Kentucky Derby Betting 2024

Date IconLast Updated: Jan 10th, 2024

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, run on the first Saturday in May every year at Churchill Downs Racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky. More than $130 million is bet yearly in the U.S. on the Kentucky Derby odds, with more than $ 200 million wagered across the Kentucky Derby Festival.

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Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

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Kentucky Derby 2024: What to Look Forward to & What to Expect

As the dust settles on the 2023 Kentucky Derby, anticipation is already building for next year's race. The Kentucky Derby is a showcase of the best in horse racing, and 2024 promises to be no different. We can expect another thrilling race featuring top-tier horses, jockeys, and trainers, all vying for glory in the 'Run for the Roses'. But there's another exciting development on the horizon for sports fans in Kentucky. In September 2023, Kentucky is set to launch online sports betting. This will open up a new realm of opportunities for bettors, not just for horse racing, but across a wide range of sports.

Kentucky Sports Betting Launch: A New Era for Bettors

The upcoming launch of online sports betting in Kentucky is set to revolutionize the betting landscape in the state. Bettors can look forward to a host of new sportsbooks entering the market, each offering their own unique features and betting options. These sportsbooks will be accessible via user-friendly betting apps, available for both Android and iOS devices. This means that whether you're at home or on the go, placing a bet on your favorite team or race will be just a few taps away. This new era of sports betting promises to bring convenience, variety, and excitement to sports fans across Kentucky. And with the 2024 Kentucky Derby on the horizon, there's no better time for Kentucky bettors to embrace these new opportunities. So make sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming sportsbooks launching in the state, as well as the Kentucky sports betting promotions that will follow.

When Will the Next Kentucky Derby Run? 

The next Kentucky Derby is set to run on May 4th, 2024. This will be the 150th renewal of this prestigious event. As always, it will feature top-tier horses, jockeys, and trainers from around the world, all vying for glory in this iconic race. But the 2024 Kentucky Derby will also be notable for another reason. For the first time, thanks to the launch of online sports betting in Kentucky in September 2023, fans will be able to place their bets on the Derby from the comfort of their own homes or on the go, using their mobile devices. This is set to add an extra layer of excitement and convenience to the event, making the 2024 Kentucky Derby a race to remember.

What are some of the Top Horses to Keep an Eye out for the Next Kentucky Derby? 

Even though it's a bit early to predict the top horses for the Kentucky Derby 2024 as the race is still quite a ways off and many factors can change, if we had to select some of the top horses to keep an eye on based on the performance in the 149th Kentucky Derby in 2023, those would be:

  1. Mage: Mage was the winner of the 149th Kentucky Derby. This horse has shown great potential and could be a strong contender in the 2024 race.
  2. Two Phil's: Two Phil's finished second in the 149th Kentucky Derby and has some stylish victories under its belt. It's an accomplished dirt campaigner and could be a strong contender in 2024.
  3. Angel of Empire: Angel of Empire finished third in the 149th Kentucky Derby and has won back-to-back Road to Kentucky Derby prep races. This horse has shown great potential and could be a strong contender in 2024.
  4. Disarm: Disarm finished fourth in the 149th Kentucky Derby and is an improving colt. It has the potential to perform well in the 2024 race.
  5. Hit Show: Hit Show finished fifth in the 149th Kentucky Derby and is an up-and-coming colt. It has shown potential and could be a strong contender in 2024.

As the next Kentucky Derby draws nearer, we will continue to monitor the field and update this page regularly with the latest information. So, make sure to check back often to stay informed about the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby 2024. We're committed to keeping our readers updated and providing the most accurate and timely information as the big race approaches.

In the meantime, continue reading on this page to learn how to bet on the Kentucky Derby and pick up some valuable tips. Whether you're a seasoned bettor or new to the world of horse racing, there's always more to learn and strategies to refine. 


How Do I Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Horse racing betting is based on a pari-mutuel system. All the players that are betting on a race are setting the odds as they make their wagers. There is a different pari-mutuel pool for each type of bet, so there is a win pool, a place pool, a show bet pool, an exacta pool, etc.

Back in the day, you had to go to a brick-and-mortar racetrack to wager on horse racing, but that is no longer the case. You can sign up at a horse betting site like TwinSpires or TVG and bet the Kentucky Derby online.

These horse betting sites have first deposit welcome bonuses for new account holders, so you get a boost from the start. It could be a free bet, a deposit match, a risk free bets or a combination. If you bet on the Kentucky Derby at TVG, they will return your first win bet up to $10 if your choice is second or third.

Types of Wagers and Bets

There are many different types of wagers that can be made on the Kentucky Derby. From a betting perspective, this race is unique because there are 20 horses in the field. You will not see another race in the United States with this many horses entered.

A win bet is the first bet that most people will make when they are new to the horse race wagering. This is a good idea when you are wagering on the Derby. As you get more comfortable, you will recognize the value of exotic wagering like horizontal bets, exactas, trifectas and superfectas.

The odds are based on the amount of money that is bet into each pool. Since there are 20 entries, it is spread around, so you typically get reasonably good odds on every horse in the field. For this reason, there is a lot of money to be made betting the Kentucky Derby.


Win - This is straightforward and self-explanatory. Bet on a horse to win the race.

Place - This is a bet to come in second or better.

Show - This is a bet to finish third or better.

Exacta - You pick the horses that will come in first and second in the correct order when you bet an exacta.

Trifecta - This is like an exacta, but you pick the first three finishers.

Superfecta - This is like a trifecta, but you pick the first four finishers.

Quinella - You pick the first two finishers in any order when you play a quinella.

Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 - These are horizontal wagers. You pick the horses that will win four, five or six consecutive races.

Kentucky Derby Futures Betting

Kentucky Derby futures betting is speculative. Odds are posted in advance on the horses that have a chance to make Churchill Downs history. A lot of them will never actually run in the race, so this is a risky wager on that level.

However, if you have a fully functioning crystal ball, you can be in a great position on Derby Day. You are in a sweet spot when you have a winning betting slip that will pay 20/1 in the futures market.

This can be a very smart way to invest some money if you think you have identified a viable futures bet. Plus, you will have action when the Kentucky Derby prep races are run because good performances are needed to qualify for the Derby.

Kentucky Derby 2024 Odds

The 2023 Kentucky Derby may be over, but it's never too early to start thinking about next year's race. The Kentucky Derby 2024 is set to be another thrilling event, and the odds will be a key part of the betting landscape.

As we get closer to the race, this section will be updated with the latest odds for the top contenders. In the meantime, it's worth keeping an eye on the performances of potential contenders in the lead-up races.

Remember, the odds can change rapidly in the world of horse racing, so it's important to stay informed and check back regularly for the latest updates.

Qualifiers for Kentucky Derby 2024

The journey to the Kentucky Derby 2024 is a long and challenging one, beginning with a series of qualifying races known as the "Road to the Kentucky Derby". This series includes prestigious races across the United States and around the world, each offering points to the top four finishers.

The "Road to the Kentucky Derby" is divided into two parts: the Prep Season and the Championship Series. The Prep Season, which takes place in the fall and winter, features races that award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale for the first through fourth places. The Championship Series, which takes place in the spring, features races that award points on a 50-20-10-5 or 100-40-20-10 scale.

At the end of the Championship Series, the top 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. If there are ties in points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races.

As the 2024 qualifying races take place, this section will be updated with the horses that are earning their spots in the Derby. These qualifiers will be the ones to watch as potential top contenders for the Derby.

In the meantime, it's worth keeping an eye on the major races and emerging talents in the horse racing world. The next Kentucky Derby champion could be making their mark in these early races.

The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Venerable Churchill Downs opened its doors for the first time in 1875, and it was the brainchild of Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark. He was a horse racing enthusiast, and when he was in Europe in 1872, he attended the Epsom Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England.

He was taken in by the impressive spectacle, and he wanted to do something similar in Kentucky to promote the horse breeding industry. Henry and John Churchill owned 80 acres that would be a perfect spot for the new track, and they leased it to Clark, who was their nephew.

The rest is history and quite a history at that. In 2023, the 149th Kentucky Derby will be run, and the event has been held every year since 1875. A pair of World Wars, the Great Depression, 91, and the COVID pandemic could not get in the way of this beloved tradition.

It is run on the Churchill Downs dirt course at 1 ¼ miles on the first Saturday in May. Colts and geldings all carry 126 pounds, and fillies get a five-pound weight break. The Great Secretariat set the record that still stands today when he registered a winning time of 1:59.4 in 1973.

Kentucky Derby Field

The Kentucky Derby is a great betting race because there are so many horses as we have touched upon previously. All of these three-year-old thoroughbreds are high-quality horses that are still developing, and there can be a significant improvement from one race to the next.

There can be live longshots because an equine athlete that is eligible to improve may not look like the likely winner on paper. You can always find a horse in the race at 8/1 or 10/1 that probably has true odds of 7/2 or 4/1.

Spectacular Bid was a heavy favorite of $.60 on the dollar when he won the Kentucky Derby in 1979. Since then, no winner has gone off at odds lower than 2/1, and that has only happened three times in the last 42 years.

The 2019 winner Country House went off at odds of 65/1, and Giacomo was 50/1 when Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith rode him to victory in 2005. Last year’s winner Medina Spirit was 12/1, and he paid a robust $26.20 to win.

Picking a Kentucky Derby Winner

You should study the past performances before you bet the Kentucky Derby, and you should devote sufficient time to do the research. There are going to be 20 horses to analyze, so a good bit of work is involved. We like to get our past performances for the Daily Racing Form (DRF) for one reason.

Though there are other publications that have past performances, the DRF has exclusive rights to Beyer Speed Figures. Andrew Beyer designed this system when he was a racing columnist for the Washington Post in the 1970s.

His book, Picking Winners: A Horse Players Guide was originally published in 1975, and it has become a must-read for serious handicappers. He has used the system to win a lot of money, including a $35,000 Pick 6 that he wrote about in his column.

Beyer Speed Figures for every horse in every race are published in the Daily Racing Form. You should assess all factors when you are poring over the past performances, but Beyers give added insight. It is just a single number that takes every relevant factor into account, including track bias on the day of a race.

When you are handicapping potential win bets, you should look for overlays. These are situations where the true odds of the horse winning the race are lower than the actual odds on the tote board. You are not looking for the most likely winner; you are trying to get the best value.

Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

🏁 Start with a Win Bet

Your first bet on the Kentucky Derby should be a win bet because it is a simple and straightforward bet. Plus, you fondly remember a successful Kentucky Derby bet for the rest of your life. Since you can always find overlays, it is the best opportunity to place a win bet all year long.

🏇 Expect Peak Performances

The Kentucky Derby is the pinnacle of racing for three-year-old horses. Many of these horses are worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars and are trained by the best in the business. Expect peak performances in the big race.

🎲 Consider the Post Draw

With 20 horses in the race, the post draw is an important factor to consider. Horses racing wide are covering more ground and running a longer distance, which can lead to fatigue. However, a wide post position can be overcome if the horse has enough speed to clear most of the field early on. This does not necessarily mean that you should throw out horses that are draw outside posts. As long as the horse has enough speed to clear most of the field in the beginning, they can overcome a wide post position. Actually, the far inside post position is not a good one for horses that are not fast out of the gate.

🎭 The Unpredictability Factor

The Kentucky Derby is unique due to its large field and the quality of the horses. Any horse that has qualified for the Run for the Roses has a good bit of ability. As past winners like Giacomo and Mine That Bird have shown, no competitor is without a chance.

💰 Try a Superfecta

If you're feeling adventurous, consider playing a superfecta, where you have to pick the top four finishers. The minimum bet is usually $1 for the Kentucky Derby, and while a ticket with ample coverage can be costly, the potential payoff is considerable. From 2010 to 2020, the average $1 Kentucky Derby superfecta payout was $76,893. 


Past Kentucky Derby Winners 

Every Kentucky Derby is noteworthy in some way, but there have been some especially memorable performances. Secretariat’s record-breaking victory is one of them, and 1980 winner Genuine Risk was the first filly to win the Derby since Regret in 1915. 

More recently, American Pharaoh’s 2015 Derby score was the first step in his quest to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Justify came along three years later to join him in the pantheon of the all-time greats. The following is a list of the last 10 Kentucky Derby winners:


YearPost PositionWinnerJockey/Trainer TimeOdds $2 Win$2 Place$2 Show $2 Exacta $1 Trifecta $1 Superfecta
2022 20Rich Strike Leon/Reed2:02.61 80/1$163.60$74.20$29.40 $4,101.20$14,870.70$321,5000.10
2021 8Medina Spirit* Velazquez/Baffert2:01.36 8/1$26.20$12$7.60 $503.60$1,696.90$9,456.40
2020 18 Authentic Velazquez/Baffert2:00.618/1 $18.80 $6.00 $5.00$41.00 $655.90$7,925.80
201920Country HousePrat/Mott2:03.9365/1 $132.40$56.60 $24.60$3,009.60$11,475.30$51,400.10
2018 7JustifyBaffert/Smith2:04.20 5/2 $7.80$9.00$4.40 $69.60$141.40$19,618.20
2017 5 Always Dreaming Velasquez/Pletcher2:03.599/2 $11.40 $7.20$5.80$336.20 $8,207.20$75,974.50
201613NyquistGutierrez/O'Neill2:01.31 2/1 $6.60$4.80 $3.60 $30.80 $173.40$542.10
201518American Pharoah Espinoza/Baffert2:03.02 5/2$7.80$5.80 $4.20$72.60 $202.00 $634.10
20145 California Chrome Espinoza/Sherman2:03.66 5/2$7.00 $5.60 $4.20 $340.00$3,424.60$7,691.90
2013 16OrbRosario/McGaughey2:02.89 5/1 $12.80$7.40$5.40 $981.60$6,925.60$28,542.00
*Medina Spirit's win was officially vacated after a positive test for betamethasone. But the stewards' decision said: "Pari-mutuel wagering is not affected by this ruling." So the payouts remained.


Best Sportsbooks for Kentucky Derby Betting Online

If you want to bet the Kentucky Derby online, we recommend TwinSpires first and foremost because the actual Twin Spires at Churchill Downs symbolize the event. You will get a risk free bet or some other bonus as a new customer, and you can watch the races through their live streaming feature.

Actually, the fun begins on the Friday before the Derby when the Kentucky Oaks is the feature race. Post time for the Oaks is about 6:00 p.m., and this is also the Derby post time. The Kentucky Oaks is for three-year-old fillies, and some of the greatest female horses of all time have competed in the Oaks.

You can use a credit or debit card, PayPal or a bank transfer to fund your account. It is wise to use a debit card or a bank account transfer so you are not tempted to go too far. There are other good races on Saturday before the Derby, so you will have a lot of wagering opportunities that weekend.

✅ Mobile Compatibility

When you bet the Kentucky Derby online you can download a mobile app so you can wager from anywhere. Plus, there is live streaming of all the races from around the country. You can make a bet while you’re waiting at the DMV and watch the live stream to see how your horse finishes.

✅ Horse Racing Odds

Once again, horse betting odds are established through the utilization of a pari-mutuel wagering system. When you bet on a horse in the Derby online, you are participating in a betting pool with other players.

Everyone is getting the same odds at every wagering outlet in the world that is on the pari-mutuel system. There is no reason to worry about going to the horse betting site that will give you the best odds on the Kentucky Derby because they are all the same.

✅ Deposit Options

In addition to debit and credit cards, bank transfers and PayPal, you can use PayNearMe to fund your account. With this option, you go to a participating convenience store and make a cash deposit that will be credited to your horse betting account.

If you live in or around Louisville, you can simply make a deposit at Churchill Downs in person at any time. Deposits are also accepted at the call center in Lexington, Kentucky and Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio. The site accepts checks or money orders sent by mail, wire transfers and MoneyGram deposits.

✅ Betting Account Withdrawals

When you make a deposit and start betting, you intend to cash out, and there are adequate withdrawal options offered. You can request an electronic transfer to your bank account through EZmoney or PayPal, and TwinSpires will mail you a check. You can also request a withdrawal over the phone.


Bet on the Kentucky Derby Now

When you cash a win bet on the Kentucky Derby, you have bragging rights for the next 12 months. That’s a very good feeling, and if you hit a trifecta or superfecta along with it, you will bring home some serious money. The Sport of Kings can be very lucrative if you get lucky on Derby Day,

At the same time, even if you come up short, it’s an exciting way to spend part of your Saturday. Derby history is made on the first Saturday in May every year, and on that day, every starter is a potential Triple Crown winner.