The Kentucky Derby, held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is not only the most prestigious and lucrative event in the state’s horse racing calendar but also a major attraction for Kentucky online betting sites. The event attracts an enormous amount of attention and betting volume, both in person and online.
Kentucky horse racing betting sites offer a convenient and secure way to bet on it. We’ll provide comprehensive information for bettors of all levels, including novice and experienced handicappers, on the best bets to make, the qualifications required for the event, and a detailed rundown of the contenders and odds for this year’s Run for the Roses.
2024 Kentucky Derby odds
The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 4. When the lineup is released, the Kentucky Derby opening odds will be available right here and updated automatically 24 hours a day. See Kentucky Derby betting odds you like? Click them to create an account and claim your bonuses before making your bets.
Kentucky Derby bet types explained
At the Kentucky Derby, there are many different types of bets that you can make, ranging from simple to complex wagers. Here are some of the most popular bets:
- Win: This is a simple bet on the horse that you think will win the race.
- Place: This is a wager on a horse to finish in first or second place.
- Show: A show bet is a wager on a horse to finish in first, second, or third place.
- Exacta: With this bet, you must choose the first and second-place finishers in the correct order.
- Trifecta: This is a bet on the first three horses to finish the race, in the correct order.
- Superfecta: This is a wager on the first four horses to finish the race in the correct order.
There are also many other types of bets you can make, such as Pick 3s, Pick 4s and more. These bets are hard to hit, but they can provide great returns on small wager amounts.
Record-setting wins at the Kentucky Derby
Here are some of the key records from the Kentucky Derby:
- Speed record at current length: 1 minute, 59.40 seconds (Secretariat, 1973)
- Largest margin of victory: Eight lengths (four times, most recently by Assault in 1946)
- Biggest longshot: Donerail (91-1 in 1913)
- Most wins by an owner: Calumet Farm (eight, last in 1968)
- Trainer with most victories: Ben Jones (six, last in 1952) and Bob Baffert (six, last in 2020)
- Jockey with most wins: Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack (tied with five)
The Triple Crown winners
Historically, the Kentucky Derby serves as the inaugural leg of the Triple Crown, which includes the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Only 13 horses have achieved the elusive feat of winning all three prestigious races. Below is a list of these remarkable winners, along with their corresponding winning times recorded at the Kentucky Derby.
|Year||Winning Horse||Winning Race Time|
How do horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby?
To qualify for the Kentucky Derby, horses must earn points in designated prep races. These prep races, which are the top two- and three-year-old racing horses in the country, are typically held from September of the previous year through mid-April of the current year. The points system assigns a specific number of points to the top four finishers in each race, with more points awarded to the higher-placing horses.
The initial series of races awards 10 points to the first-place finisher, while the quantity escalates to 50 points for a triumph later on. However, as we approach the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, the points system doubles in value.
The horses with the highest point totals earn a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. Additionally, a limited number of positions are reserved for horses with the highest earnings in non-restricted stakes races.
The field is limited to 20 horses, with four additional horses designated as “also-eligible” in case of any late scratches. The horses with the most points generally get first preference to enter the race.
Here are the six biggest qualifying events, along with the track and purse amount:
- Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park, $1 million
- Blue Grass Stakes, Keeneland, $1 million
- Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, $1 million
- Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds, $1 million
- Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Park, $400,000
- Wood Memorial Stakes, Aqueduct, $750,000
Kentucky Derby history and betting pool
The Kentucky Derby began in 1875 over 1.5 miles, a length that remained until 1896 when a quarter-mile was dropped. It’s remained the same ever since.
In that first-ever race, a horse named Aristides won in 2:37:75. We have no idea how much was wagered in that particular race, but we do for the more modern iterations of this famous race.
In 1985, the entire horse betting for Derby Day, including the races before the Kentucky Derby, came in at $26.8 million. In 2019, that amount was $250.9 million, showing quite the growth over 34 years. In that 2019 race, $165.5 million was wagered on the Derby alone, topping the previous record by 10%—a record set just the year prior.
Kentucky Derby FAQ
When is the Kentucky Derby in 2024?
Saturday, May 4.
What’s the field size for the Kentucky Derby?
The field size for the Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 horses. In the event that more than 20 horses are entered in the race, a selection process known as the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points system is used to determine which horses will be allowed to compete. The points system is based on a series of designated races leading up to the Kentucky Derby, with horses earning points based on their performance in these races. The 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series are then eligible to enter the Kentucky Derby.
Has a filly ever won the Kentucky Derby?
Yes, three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby in its history. The first filly to win the Kentucky Derby was Regret in 1915. She was followed by Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988. Since Winning Colors’ victory, no other filly has won, although a few have come close, such as Eight Belles, who finished second in 2008.
What was the fastest time ever recorded at the Kentucky Derby?
The fastest time ever recorded at the Kentucky Derby is 1:59.40, which was achieved by Secretariat in 1973. Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby by an incredible 2 1/2 lengths and set a new racetrack record that still stands today. The previous record was 1:59.60, set by Northern Dancer in 1964.