Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

The Kentucky Derby is the most popular horse race in the world. Held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Derby is held on the first Saturday in May and is the culmination of the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival.

The “Run for the Roses,” nicknamed for the blanket of 554 roses draped over the winning horse, is a Grade 1 stakes race of 1.25 miles for three-year-old thoroughbreds. It is also called the “most exciting two minutes in sports” as it is the first race in the Triple Crown, the trio of horse races that captures the world’s attention each summer. Winning the Kentucky Derby is the first step to winning all three races and joining an elite group of rare horses who have completed the feat throughout racing history.

Operators that Offer Betting on the Kentucky Derby

So, which operators offer the best wagering potential on the Kentucky Derby? We have found three solid providers with a strong reputation in the industry. These sites offer premium and competitive odds along with the best banking methods. Access promotions at each site along with wagering on all types of horse races, including the Kentucky Derby!

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Kentucky Derby Betting at

At BetOnline, players have access to horse race betting on the Kentucky Derby via the standard sportsbook as well as the brand’s racebook. Easily use either section to wager on the legendary race. The bets are listed clearly for the Derby, with futures, matchups, props, and more on offer. Select your wager and keep up with all your bets via the Bet Slip of your account. Sign up for a new player account at BetOnline and take advantage of Welcome Bonus deals on offer. The site provides an option for traditional deposit formats or cryptocurrency.

Kentucky Derby Betting at

Another great option for Kentucky Derby betting is This brand is a sister site to BetOnline and features a sportsbook and racebook with Derby betting. Each thoroughbred is listed at the site with the spread, money and total details clearly listed. The site also offers Kentucky Derby betting odds and news so you can keep up with all the latest information on the big race. Sign up for a new account here and stay up to date with accurate info on the race as well as betting tips! There are also promotions here for new members including Welcome Bonuses and Reloads.

Kentucky Derby Betting at

The Racebook at Bovada is a great option for Kentucky Derby wagers. Once you select the Horses tab at Bovada, you will find the latest races and tracks on the home page. Look under Trending Events and click on the Kentucky Derby tab to find the latest odds. The bookmaker will add the odds for the Derby as the even draws near. Select from Win, Place, Show, Trifecta, and more to begin placing your wagers on the major event.

How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby

When it comes to wagering on the Kentucky Derby, there are several types of wagers you can place. The most common are the Win, Place, and Show. These wagers usually have the lowest risk, so they are a good option for new players.

  • With a Win bet, you are wagering on which horse will win the race.
  • With a Place bet, you are wagering on the horse that you think will finish in first or second place. You can win if the horse you choose finishes in one of the two positions.
  • With a Show bet, you are wagering on a horse to finish in the top three.

You can also place a Combination Bet, which allows you to wager on Win, Place, and Show. If you place this bet, you are betting for the horse to Win, Place, and Show. If the selected horse wins the race, then you earn a payout for all three wagers!

Additional wagers you will find at sportsbooks featuring the Kentucky Derby are Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta. The Exacta bet is a wager on the winning horse and second-place horse in the exact order. Trifecta is the same except you are wagering on the top three finishers. Place the Superfecta bet and you are wagering on the top four finishers in the correct order.

Betting Strategies for the Kentucky Derby

There are several factors you can consider when placing your bets on the Kentucky Derby. One option is to bet on the favorite. Many players stick to wagering on the favorite as it has proven to be profitable for the past few years. In general, the favorite does well and can provide a winning wager.

It is also important to consider the racing styles of the horses in the Kentucky Derby. Who is the speed or pacesetters? The horse that is typically on the front end and sets the pace will stick it out until the end, finishing in first place. There are also closer horses, the ones that sit tight until the race is almost over and then bursts the front. Look at the history of the competitors in the race and see which type of racer they are to make a smart betting decision.

The weather should also be considered. A sloppy track will be much harder to race. Think about the weather and track conditions as well as the history of the racers and if they fared well in the same environment on other tracks.

Beyond Basics

Bettors without in-depth knowledge of horses, jockeys, and racing in general typically stick to straight bets or a low-cost exacta or Daily Double.

Another way to bet is to look for horses that have odds of 5:1 to 10:1. Instead of betting on bigger longshots, these horses are more likely to overcome their odds and win. Betting sites often give ample time to check these odds before the race, and the best sites will offer tips and articles about the horses in the Kentucky Derby.

Further Considerations

Before Derby day, it might be good to research how to break down the odds and read racing statistics in order to best analyze the races. Since there is an entire day of racing on which to bet, and betting sites will offer all possible bets, gaining some knowledge of the statistics is a good move.

Pay special attention to the class levels that the horses have run in and will run on Derby day. Also, analyze the track surfaces, jockeys, and even the trainers and owners. All of these factors play a role in making educated horse racing bets online.

General and Historical Kentucky Derby Information

Not only is it the most well-attended horse race each year, but the Kentucky Derby is also a betting favorite. Millions of people bet at tracks around the United States and at online betting sites attempting to predict the winner.

Each year, more people watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby. In 2018, wagers for the singular race totaled $149.9 million, a new record and nearly 8% increase from the $139.2 million recorded in 2017.

Online betting records are not as clear, as most sites do not combine their numbers to show a global total for betting on a singular race. However, the online betting site connected to Churchill Downs revealed $24.6 million in online betting alone, up 18% from the previous year.

A horse race called the Derby was popular in England from 1780. The annual race caught the attention of Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark of America in 1872. He returned from his trip to England and France inspired by the Derby and other races, and he began to organize the Louisville Jockey Club in Kentucky to raise money for a race track. It was built and became known as Churchill Downs.

The first Kentucky Derby ran at Churchill Downs in 1875 with 10,000 people in attendance. There were 15 three-year-old horses that ran the 1.5-mile race, which was changed to 1.25 miles in 1896. Aristides was the winning horse in that first race, riding with jockey Oliver Lewis.

The race became important in its own right but also because it was matched with the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to comprise the Triple Crown. This phenomenon took hold in 1930 after Gallant Fox became the second horse to win all three races, following Sir Barton who did it in 1919. The media began to promote the Triple Crown winners as rare and talented horses. And it all started each year with the one to win the Kentucky Derby.

There are several interesting records that have been set over the course of more than 140 years.

  • Fastest run at current 1.25 miles: Secretariat in 1973 at 1:59 and two-fifths
  • Biggest margin of victory: 8 lengths by Old Rosebud in 1914, Johnstown in 1939, Whirlaway in 1941, and Assault in 1946
  • Most wins by a jockey: 5 by Eddie Arcaro (1938, 1941, 1945, 1948, 1952) and Bill Hartack (1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1969)
  • Most consecutive wins by a jockey: Calvin Borel in 2010 won 3 of 4 consecutive Derbys
  • Greatest odds to win: Donerail in 1913 at 91:1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race that takes place at a dirt track located at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The event has taken place each year since 1875. The event starts the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

What is the Triple Crown?

The Triple Crown is created from three horse races, starting with the Kentucky Derby. It is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

How Can I Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Place wagers on the Kentucky Derby by signing up for a new player account at,, or These sites are trusted suppliers of online gambling services.