Of the 14 races, just one post-time favorite won, sapping many bettors’ bankrolls.
How to bet on the Kentucky Derby
So how do you bet on the Kentucky Derby and get involved in the exciting action? Fans can wager legally at racetracks, simulcast centers such as Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers, and on advanced deposit wagering platforms such as TVG, where bettors in 31 states can legally bet on the race from their mobile devices and web browsers. People who bet online at TwinSpires wagered $30.2 million on the 2019 Kentucky Derby, up 23% over 2018. You can also wager on horse racing legally in the state of Nevada at the hundreds of casinos with race and sportsbooks.
Best online horse racing sites
Kentucky Derby odds 2021
Below are the current odds for the Kentucky Derby at William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada.
|Horse||Odds (William Hill)||Trainer|
|Essential Quality||+700||Brad Cox|
|Life Is Good||+700||Bob Baffert|
|Greatest Honor||+1000||Shug McGaughey III|
|Concert Tour||+1000||Bob Baffert|
|Caddo River||+1500||Brad Cox|
|Medina Spirit||+1600||Bob Baffert|
|Dream Shake||+2000||Peter Eurton|
|The Great One||+2200||Doug O'Neill|
|Prime Factor||+2500||Todd Pletcher|
|Risk Taking||+2500||Chad Brown|
|Highly Motivated||+3000||Chad Brown|
|Candy Man Rocket||+3000||Bill Mott|
|Hot Rod Charlie||+3000||Doug O'Neill|
|Roman Centurian||+3000||Simon Callaghan|
2021 Kentucky Derby race information
- Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Time: 7:01 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live
- Track & Location: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
- Distance: 1 ¼ miles (10 furlongs)
- Surface: Dirt
- Horses: 3-Year-Old Thoroughbreds
- Track Record: Secretariat – 1:59.40 in 1973
Five horses to watch in 2021
The Kentucky Derby points standings will change considerably throughout the month of March and April leading into the May 1 Kentucky Derby. The development of some of the leading thoroughbreds is fascinating to watch as they race into their 3-year-old campaign.
Prevailing in the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May requires some good fortune in a potential 20 horse field. More importantly, to be a major contender, a horse must have a strong blend of stamina and speed. An early maturing profile is part of the process and buildup as trainers prepare their prized runners for the biggest race of their 3-year-old campaign.
Leading into the Championship Series races we see some horses that have already won some big races at age 2, and others starting to make their mark in other Road to the Kentucky Derby races.
Here are five horses to watch that have had some early success and continuing on the Derby trail. Stiffer competition awaits in late February, March and April as the excitement builds towards the the Kentucky Derby. We’ll update additional horses to watch as the competition gets tougher and the biggest races unfold on the Derby trail.
You can follow the Road to the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard for the top-20 points earners to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
1. Essential Quality
Brad Cox-trained Essential Quality went 3-for-3 in 2020 with a pair of Grade 1 wins, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The galloping gray son of Tapit, who won the 2004 Wood Memorial and ran in the Kentucky Derby. Essential Quality’s pedigree is stacked with classic influences, which makes the Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles a solid target for success. Essential Quality has been training consistently at the Fair Grounds and will make his 2021 debut in the rescheduled Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 27 at Oaklawn Park. He’ll likely follow up with a final prep race in the Louisiana Derby. As of late February, Essential Quality remains the clear leader in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Two other horses in the top 10 NTRA 3-year-old poll will challenge Essential Quality in the Southwest Stakes and are worth watching – Keepmeinmind and Jackie’s Warrior.
2. Life is Good
Like 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, Life Is Good is both trained by Bob Baffert and a son of Into Mischief. They also both won the Sham Stakes (G3), and Life Is Good is 2-for-2 after that win in early January and posted a 110 Equibase Speed Figure – the fastest of any Derby contender to date. Life Is Good will race next in the 1 1/16 mile San Felipe (G3) on March 6, and get his final Derby prep in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 3. Life Is Good is No. 2 in the NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll. There is plenty of speed in the pedigree of Life Is Good, as Into Mischief was a talented sprinter/miler. But some mixed thoughts on stamina and distance remain. Until Authentic’s Derby win, most of Into Mischief’s progeny had topped out at 1 ⅛ miles or been more known as sprinters.
Mandaloun is also sired by Into Mischief, and the Brad Cox-trained runner is 3-for-4 after winning the Grade II Risen Star Feb. 13 as the 2/1 favorite. Mandaloun turned the tables on Midnight Bourbon and Proxy, who finished 1-2 in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) when Mandaloun finished third as the favorite. In winning the 1 ⅛ mile Risen Star, Mandaloun showed enough speed to track the pace, and then showed solid stamina to dispose of his two main rivals down the stretch. The pedigree profile on the bottom half of Mandaloun’s breeding is stacked with classic stamina, making him one to watch on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
4. Greatest Honour
Greatest Honour won the Holy Bull (G2) in his stakes debut Jan. 30. It was a visually impressive performance coming from off the pace and sweeping past a trio of runners before drawing away to win by nearly 6 lengths. The Shug McGaughey-trained son of Tapit possesses the speed and stamina to be a Kentucky Derby contender. Currently ranked No. 4 behind Mandaloun in the NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll, Greatest Honour has posted 103 and 106 Equibase Speed Figures in his last two races. He’ll need to continue his steady improvement under his ultra-patient Hall of Fame trainer, and will get his next chance to rise in the Fountain of Youth (G2) Feb. 27 at Gulfstream Park.
5. Concert Tour
Concert Tour is 2-for-2 with both wins this year as a 3-year-old. The Bob Baffert-trained son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense won the San Vicente (G2) in early February with a pace-pressing style while posting a 106 speed figure. Concert Tour has been training strong for his next race March 13 when Baffert ships him to Oaklawn Park to duel with Caddo River, another Derby contender. Concert Tour is bred to run longer and will be one to watch with a final prep likely in the Arkansas Derby as Baffert staggers his Derby runners across the major stakes races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Lead-up prep races to the Kentucky Derby 2021
The 14 Championship Series races leading up to the Kentucky Derby will define the bulk of the 2021 Kentucky Derby field. Those races reward more recent form and run from mid-February to mid-April.
There are eight Championship Series races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby that award 100 qualifying points to the winner, 40 points to second place, 20 points to third and 10 points to fourth. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby if they have not already earned enough points. The 2021 Sunland Derby scheduled for March 30 has been cancelled, leaving six Championship Series races that award 50 points to the winner and the top four finishers receive qualifying points (50-20-10-5).
- Feb. 13: Risen Star * – Fair Grounds (Winner: Mandaloun)
- Feb. 27: Fountain of Youth * – Gulfstream Park
- March 6: Gotham Stakes * – Aqueduct
- March 6: Tampa Bay Derby * – Tampa Bay Downs
- March 6: San Felipe * – Santa Anita Park
- March 13: Rebel Stakes * – Oaklawn Park
- March 20: Louisiana Derby ** – Fair Grounds
- March 27: Jeff Ruby Stakes ** – Turfway Park
- March 27: Florida Derby ** – Gulfstream Park
- March 27: UAE Derby ** – Meydan Race Course
- April 3: Blue Grass ** – Keeneland
- April 3: Santa Anita Derby ** – Santa Anita Park
- April 3: Wood Memorial ** – Aqueduct
- April 10: Arkansas Derby ** – Oaklawn Park
*85 points race and 50 points to the winner
**170 points race and 100 points to the winner
The last Louisiana Derby winner to win the Kentucky Derby was Grindstone (1996). The Kentucky Derby winner has not run in the Louisiana Derby in the last 17 years (Funny Cide, 2003).
Recent Florida Derby winners that also won the Kentucky Derby include Always Dreaming (2017), Nyquist (2016), Orb (2013), Big Brown (2008), Barbaro (2006), Monarchos (2001), Thunder Gulch (1995).
No recenty winners of the UAE Derby winners also won the Kentucky Derby.
Recent Wood Memorial winners that also won the Kentucky Derby include Fusaichi Pegasus (2000).
Blue Grass Stakes
Blue Grass Stakes winners that also won the Kentucky Derby include Spectacular Bid (1979).
Santa Anita Derby
Recent Santa Anita Derby winners that also won the Kentucky Derby include Justify (2018), California Chrome (2014), I’ll Have Another (2012).
Recent Arkansas Derby winners that also won the Kentucky Derby include American Pharoah (2015), Smarty Jones (2004).
Watch how those horses perform and pay attention to their training, times, form and comments by the trainers in the biggest races leading into the Run for the Roses.
Types of wagers and bets
In addition to the traditional “straight” wagers (Win, Place, Show), fans can also attempt to cash big in the various “exotic” pools. Exacta (first two), Trifecta (first three), Superfecta (first four), and Super High Five (first five) wagering are all offered, and cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a bigger payday.
- Win: Bet on the horse you think you will win the Kentucky Derby.
- Place: Get paid the place price if your horse finishes first or second.
- Show: A show bet pays the least, but you win and get paid the show price if your horse finishes first, second or third.
- Exacta: Predict the first two horses in the correct order.
- Trifecta: Predict the first three horses in the correct order.
- Superfecta: Predict the first four horses in the correct order.
- Super High Five: Predict the first five horses in the correct order.
In 2018, Justify became the sixth consecutive favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. But the 2019 winner was 65-1 long shot Country House, who paid $132.40 to win on a $2 bet – the second-highest payout in Derby history. The race had a controversial finish when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference after crossing the finish line first. Code of Honor (14-1) was awarded 2nd place in the 2019 Derby to trigger a $2 exacta payout of $3,009.60.
Many racetracks, online sites and race and sportsbooks accept less than $2 bets on the exotic pools, so you can risk less. For example, you can place $1 exacta bets or 50-cent trifecta or even 10-cent superfecta bets at some locations. This allows you more betting options while including more horses at a lesser cost or risk.
An additional bet of interest is the Kentucky Oaks – Derby double in which you pick the winner of Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks (for 3-year-old fillies) and Saturday’s $3 million Kentucky Derby. Those are the guaranteed purses for each race and in 2019 the prizes for the Kentucky Derby were:
- 1st place: $1,860,000
- 2nd place: $600,000
- 3rd place: $300,000
- 4th place: $150,000
- 5th place: $90,000
Kentucky Derby Betting Picks
Picking a Kentucky Derby winner
Betting on horse racing has never been easier, but selecting a winner and predicting the puzzle in the exotic pools in search of a big payoff takes a little more time, skill and some racing luck. The 20 horses running in the Kentucky Derby is the largest field of any American race, and while the payouts are larger, it can be more difficult to handicap and determine the winner with so many factors to consider including each horse running 1 ¼ miles for the first time in their racing careers.
The Kentucky Derby has up to a maximum of 20 horses in the field, and those horses have qualified through 36 Kentucky Derby prep races in the United States and another seven races in Europe and four races in Japan.
There are many ways to handicap a horse race, and there is no shortage of opinions or angles when it comes to the handicapping the Kentucky Derby and the numerous prep races leading up to the Run for the Roses. From a beginners betting guide to the most sophisticated tools for informed handicappers, there are many pieces of information and betting guides to assist you in identifying a potential Kentucky Derby winner and narrowing the list of top contenders.
- Handicapping horses and the races takes much time, research and intuition. Beyond studying past performance charts and horse stats, speed figures, class ratings, tracks and bias, jockey and trainer stats, horse pedigree and even post position (Kentucky Derby Draw is Tuesday, April 27), a handicapper has to have insight and ability to find various ways to identify horses that are ready to win. You may not have time to study race videos, tracks, surfaces or find horses that had troubled trips in recent races. But it’s important to distill information that can help you identify horses that may offer some value next time out or others in good form or improving that can provide value wagering opportunities.
- Races and horses should be backed based on positive attributes and not as a result of who’s the best of the worst. As you study some of the betting guides and training tools, you’ll become better prepared and equipped to analyze races in a more meaningful way. That includes the Kentucky Derby and the prep races leading up to the Derby. Understanding ‘how’ a horse has run leading up to a race versus the far less important ‘where’ the horse finishes and ‘what’ time he/she completed their recent races will help you become more proficient.
Five biggest Kentucky Derby longshot winners ever
As we witnessed again in the 2019 Kentucky Derby when Country House won at 65-1 odds, there is no sure thing and nothing is certain in horse racing. The winning horse is not always the best horse, and in a field of 20 at the Kentucky Derby, a little bit of racing luck and a good trip makes for a better chance to win. Some of the biggest upsets in the history of the Kentucky Derby have made for some sensational stories.
1. Country House (2019)
In a historical reversal, Country House was declared the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby after an objection was filed, claiming that Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line first, had interfered with the path of multiple horses at the top of the stretch. Maximum Security was disqualified to 17th place, allowing Country House to be declared the Kentucky Derby winner. At 65-1 odds, Country House became the second-longest shot to win the Kentucky Derby behind Donerail (91-1), who beat a field of eight in 1913. Jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Bill Mott both won their first Kentucky Derby with Country House, who paid $132.40 on a $2 win bet.
2. Go For Gin (1994)
At 9-1 odds, Go For Gin was not one of the biggest longshots to win the Kentucky Derby. But his victory was shocking as the 2-1 favorite Holy Bull looked too good to lose having won eight of nine races entering the Run for the Roses including more than six lengths better than Go For Gin in the Florida Derby. But Go For Gin took to a sloppy Churchill Downs surface following a torrential rain and stole the race on the front with Chris McCarron aboard replacing Jerry Bailey and splashing home to win by two lengths with the heavy favorite Holy Bull finishing twelfth.
3. Giacomo (2005)
Giacomo was able to succeed in the 2005 Kentucky Derby where his sire, Holy Bull, had failed in 1994. The gray colt came from 18th at the three-quarter pole and rallied desperately with jockey Mike Smith aboard at odds of 50-1 to win a thrilling finish in the final strides by a half-length over fellow long shot Closing Argument (71-1). Giacomo actually denied a Triple Crown bid with his late charge as Afleet Alex won the Preakness and Belmont after finishing a close 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. Giacamo won the Derby with only a maiden win to his credit and a fourth place finish in his final Derby prep.
4. Mine That Bird (2009)
Mine That Bird was one of five horses at 50-1 odds and sat dead last in the Derby field of 19 through three quarter miles. Then jockey Calvin Borel got the son of Birdstone to rush up along the rail and the Canadian colt blew by the field on a sloppy track to win by nearly seven lengths over Pioneer of the Nile in an epic upset. Mine That Bird went on to finish 2nd in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont, but did not win a race in his final nine starts following the shocking Kentucky Derby win, which paid $103.40 on a $2 win bet.
5. Thunder Gulch (1995)
Kentucky Derby Betting Sites
Thunder Gulch entered the Kentucky Derby as an accomplished 3-year old having won the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. But a 4th place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes as the favorite three weeks before the Derby had handicappers questioning trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ fine colt. Bettors would regret severely overlooking this live longshot at 24-1. When jockey Pat Day decided to ride the Derby favorite Timber Country (3rd), Lukas turned to jockey Gary Stevens. The rest is history, and at 24-1 odds, it’s shocking a Florida Derby winner could go off at those long odds. Thunder Gulch remained within striking distance at the top of the stretch and put away the field by 2 ½ lengths over closers Tejano Run and Timber Country with the front-running filly and favorite Serena’s Song fading to finish sixteenth. Thunder Gulch finished 2nd in the Preakness before winning the Belmont and Travers Stakes.
Off Site Betting For Kentucky Derby Odds
Honorable mention: Gallahadian (35-1) in 1940 over 2-5 favorite Bimelech, who went on to win the Preakness and Belmont. Gato Del Sol (21-1) in 1982, Charismatic (31-1) in 1999 and Animal Kingdom (21-1) in 2011 after the favorite Uncle Mo scratched out of the race.
Off Site Betting For Kentucky Derby Entries
Kentucky Derby history: betting odds and winners
Early Kentucky Derby Betting
|2012||I’ll Have Another||2:01.83||15-1||$32.60||Fast|
|2009||Mine That Bird||2:02.66||51-1||$103.20||Sloppy|