Ultimate Kentucky Derby Betting Guide. Learn how to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Here are some simple bets anyone can learn. Read on.
Kentucky Derby 144 Schedule 2018
Date & Time: Saturday, May 5, 2018. Post Time 6:34 PM ET
Place: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Live Stream: NBC Live Stream
The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday in May.
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- Best Bets
- 2017 Kentucky Derby Replay
- Best Kentucky Derby Race Call
- Betting Tips
- Kentucky Derby Longshot Winners
How to Win Kentucky Derby Betting
Profit from these Kentucky Derby bets.
1. Oaks-Derby Daily Double Bet
Pick both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby winners. Make your picks before the Kentucky Oaks begins. Post time time is 6:12 PM the Friday before Derby Day.
The 1 1/8 mile Oaks is for 3 year old fillies. Each horse must qualify during the Oaks Prep Race period between September and April.
Racebooks determine Oaks-Derby payouts from a horse’s odds of winning its respective event.
Review the Oaks-Derby will-pays after the Oaks has concluded. Payouts include the Oaks winner paired with each Derby horse. Odds may change up until Derby post time.
Review each horse’s most recent race results. Also review Prep Race results. The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Prep Races begin in September.
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2. Win-Place-Show Bet. Also called “Across the Board”.
Pick a likely top 3 finisher. Place $2 Win, Place and Show bets on this horse. $2 x 3 bets. The entire bet costs $6 total.
Ask your track teller for $2 “Across the Board”. Or select this wager from your online race book.
Race results determine your payout. There are 4 distinct outcomes. The following lists payouts from highest to lowest.
All Win-Place-Show bets lose if horse finishes fourth or worse. Also called “out of the money”.
Pick from the top 6-8 contenders. Don’t bet longshot horses unless you’re extremely confident. Avoid placing multiple Win-Place-Show bets. Consider a Trifecta or Superfecta box bet instead.
3. Kentucky Derby Quinella Box
The 20 horse Kentucky Derby field makes picking a winner difficult. Bettors must carefully manage risk to profit. Play multiple horses at once with the Quinella Box Bet.
Pick 3 or more horses to finish in the first or second position. Final order doesn’t matter.
- Your bet wins if 2 of your selections finish first and second.
- Bet loses if one or none of your selections finish top two.
Quinella Box bets cost $2 per combination. The following table lists costs per number of horses boxed.
Keep Quinella Box to 6 horses or less. Larger quinella boxes are both expensive and inefficient. Consider using an Exacta Wheel bet for 6 or more horses. Key small sets of horses into each finishing position.
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4. Kentucky Derby Show Bet
Your horse doesn’t have to win to turn a profit. The show bet rewards bettors for making a good-enough prediction. It manages risk like the Quinella Box. But it costs less and pays out more.
How to place a Kentucky Derby Show Bet
- Visit your online race book.
- Pick your favorite horse.
- Select Show Bet.
- Minimum bet is usually $2.
The show bet wins if your horse finishes first, second or third. Also called “in the money”. Payouts are smaller than successful win or place bets.
- Show bets on longshots pay the most.
- Show bets on favorites or “odds on” horses pay the least.
Consider placing Show bets on multiple horses. The 20 horse Kentucky Derby field is notoriously unpredictable. Don’t hang your hat on one selection. Diversify your bets. You’ll increase the likelihood of profiting.
2017 Kentucky Derby Replay
Best Kentucky Derby Race Call
Larry Collmus, 2011 Kentucky Derby for Animal Kingdom
Kentucky Derby Betting Tips
- Deposit early Kentucky Derby week. Consider using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. You’ll avoid last minute credit card processing glitches.
- Monitor Kentucky Derby Betting odds carefully. Visit your online race book’s odds page regularly. Odds will change up until post time.
- Shop Kentucky Derby betting odds at multiple sportsbooks.
- Novice bettors stick to simple +EV horse bets. Research and bet longshots carefully. Leave trifectas and superfectas to expert handicappers.
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Top Kentucky Derby Longshot Winners
1. 2009 Mine That Bird 50 to 1
Jockey: Calvin Borel
Mine that Bird’s 2009 Kentucky Derby win was the most stunning upset in recent memory. He was the second gelding to ever win the derby, just one of nine to ever enter. It seems this unruly horse knew how to run!
A muddy start against a formidable field offered little hope. Then, as the horses broke for home, Mine that Bird surged ahead. He confidently dispatched frontrunners and late closers alike. His final time was 2:02.66, some 6+ lengths ahead of the second finisher.
Jockey Calvin Borel and trainer Bennie Woolley, Jr. were the only two people confident in this horse’s ability. Their beliefs paid off. A $2 bet paid an incredible $103.20.
Mine that Bird later finished second at the Preakness and third at the Belmont Stakes.
2. 2005 Giacomo 50 to 1
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
It was still anyone’s race down the homestretch of Kentucky Derby 131. Afleet Alex, Giacomo and Closing Argument were jockeying for the win. Ultimately Giacomo persevered in the final seventy yards defeating Closing Argument, another 50 to 1 longshot.
This improbable victory has been the only Derby win for both jockey Mike E. Smith and trainer John Shirreffs.
Giacomo’s official time was 2:02.75. He later finished third at the Preakness and seventh at the Belmont Stakes. He came back to win the 2006 San Diego Handicap, then finished fourth in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
3. 1940 Gallahadion 36 to 1
Jockey: Carroll Bierman
Bimelech was the odds on favorite at 2 to 5 in the 1940 Kentucky Derby. Few had interest in Gallahadion, owned by the Mars candy company family.
But this 36 to 1 longshot seized the day, driving past Bimelech and Dit at the finish. He clocked a respectable 2:05.00 while time was still being marked in 1/5 seconds.
After a third place Preakness finish, Gallahadion’s luck ran out. He didn’t finish the Belmont Stakes, officially recorded as “unplaced”. Attempts to win subsequent summer races were unsuccessful.
Still, this one hit wonder makes the record books for his incredible win. Jockey Carroll Bierman and trainer Roy Waldron never won another Derby.
4. 1913 Donerail 91 to 1
Jockey: Roscoe Goose
Donerail is the biggest longshot winner of the Kentucky Derby in history. His odds were 91 to 1.
Donerail started slowly and hung with the leaders until the final stretch. There he surged to take the lead. He made his break in the final 1/16 mile leading Ten Point and Gowell to the finish.
His 2:04.8 was a record at the time. Equally impressive was the $184.90 payoff for a $2 Win bet. A Greek man named Elias Dimakos was the prescient and lucky winner.
Donerail started 62 races and won 10 before retiring in 1917. Other notable wins included the Canadian Sportsmen’s Handicap and Hamilton Cup. He appeared once again in 1918 for a turf race but dropped out before the finish.
5. 1999 Charismatic 31 to 1
Jockey: Chris Antley
Perhaps Charismatic should have been a favorite. His pedigree included Secretariat. His jockey was future hall of famer Chris Antley, who won the 1991 Derby riding Strike the Gold. Charismatic’s trainer D. Wayne Lukas had already captured 3 Derby wins. Would 1999 be his 4th?
Running to the finish, it was Cat Thief on the rail with Charismatic charging ahead. Menifee caught up on the outside, attempting to close on both horses. But Charismatic held off both as Menifee’s late surge ran out of track.
Charismatic’s 2:03.20 win cemented the legacies of both Antley and Lukas in horse racing history. He later won the Preakness.
Charismatic’s Triple Crown dreams ended painfully at the Belmont Stakes. He slowed suddenly with about 1/8 mile to go after taking the lead. Jockey Antley eased him up and dismounted, quickly grabbing Charismatic’s front-left leg. A veterinarian determined it was fractured.
Subsequent surgery returned use of the leg. But Charismatic could no longer race. He became a stud until retirement in October 2016. He died in 2017.
Kentucky Derby Betting Tables and Reference
Kentucky Derby Winners 1900 to Present
|2017||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||2:03.59|
|2016||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||2:01.31|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||2:03.02|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||2:03.66|
|2013||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey III||2:02.89|
|2012||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||2:01.83|
|2011||Animal Kingdom||John Velazquez||H. Graham Motion||2:02.04|
|2010||Super Saver||Calvin Borel||Todd Pletcher||2:04.45|
|2009||Mine That Bird||Calvin Borel||Bennie L. Woolley, Jr.||2:02.66|
|2008||Big Brown||Kent Desormeaux||Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.||2:01.82|
|2007||Street Sense||Calvin Borel||Carl Nafzger||2:02.17|
|2006||Barbaro||Edgar Prado||Michael R. Matz||2:01.36|
|2005||Giacomo||Mike E. Smith||John Shirreffs||2:02.75|
|2004||Smarty Jones||Stewart Elliott||John Servis||2:04.06|
|2003||Funny Cide||Jose A. Santos||Barclay Tagg||2:01.19|
|2002||War Emblem||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||2:01.13|
|2001||Monarchos||Jorge F. Chavez||John T. Ward, Jr.||1:59.97|
|2000||Fusaichi Pegasus||Kent Desormeaux||Neil Drysdale||2:01.00|
|1999||Charismatic||Chris Antley||D. Wayne Lukas||2:03.20|
|1998||Real Quiet||Kent Desormeaux||Bob Baffert||2:02.20|
|1997||Silver Charm||Gary Stevens||Bob Baffert||2:02.40|
|1996||Grindstone||Jerry Bailey||D. Wayne Lukas||2:01.00|
|1995||Thunder Gulch||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||2:01.20|
|1994||Go for Gin||Chris McCarron||Nick Zito||2:03.60|
|1993||Sea Hero||Jerry Bailey||MacKenzie Miller||2:02.40|
|1992||Lil E. Tee||Pat Day||Lynn S. Whiting||2:03.00|
|1991||Strike the Gold||Chris Antley||Nick Zito||2:03.00|
|1990||Unbridled||Craig Perret||Carl Nafzger||2:02.00|
|1989||Sunday Silence||Pat Valenzuela||Charlie Whittingham||2:05.00|
|1988||Winning Colors||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||2:02.20|
|1987||Alysheba||Chris McCarron||Jack Van Berg||2:03.40|
|1986||Ferdinand||Bill Shoemaker||Charlie Whittingham||2:02.80|
|1985||Spend A Buck||Angel Cordero, Jr.||Cam Gambolati||2:00.20|
|1984||Swale||Laffit Pincay, Jr.||Woody Stephens||2:02.40|
|1983||Sunny's Halo||Eddie Delahoussaye||David C. Cross, Jr.||2:02.20|
|1982||Gato Del Sol||Eddie Delahoussaye||Edwin J. Gregson||2:02.40|
|1981||Pleasant Colony||Jorge Velasquez||John P. Campo||2:02.00|
|1980||Genuine Risk||Jacinto Vasquez||LeRoy Jolley||2:02.00|
|1979||Spectacular Bid||Ronnie Franklin||Bud Delp||2:02.40|
|1978||Affirmed||Steve Cauthen||Laz Barrera||2:01.20|
|1977||Seattle Slew||Jean Cruguet||William H. Turner, Jr.||2:02.20|
|1976||Bold Forbes||Angel Cordero, Jr.||Laz Barrera||2:01.60|
|1975||Foolish Pleasure||Jacinto Vasquez||LeRoy Jolley||2:02.00|
|1974||Cannonade||Angel Cordero, Jr.||Woody Stephens||2:04.00|
|1973||Secretariat||Ron Turcotte||Lucien Laurin||1:59.40|
|1972||Riva Ridge||Ron Turcotte||Lucien Laurin||2:01.80|
|1971||Canonero II||Gustavo Avila||Juan Arias||2:03.20|
|1970||Dust Commander||Mike Manganello||Don Combs||2:03.40|
|1969||Majestic Prince||Bill Hartack||Johnny Longden||2:01.80|
|1968||Forward Pass||Ismael Valenzuela||Henry Forrest||2:02.20|
|1967||Proud Clarion||Bobby Ussery||Loyd Gentry, Jr.||2:00.60|
|1966||Kauai King||Don Brumfield||Henry Forrest||2:02.00|
|1965||Lucky Debonair||Bill Shoemaker||Frank Catrone||2:01.20|
|1964||Northern Dancer||Bill Hartack||Horatio Luro||2:00.00|
|1963||Chateaugay||Braulio Baeza||James P. Conway||2:01.80|
|1962||Decidedly||Bill Hartack||Horatio Luro||2:00.40|
|1961||Carry Back||Johnny Sellers||Jack A. Price||2:04.00|
|1960||Venetian Way||Bill Hartack||Victor J. Sovinski||2:02.40|
|1959||Tomy Lee||Bill Shoemaker||Frank E. Childs||2:02.20|
|1958||Tim Tam||Ismael Valenzuela||Jimmy Jones||2:05.00|
|1957||Iron Liege||Bill Hartack||Jimmy Jones||2:02.20|
|1956||Needles||David Erb||Hugh L. Fontaine||2:03.40|
|1955||Swaps||Bill Shoemaker||Mesh Tenney||2:01.80|
|1954||Determine||Raymond York||William Molter||2:03.00|
|1953||Dark Star||Henry E. Moreno||Eddie Hayward||2:02.00|
|1952||Hill Gail||Eddie Arcaro||Ben A. Jones||2:01.60|
|1951||Count Turf||Conn McCreary||Sol Rutchick||2:02.60|
|1950||Middleground||William Boland||Max Hirsch||2:01.60|
|1949||Ponder||Steve Brooks||Ben A. Jones||2:04.20|
|1948||Citation||Eddie Arcaro||Ben A. Jones||2:05.40|
|1947||Jet Pilot||Eric Guerin||Tom Smith||2:06.80|
|1946||Assault||Warren Mehrtens||Max Hirsch||2:06.60|
|1945||Hoop Jr.||Eddie Arcaro||Ivan H. Parke||2:07.00|
|1944||Pensive||Conn McCreary||Ben A. Jones||2:04.20|
|1943||Count Fleet||Johnny Longden||Don Cameron||2:04.00|
|1942||Shut Out||Wayne D. Wright||John M. Gaver, Sr.||2:04.40|
|1941||Whirlaway||Eddie Arcaro||Ben A. Jones||2:01.40|
|1940||Gallahadion||Carroll Bierman||Roy Waldron||2:05.00|
|1939||Johnstown||James Stout||Jim Fitzsimmons||2:03.40|
|1938||Lawrin||Eddie Arcaro||Ben A. Jones||2:04.80|
|1937||War Admiral||Charley Kurtsinger||George Conway||2:03.20|
|1936||Bold Venture||Ira Hanford||Max Hirsch||2:03.60|
|1935||Omaha||Willie Saunders||Jim Fitzsimmons||2:05.00|
|1934||Cavalcade||Mack Garner||Bob Smith||2:04.00|
|1933||Brokers Tip||Don Meade||Herbert J. Thompson||2:06.80|
|1932||Burgoo King||Eugene James||Herbert J. Thompson||2:05.20|
|1931||Twenty Grand||Charley Kurtsinger||James G. Rowe, Jr.||2:01.80|
|1930||Gallant Fox||Earl Sande||Jim Fitzsimmons||2:07.60|
|1929||Clyde Van Dusen||Linus McAtee||Clyde Van Dusen||2:10.80|
|1928||Reigh Count||Chick Lang||Bert S. Michell||2:10.40|
|1927||Whiskery||Linus McAtee||Fred Hopkins||2:06.00|
|1926||Bubbling Over||Albert Johnson||Herbert J. Thompson||2:03.80|
|1925||Flying Ebony||Earl Sande||William B. Duke||2:07.60|
|1924||Black Gold||J. D. Mooney||Hanley Webb||2:05.20|
|1923||Zev||Earl Sande||David J. Leary||2:05.40|
|1922||Morvich||Albert Johnson||Fred Burlew||2:04.60|
|1921||Behave Yourself||Charles Thompson||Herbert J. Thompson||2:04.20|
|1920||Paul Jones||Ted Rice||Billy Garth||2:09.00|
|1919||Sir Barton||Johnny Loftus||H. Guy Bedwell||2:09.80|
|1918||Exterminator||Willie Knapp||Henry McDaniel||2:10.80|
|1917||Omar Khayyam||Charles Borel||Charles T. Patterson||2:04.60|
|1916||George Smith||Johnny Loftus||Hollie Hughes||2:04.00|
|1915||Regret||Joe Notter||James G. Rowe, Sr.||2:05.40|
|1914||Old Rosebud||John McCabe||Frank D. Weir||2:03.40|
|1913||Donerail||Roscoe Goose||Thomas P. Hayes||2:04.80|
|1912||Worth||Carroll H. Shilling||Frank M. Taylor||2:09.40|
|1911||Meridian||George Archibald||Albert Ewing||2:05.00|
|1910||Donau||Frederick Herbert||George Ham||2:06.40|
|1909||Wintergreen||Vincent Powers||Charles Mack||2:08.20|
|1908||Stone Street||Arthur Pickens||J. W. Hall||2:15.20|
|1907||Pink Star||Andy Minder||W. H. Fizer||2:12.60|
|1906||Sir Huon||Roscoe Troxler||Pete Coyne||2:08.80|
|1905||Agile||Jack Martin||Robert Tucker||2:10.75|
|1904||Elwood||Shorty Prior||Charles E. Durnell||2:08.50|
|1903||Judge Himes||Hal Booker||John P. Mayberry||2:09.00|
|1902||Alan-a-Dale||Jimmy Winkfield||Thomas C. McDowell||2:08.75|
|1901||His Eminence||Jimmy Winkfield||Frank B. Van Meter||2:07.75|
|1900||Lieut. Gibson||Jimmy Boland||Charles Hughes||2:06.25|
Horse Bet Costs
|Key 1 Horses||Key 2 Horses||Total|