Bet on the Kentucky Derby

Bet on the Kentucky Derby

Bet on the Kentucky Derby

There is no race in history as iconic as the Kentucky Derby, and no horse racing betting experience as great. Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, it is the most anticipated and coveted race each year. It is coming up on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

Held annually on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby draws the most promising three-year-olds the sport has to offer to compete for a chance at history. Run at a mile and a quarter (ten furlongs), the race is a true test of everything the Thoroughbred is bred to possess – speed, stamina and heart.

Since the inaugural running in 1875, the Kentucky Derby remains America’s oldest continuously run sporting event, and the Kentucky Derby winner becomes an American sports hero.

Kentucky Derby Betting Online

You no longer have to go to the racetrack for Kentucky Derby betting. With online betting for the Kentucky Derby, you get all the bets you get at the racetrack: win bets, place bets, show bets, and exotics. Many online racebooks also offer prop bets and head-to-head bets, something you’ll never find at the track.

Where to Bet on the Kentucky Derby

The convenience of an online betting site makes it easy to get in on all the action the Kentucky Derby has to offer. With an online racebook, horseplayers do not have to miss a moment of the excitement and can maximize their investment in a fun and profitable way through rebates, sign-up bonuses and easy-to-use wagering systems. The Kentucky Derby routinely draws a full field of twenty – handicapping the race should be the challenging part, wagering on it should be simple.

Though choosing an online betting site can seem tough at first because there are so many options, our experts are here to help. These sites all offer trusted payouts, great user interfaces, and market-leading odds. They also provide betting bonuses you will never find at the track, such as rebates, welcome bonuses, first-bet incentives, and exclusive promo codes and bonus codes.

Take a few minutes now, let our experts help you figure out which sites have the best bonuses for your betting style, and be ready for the best horse racing betting and sports betting experiences available.

* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!

Best Kentucky Derby Betting Site

Bovada Racebook has gained a reputation for being the premier site for horseplayers who want to get the most bang for their buck wagering on races like the Kentucky Derby. With Bovada, new players can receive lucrative incentives like a 50% free bet bonus up to $250 with a deposit. In addition, they offer competitive rebates like 3% on win wages and 5% on exotics. The entire process is simple and easy to use with customer service representatives available 24/7 to assist with deposits or cashing out winnings.

Kentucky Derby Highlights

The Kentucky Derby is the first jewel of horse racing’s most sought-after prize, the Triple Crown. Only eleven horses in history have been able to win the Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Secretariat, who famously won the Belmont Stakes by 31-lengths in an awe-inspiring performance, set the stakes record in the Kentucky Derby in 1973, completing the mile and a quarter in 1:59.40, a record which still stands today.

More recently, two other horses have become the 12th and 13th horses to win the Triple Crown. Though there was a 37-year wait after Affirmed won the 1978 Triple Crown, American Pharoah shined in all three of the three-year-old Classics in 2015. Three years later, Justify also swept the series, becoming the 13th and most recent winner of horse racing’s toughest and most iconic honor.

Though the Kentucky Derby has been predominantly won by colts and geldings, there have been three exceptional fillies who have stepped up to beat the boys. In 1915, Regret became the first female in history to win the Run for the Roses. In contemporary years, Genuine Risk took home the blanket of roses in 1980 and Winning Colors, the popular gray filly trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Gary Stevens, delivered in 1985.

Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

We can help take the mystery out of how to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Keep reading to find out what you can bet on come Derby day, and which horses are the right ones to consider when constructing your tickets.

Kentucky Derby Prep Race

The Kentucky Derby prep races run from September through April, and offer points. Races closer to the Kentucky Derby offer more points than early-season races. For example, a horse who wins a late prep like the Arkansas Derby, the Santa Anita Derby in California, the Blue Grass in Kentucky, or the Wood Memorial in New York earns enough points to go straight into the Derby. However, if a horse wins an earlier prep they either need to win multiple races or hit the board in a late prep or two to earn their berth.

Kentucky Derby Bets

When betting on the Kentucky Derby online, you have many options for types of bets.

You can play straight wagers like a win bet, a place bet, or a show bet. They pay off if your horse finishes first, second, or third respectively. These are excellent if you have a strong opinion on a single contender, and do not want other horses’ fortunes to get in the way. Especially if the horse you like is a longshot, this is a great way to maximize that opinion.

If you have more than one horse you find interesting, either in the Kentucky Derby or in other races like the Kentucky Oaks or other stakes races on Kentucky Derby day, you might want to play exotic wagers. These allow you to pick the first several horses across the wire in the Derby, or pick the winners of multiple races. They can be difficult, but the payouts can be massive!

Especially when playing exotic wagers like exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and multi-race wagers, you can always use a Kentucky Derby betting odds calculator to know for sure how much your ticket is going to cost and make sure that your Kentucky Derby betting payouts provide the right value.

Kentucky Derby Odds

If you are wondering, how early can you bet on the Kentucky Derby? Major online sportsbooks often start taking odds on the race when prep races start in September of the previous year. These Kentucky Derby futures can offer great value: you lock in your price as soon as you wager, and the price on a horse who keeps going forward can be many times what it will be at post time.

Online sportsbooks continue to offer fixed-odds wagering all the way until Derby day. So, even in the weeks leading up to the race, you still have an advantage by betting online. In the pari-mutuel pools at tracks, the prices fluctuate all the way until the horses start to run. But, online, you can lock in the best odds on the Kentucky Derby and be confident that you know what you’ll get if your horse wins!

These are the Kentucky Derby 2024 betting odds at the top of the market at the best online betting sites:

Sierra Leone+300+300TBA
Forever Young+800+1000TBA
Catching Freedom+1000+1200TBA
Just a Touch+1600+2000TBA


Kentucky Derby Contenders

When coming up with your Kentucky Derby 2024 betting decisions, you need to get to know the major contenders in the race. Though favorites have a record of running well in the Kentucky Derby, they do not always win.

For example, Epicenter was a clear leader in 2022, but he was beaten by 80-1 longshot Rich Strike in the run for the roses! In 2023, Angel of Empire went off the favorite in the race, but 15-1 shot Mage carried the day with Angel of Empire closing for third.

So, it pays to delve a little deeper into the past performances and find out who has the right tools to beat the favorite. We will have more information as the race gets closer and the field solidifies. However, at the end of the 100-point preps, these are some of the horses to watch closely as race day draws closer.

Kentucky Derby Favorites

In most books Blue Grass (G1) winner Sierra Leone is the betting favorite. The Chad Brown trainee has won both of his starts this year. He is a late runner, but he has more turn of foot than most dirt horses and he unleashed a powerful sustained run to win the Blue Grass. If he can translate that to Churchill Downs, he shapes as a major contender.

Fierceness is co-favored with Sierra Leone in some books, and a slight second choice in most. The Todd Pletcher charge hasn’t been the most consistent horse, but on his best he has been dazzling: his maiden win, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and the Florida Derby (G1) last out, which he won by 13 ½ lengths. The inconsistency is a concern, and how well he runs will depend a lot on his post position and his break, but especially if speed is holding well on Derby day we may see the best of Fierceness.

Kentucky Derby Contenders to Watch

Keep a close eye on how Dornoch is coming into the Kentucky Derby. Though he was fourth behind Sierra Leone in the Remsen last out, he has upside coming third off the layoff. He was also in the Blue Grass as a lesson more than anything; it gave him more race experience and fitness.

If he can revert back to his typical more forward style in the Kentucky Derby, especially if Fierceness doesn’t break the best, he should be a factor all the way. Note that he also has an excellent distance pedigree – in fact, he is a full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage.

Especially if the final field ends up being replete with speed, however, look to Catching Freedom to roll home well. He won the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his last start, closing from last, in a race where the pacesetter hung on to complete the superfecta. His pedigree makes him interesting for the extra distance in the Kentucky Derby, and it’s only a matter of time until big-race trainer Brad Cox wins his first Run for the Roses.

Be careful about Forever Young. It’s true, he is the most talented Japan-based Kentucky Derby entrant yet. He is a talented horse with stamina pedigree running deep, he is undefeated in five starts, and is getting better as the distances go longer. However, horses from the UAE Derby (G2) tend to underperform in the Kentucky Derby, and he has not been tested against the class of dirt-route opposition he faces under the twin spires.

Kentucky Derby Longshot

Especially if closers are getting a fair shake on Derby day, even for exotics, give a long look to Honor Marie. He moved forward well in the Louisiana Derby, putting forth a much better effort that day than he did in the Risen Star. A strong effort third off the lay makes him competitive. And, he is already a graded-stakes winner over the Churchill Downs track, as he won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last fall.