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Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 2023
The Kentucky Derby occurs the first Saturday in May and is the premier horse racing event of the year. As the first leg of the Triple Crown, it draws global attention, especially from handicappers. We have the best Kentucky Derby betting sites and apps for you to use for the “most exciting two minutes in sports.”
It’s never too early to look into betting on the Kentucky Derby. Prep races determine which horses will be a part of the “Run for the Roses,” so there are other races to watch and bet on leading up to the race in Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs.
Our Kentucky Derby betting guide will explore all of the best options for wagering, watching, and handicapping the race. We also have sign up offers and promo codes you can use for Kentucky Derby betting online.
How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby
Unlike sports betting, horse racing betting has been legal in most US states for years. Horse racing sites use pari-mutuel wagering, which operates like a pool. So instead of betting against a bookmaker, you’re placing wagers against other bettors of the event.
And that is exactly how betting on the Kentucky Derby works. Each horse will have odds to win the race, but there are many more betting types than simply betting on one horse to win the race. But that is the most popular.
Check out our horse racing site reviews to learn more about the different features available for each racebook. We also include promo codes and instructions on how you can claim new customer bonuses when registering for an account!
Once you have an account, you will have access to Kentucky Derby online betting, as well as other horse races from around the world. Local fans should be sure to check out Kentucky sportsbook promos for all the best deals.
148Th Running of the Kentucky Derby
In 2022, it will be the 148th Kentucky Derby. The race will be held on Saturday, May 7th, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The track is known for the spires, which are also included in the logo.
Post time is set at 6:57 pm ET.
Potential 2022 Kentucky Derby Horses
There are several horses that already appear as favorites to win the Kentucky Derby. Expert analysis starts long before May.
Smile Happy is a horse that many handicappers have on their lists. He has two wins in his first two starts, one of which was the Jockey Club Stakes at Keeneland. He comes from the family of the 2003 Kentucky Derby winner – Funny Cide.
Forbidden Kingdom won the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, earning 50 points on the leaderboard. The beautiful colt was born in Kentucky and is trained by Richard E. Mandella.
Steven M. Asmussen is most likely the top trainer who has yet to win a Kentucky Derby. He has a great chance with Epicenter, who win the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Other horses that have a great chance at appearing in the Kentucky Derby include Classic Causeway, Simplification, Zandon, Rattle N Roll, and Morello.
Kentucky Derby 2022 Prep Race Standings
Here are the horses current standings in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, as well as the latest odds in the future pools.
|#4||Slow Down Andy||60||N/A|
|#11||Pioneer of Medina||25||71-1|
|#13||Rattle N Roll||20||31-1|
|#16||In Due Time||20||48-1|
|#24||Tiz the Bomb||10||N/A|
Watching & Streaming the Kentucky Derby
After learning how to bet on the Kentucky Derby, you need to watch the race! I suggest every sports fan put the Kentucky Derby on their bucket list of events to see in person. But there are plenty of ways to watch and stream the race with friends.
The Kentucky Derby betting apps on our page have live streaming. When you bet on a race, you can watch it from your computer or phone.
The race will also be on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBCSports app.
Types of Wagers – Betting Online Kentucky Derby
There are several ways you can bet on the Kentucky Derby when using the online racebooks on our site.
The most popular wagers are win, place, and show. The minimum bet amount for these wagers is usually set at $2.
- Win – Betting on a horse to come in 1st.
- Place – Betting on a horse to come in 1st or 2nd.
- Show – Betting on a horse to come in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Win bets will payout the most. When placing a place or show bet, you will only win the amount for 2nd or 3rd, regardless if the horse wins. These are safer bets, so you won’t win the full win amount if your horse happens to win the race.
Across the board is placing a win, place, and show bet at the same time. So, a $2 win/place/show (across the board) wager will cost $6.
Exotic bets get a little more creative. These are harder to hit, but payouts can be big, especially for the 20-horse field in the Kentucky Derby.
- Exacta: Choosing the horses that finish 1st and 2nd.
- Trifecta: Choosing the horses that finish in the top three.
- Superfecta: Choosing the horses that finish in the top four
- Super High 5: Choosing the horses that finish in the top five.
When placing any of these bets, you have to predict the horses in the correct order. However, you can box any of these wagers, which means the horses you selected can finish in any order.
An Exacta-box can also be referred to as a Quinella.
When you are preparing for Kentucky Derby betting online, you will have races throughout the day you can wager on. For a full day of action, consider placing multiple race bets.
- Daily Double: Picking the winner of two straight races.
- Pick 3: Pick the winner of three straight races.
- Pick 4: Pick the winner of four straight races.
- Pick 5: Pick the winner of five straight races.
- Pick 6: Pick the winner of six straight races.
2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Bonuses & Promos
Before betting on the Kentucky Derby, look at the promotions offered for the racebook you’re using. Since this event is so popular, it’s a great time for operators to offer various promotions and betting bonuses.
Cash back is a common Kentucky Derby betting bonus. You’ll receive a bonus refund if the horse you bet on to win finishes 2nd or 3rd. Exacta insurance can also be found, which is much like a cash back offer. You will receive a bonus if your horses finish in the top three, which is barely losing the bet.
Many of the best Kentucky Derby betting sites have rewards and loyalty programs. If you think that horse racing betting is something you enjoy for more than just the Derby, you can earn points and rewards as you wager.
The Storied History of the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports
The timeline of the Kentucky Derby goes all the way back to 1875 – the year of the first race. With just 10,000 fans in the stands, the event has come a long way.
Now, over 100,000 fans pack into Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, to watch the race. This includes some of the biggest celebrities and athletes in the world, many of which sit in Millionaires Row.
Race fans dress up in their nicest attire (and glamorous hats) and sip mint juleps – the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It’s become a staple in the south.
Betting on the Kentucky Derby has a history of its own. In 1889, pari-mutuel machines were removed after bookmakers complained about profits. But bookmakers were then banned in 1908, bringing back the machines that are very similar to what customers see in Churchill Downs today.
The Betting Levy Act (1961) legalized betting on horse racing outside of the track. Bookmakers could now field bets remotely as long as they paid a tax. Now, we have easily accessible sites and apps to bet on horse racing year-round.
Most Infamous Kentucky Derby Winners
Being the most famous horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby has created stars – both horses and people!
Secretariat is perhaps the most infamous racehorse of all time. He finished the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby in under two minutes, and the time still stands as the fastest in history. He went on to win the Triple Crown.
The jockeys play a big part in the race, and many become fan favorites, such as Calvin Borel in the 2000s. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the record for the most Kentucky Derby wins at five.
Bob Baffert had the record for the trainer with the most wins after the Derby in 2021, but that win was removed after the horse failed a drug test for banned substances. It pushed him back to six, tied with Ben Jones.
It’s hard to discuss successful and famous trainers without mentioning D. Wayne Lucas. He was a force in the 90s, but he never accomplished a Triple Crown, unlike the other two trainers mentioned.
Road to the Kentucky Derby
Horses aren’t born with a spot in the biggest race in the industry. With even the best bloodline, it has to be earned through prep races.
The prep races for the Kentucky Derby will start in the Fall, continuing until the Spring, just a month before the running of the Derby. Points are awarded to the horses that finish in the top 4, with the most going to the winner.
Some of the biggest races include the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby, Jeff Ruby Stakes, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, and the Santa Anita Derby. The winners of these races are awarded 100 points.
The 20 horses that accumulate the most points in the prep races, known as the Road to the Kentucky Derby, will earn a spot in the race.
The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May, and it is the first leg of the Triple Crown. All eyes will be on the winner in the second leg – the Preakness Stakes.
In Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness Stakes is held at Pimlico Race Course in mid-May. It is the shortest race of the three at 1 3/16th of a mile.
The last leg is the Belmont Stakes. The race gets tons of attention if a horse enters the race with a chance of winning the Triple Crown. And it’s the longest race at 1 ½ mile around Belmont Park right outside of New York City.
In the long history of these three races, only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown.
- 1919: Sir Barton
- 1930: Gallant Fox
- 1935: Omaha
- 1937: War Admiral
- 1941: Whirlaway
- 1943: Count Fleet
- 1946: Assault
- 1948: Citation
- 1973: Secretariat
- 1977: Seattle Slew
- 1978: Affirmed
- 2015: American Pharoah
- 2018: Justify
Strategies & Tips for Betting on the Kentucky Derby
A Kentucky Derby betting guide isn’t complete without handicapping information. Sites like TVG will give you tons of tools to help you with handicapping.
The weather is always a huge factor. If it’s raining, look to see if any of the top horses have experience on a wet track.
Some horses are pacesetters and enjoy being in the front, while others are closers and come to the front late.
I always pay attention to jockeys and trainers. For example, Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher have had a lot of success. And on the jockey side of things, the Kentucky Derby can cause a lot of nerves. Riders with experience have performed well.