Betting on The Kentucky Derby 

Betting on The Kentucky Derby 

One of the most famous and prestigious horse races in the world, the history of the Kentucky Derby stretches back to 1875, when Aristides crossed the finish line as the winner of the very first Derby. Known as the Run for the Roses – due to the fact the winner is draped in a carpet of the flowers – and also as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, the Derby is held every year on the first Saturday in May under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The Derby is run at the “American classic” distance of 1 1/4 miles (ten furlongs) on the dirt track. It currently offers a total winning purse of $2 million, with $1.4 million going to the winner. The race features 20 of the best three-year-old Thoroughbred horses in the country. Between this race and the Kentucky Oaks, the three-year-old fillies’ feature, the day before, this is the betting event of the year!

Restricted to three-year-old horses, the Derby signifies the very basic idea behind the history of racing – who has the fastest young horse in their barn? It also carries major significance as the first leg of the American Triple Crown series. Obviously, only one horse can win the Derby, and then that horse is the only one with a shot at sweeping both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, achieving legendary status as a Triple Crown winner.

Since recognition of the Triple Crown started with the first running of the Derby (the Preakness first ran two years earlier, and the Belmont debuted in 1867) only 13 horses have managed the feat.

Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

No wonder every horseplayer enjoys betting on the Kentucky Derby: not only is it one of the most exciting races of the year, but the 20-horse field means big payouts in exotics and even in the win pool. In recent years long shots like Rich Strike and Country House have offered enormous win payouts, and even if a favorite wins there is always a Kentucky Derby longshot who helps exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers pay big.

Such is the nature of betting the Derby, where smart handicapping leads to big exotic payouts, especially when the wager is placed with Bovada, our #1 recommended online racebook.

Kentucky Derby Betting Online

When betting on the Kentucky Derby, it pays to play online! There is nothing more convenient than betting from home, on the go, or anywhere with an internet connection. If you bet from one of our recommended online racebooks, you are guaranteed market-leading odds, trusted payouts, and a great betting experience. Our racebooks make horse racing betting as easy as any kind of sports betting!

These racebooks also offer bonuses that bettors will never find at the racetrack. From welcome bonuses to horse racing rebates to exclusive promo codes and bonus codes, you’ll make more money betting the Kentucky Derby from an online sportsbook. Let our expert recommendations and reviews take the mystery out of how to bet on the Kentucky Derby!

Best Kentucky Derby betting sites

It is no mystery where to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Our experts have done the homework and know what the best betting sites are. These are your best choices for online betting for Kentucky Derby 2023 as well as horse racing betting and even sporting events betting all year long:

RankBonusReviewLink to site

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

Kentucky Derby Trail

If you have ever wondered, how early can you bet on the Kentucky Derby? The Road to the Kentucky Derby begins in September with the Iroquois Stakes. Kentucky Derby futures typically begin when the prep races start, and continue until the Run for the Roses. Kentucky Derby betting payouts can be extra sweet if you bet early and you choose the right horse!

It runs through the autumn, past the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and on to the traditional winter tracks. It reaches its high points in races like the Arkansas Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, and the Wood Memorial in New York.

In short, once you have your account created for the best online betting sites, bettors can play the Kentucky Derby most of the year, all the way until Derby Day!

2023 Kentucky Derby Bets

With Kentucky Derby betting online, you can bet the you can play the same types of bets you would from the track and more from the comfort of your own home. This includes straight wagers like win bets, place bets, and show bets on each horse. These are simple: if your horse finishes first, second, or third respectively, you win! 

You can also shoot for a huge score with exotic wagers like exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and multi-race wagers. Dive deep into the past performances; these can be harder to hit, but you can win life-changing amounts of money if you are correct.

Make sure to use a Kentucky Derby Betting Odds calculator to find out how much your wager costs and ensure that you are getting the right odds on the horses you are playing. If the Kentucky Derby betting payouts are bigger than you would expect given the horses’ actual chances, that is an overlay and it’s the perfect time to bet!

2023 Kentucky Derby Best Bets

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is coming up on Saturday, May 6, 2023. While the official entries are still to be determined, and injury or other factors may still come into play in setting the final field, the 100-point prep races have been completed. The field is getting better set by the day, so it makes sense to meet the major contenders!

2023 Kentucky Derby Odds

These are the odds on the horses at the top of the 2023 Kentucky Derby betting market. Make sure to follow them all the way until post time. They could change based on how they are training, if the trainer announces a jockey change, what the post position draw is, or if a horse defects from the field.

Track the Kentucky Derby online betting odds all the way until post time. If you see a better price than you think you should get on a horse you think can be the Kentucky Derby winner, it’s the perfect time to place your bet and lock in your odds! Remember, you can only do that when you bet the Kentucky Derby online: if you bet at the track, pari-mutuel odds will change until post time. So, playing online is better.

BovadaBetOnlineGTBets
Forte+325+275TBA
Tapit Trice+600+650TBA
Kingsbarns+900+1000TBA
Practical Move+900+1200TBA
Derma Sotogake+1000+1200TBA
Angel of Empire+1200+1200TBA
Two Phil's+1600+2000TBA
Verifying+2000+1000TBA

2023 Kentucky Derby Favorite

Forte, for trainer Todd Pletcher, will be the favorite in the 2023 Kentucky Derby barring some unforeseen late surprise. He was a champion and Breeders’ Cup winner as a two-year-old, and impressed in the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby as a three-year-old. With stamina, consistency, and tactical versatility, he is a strong candidate for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Even so, the favorite in the Kentucky Derby can get beat! Epicenter was as much of a standout last year, and he was beaten by the longshot Rich Strike...and then beaten again as the favorite in the Preakness Stakes. So, it pays to look at other horses for value.

2023 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Tapit Trice is another strong contender from the Todd Pletcher barn. He always showed talent, but in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland he showed another level of maturity. He broke from the rail in a big field, steered out, and ran on well late to catch a pace-advantaged Verifying. He is getting in the right form to deserve serious Kentucky Derby 2023 betting attention.

Practical Move, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, carries a three-race win streak into the Kentucky Derby. With tactical speed, he should be able to work out a trip. And, the fact that he was never trained by Bob Baffert means that his payout will be surprisingly good, even though he has beaten a lot of Baffert trainees on the Kentucky Derby trail!

Derma Sotogake may snap a streak of disappointing finishes by UAE Derby winners in Louisville. He set the pace in that race, a running style that should succeed in a Kentucky Derby with less pace than usual. Horses trained in Japan have shined at the biggest international meetings over the last few years, and this might be the horse who extends that trend to the Run for the Roses.

2023 Kentucky Derby Longshot

Expert picks are never complete without a longshot. Don’t sleep on Two Phil’s, winner of the Jeff Ruby at Turfway. He ran the fastest Beyer speed figure of any of the horses in the Kentucky Derby. Though that fast race came over a synthetic surface, he is already a graded-stakes winner at Churchill Downs, meaning his form has a good chance of translating to the Kentucky Derby surface.