The Kentucky Derby is by far the most popular horse racing event in America with over $100 million wagered on the event every year even prior to the expansion of sports betting. Now that online sports betting is spreading across the country, it's safe to assume Kentucky Derby betting will only continue to grow with all of the best horse racing bookies offering odds on the event.
The 2019 installment featured a controversial finish, a first-ever disqualification of the first horse to finish and a 65-1 long shot, Country House, winning the race.
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Betting on the Kentucky Derby is easy. Well over $130million is bet each year in the US on the Kentucky Derby odds, with more than $200million wagered across the Kentucky Derby Festival. There are many popular Kentucky Derby betting markets beyond the ‘win’, ‘place’, and ‘show’ standard horse racing wagers:
You can bet on the Kentucky Derby at the racecourse and online, including on betting sites outside the US, with many online horse racing bookmakers offering Kentucky Derby betting markets, such is the widespread appeal of the Run for the Roses.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows punters to bet early on the potential Derby horse they think will earn a place in the race and go on to win the Kentucky Derby. Future Wager bets typically offer larger payouts than betting the same horse on the day of the race, because they are placed before the horse has been confirmed to run.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a pool bet that can offer large payouts for small stakes. More than $1.5million of Future Wager bets are handled through various pools each year. In 2003 a record $188 for a minimum $2 bet was paid out on those backing Derby winner Funny Cide in the first pool - he paid $27.60 on race day. This is how Future Wager works:
Kentucky Derby Future Wager betting is available on North American betting sites like TwinSpires in the US. Online betting sites outside the US offer ante post betting on the Kentucky Derby odds, meaning you can place a win or each-way bet before the final field has been declared. This betting market works in a similar way to the Future Wager pools, but the payouts are smaller - even though the betting odds can still be better value than they would be on race day.
The Kentucky Derby is a uniquely prestigious race, in that results do not tend to show bias - and shocks have not been common. The best Kentucky Derby betting strategy is to find the best horse in the race, and then add them with others in one of the exotic bets listed above. These betting tips can help:
Internationals competing in the Kentucky Derby is new. With the Road to the Kentucky Derby series only recently extended to include races in Europe, and then Japan, it has become more likely that a runner not trained in the US will eventually win the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby betting tends to point the way towards the winner. The most recent recipients of the roses have all been favourites in the Kentucky Derby Odds.
|Year||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Odds / $2 Payout|
|2019||Country House||Flavien Prat||Bill Mott||65/1f / $132.40|
|2018||Justify||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||29/10f / $7.80|
|2017||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||47/10f / $11.40|
|2016||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||23/10f / $6.60|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||29/10f / $7.80|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||5/2f / $7.00|
|2013||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey III||11/2f / $12.80|
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, run on the first Saturday in May every year at Churchill Downs racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky.
It is US horse racing’s premier Grade 1 for three-year-old thoroughbreds, often called ‘The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport’, or ‘The Run For The Roses’, because the winner is draped with a blanket of roses.
With $2million in prize money, the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby attracts the US’s finest racehorses, as well as some internationals, all having earned their berth in the 20-runner field by accumulating points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby circuit.
The Kentucky Derby, the longest running US sporting event, is the highlight of the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival at Churchill Downs, attracting crowds in excess of 155,000 people and a total bet handle of more than $130million.
Since the 139th Kentucky Derby in 2013, runners have qualified to run by accumulating points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. In each of the series’s races, a tiered points system awards points to the first four finishers.
At the end of the series, the 20 horses with the most points earn their spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. The Road to the Kentucky Derby begins in September and ends in April, offering opportunities in America, Japan, Ireland, the UK, and France.
The Kentucky Derby is run over 1 1/4 miles on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in the US state of Kentucky. The racecourse is a 1 mile oval, specifically built to found the Kentucky Derby, and supporting Kentucky Oaks, races designed to showcase the breeding of thoroughbreds in Kentucky.
Colonel Meriwether Clark had been inspired by the Epsom Derby, and Epsom Oaks in England, so created US equivalents on a new course, made possible by land leased to him by uncles John and Henry Churchill. That’s where the name Churchill Downs was born.
The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks - run on the Friday before Derby Saturday - have run every year since their inauguration in 1875, making them the longest continuously running US sporting events. Churchill Downs has become a horse racing landmark, highlighted on the Kentucky skyline by the iconic Twin Spires that sit atop the grandstands.
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