2018 Kentucky Derby Trifecta Picks, Advice and Tips

Need some Kentucky Derby Trifecta picks? Here you go! Many retail bettors focus on picking the winning horse. This is a fool’s errand given the large Kentucky Derby field. A trifecta part wheel is a great way to make big money with less risk. That means all your eggs aren’t in one horse’s basket.

2018 Kentucky Derby Part Wheel Keys

  • 1: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro
  • 2: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro
  • 3: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro, Hofburg

Total Cost: $12, $1 per combination

More Kentucky Derby Betting on our Official Race Page

What are Trifecta Boxes and Trifecta Wheels?

Trifecta boxes and part wheels are efficient ways to increase your odds of winning while preserving bankroll.

Trifecta Box Bet: Pick any number of horses to finish in the top 3 positions. Final order does not matter.

Trifecta Part Wheel Bet: Select horses to key into each position: first, second and third. Final order does matter depending on how you key each horse.

Efficiency Matters

Trifecta Boxes are more likely to win because final order does not matter. A box is less efficient than a wheel because you end up buying more combinations than you need. Trifecta Part Wheels are harder to win because you must select and key horses correctly. However a part wheel is more efficient than a box. You will invest less bankroll to potentially win more money.

Kentucky Derby 2018 Trifecta Betting Advice

I recommend a 4 horse Trifecta Part Wheel, keying 3 horses in the first and second position, then 4 horses in the third. Why?

A 4 horse Trifecta Box costs $24, $1 per combination. But a 4 horse Trifecta Part Wheel using my recommendation is only $12, $1 per combination. You’ll lose the ability to include that fourth horse to finish first or second.

However you’ll be making a more efficient bet with higher profit potential. And you’ll be way ahead of the yahoos betting it all on one horse!

Picking 3 horses to finish first, second or third shouldn’t be hard. Plus you get a bonus horse for the third key.

How to Key Horses in a Trifecta Part Wheel

Let’s assemble our Trifecta Part Wheel keys from the table above. As of writing, Mendelssohn is the odds-on favorite. He’ll be put in all 3 keys.

Kentucky Derby 2018 Trifecta Picks Mendelssohn
Kentucky Derby 2018 Trifecta Picks Mendelssohn

I don’t think Justify has a chance at the Derby. He won the 2018 Santa Anita Derby prep race by 3/4 length over a tiring Bolt D’oro. But can he compete in this gifted Derby field?

Now let’s pick 1 more horse for each key, plus a fourth horse for our 4 horse 3rd key.

Kentucky Derby 2018 Trifecta Picks Bolt D'oro
Kentucky Derby 2018 Trifecta Picks Bolt D’oro

I like Bolt D’oro. He won the G2 2018 San Felipe Stakes. Subsequently he was second to Justify at the Santa Anita Derby. But he has substantial racing experience and a few solid wins. He won last year’s Frontrunner Stakes and Del Mar Futurity. He finished a respectable 3rd in the Breeders Cup G1 Juvenile race.

Holfburg will be the fourth horse in our 3rd key. He finished second at Gulfstream Park’s G1 Florida Derby. He qualified for the Florida Derby winning a MSW race just 3 weeks earlier, also at Gulfstream Park.

MSW means “Maiden Special Weight”. It’s a race reserved for horses who have never won a race.

2018 Kentucky Derby Part Wheel Keys

  • 1: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro
  • 2: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro
  • 3: Mendelssohn, Audible, Bolt D’oro, Hofburg

Total Cost: $12, $1 per combination

How to Place a Kentucky Derby Trifecta Wheel Bet?

Visit our recommended online race books below. Wait until the field is set and each horse is assigned a starting position. Fill out your Trifecta Wheel ticket with each horse’s corresponding number. Then sit back and get rich!

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Tables and Reference

See Also
Online Horse Betting Sites
Win Place Show Betting
USA Race Book Deposit Methods, Kentucky Derby

More Trifecta betting information, cost tables and advice:

  1. Trifecta Wheel Betting – Includes trifecta wheel equation, calculations and cost tables.
  2. Trifecta Box Betting – Discussion of Trifecta Box Bet, cost calculation and tables


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