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Kentucky Derby Betting

The Kentucky Derby is known as the The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports, but for horseplayers intending on stepping to the betting window or placing wagers online it might as well be called The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports Betting.

This year’s Run for the Roses will be contested at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday, May 6th in front of a crowd that will exceed 100,000 on track and millions more at home watching on television, many with a vested interest in the outcome. Here's what you need to know.

The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports

The Kentucky Derby is the first jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, and is followed by the Preakness Stakes on May 16 and the Belmont Stakes on June 6. The last horse to sweep all three races was Affirmed in 1978.

Since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown 13 horses have won the Derby and the Preakness and come up short in the Belmont Stakes, including California Chrome in 2014.

The Kentucky Derby is not only the most famous race in the world, it is one of the most unique to be contested all year. The race is restricted to three-year-olds who will attempt to go 1 ¼ miles for the first time in their career.

In addition, while most stakes races in the U.S. are restricted to 14 runners, the Run for the Roses allows 20 entrants, meaning it is one of the toughest handicapping puzzles horseplayers will face all year.

Put 20 mostly lightly raced three-year-olds in the starting gate in front of 100,000 screaming fans and running a distance at which they are not proven, and the results can often be surprising.

Just in the last decade we have seen two of the biggest upsets in the history of the race. Giacomo rallied to pull off the huge upset in 2005, returning his backers $102.60 for a $2 wager. Just four years later Mine That Bird came up the rail to pull off a shocker, paying $103.20.

A lucky horseplayer can have a life-changing score in just two minutes. The $1 trifecta with Mine That Bird on top paid $20,750, and correctly selecting the top four finishers in the superfecta for a $1 returned $278,503.

When Giacomo pulled off the upset in 2005, Closing Argument ran second at 70-1 betting odds and the $2 exacta paid a record $9,815.

However, what is unique about the Kentucky Derby is that horseplayers can make a huge windfall even if the betting favorite wins the race.

In 2014 California Chrome came into the race having dominated his competition in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby and was sent off as the 5-2 betting favorite in a field of 19, and did not disappoint, paying $7.00 for the win.

The exotic payoffs were still huge with 37-1 Commanding Curve running second and 8-1 Danza running third. The $2 exacta paid $340 and the $1 trifecta returned $1,712.

In 2013 the betting favorite was Orb, who came to Louisville after dominating his competition in Florida, winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Florida Derby, and was sent off as the lukewarm 5-1 favorite in a field of 19.

The colt paid his backers $12.80, and again the exotics paid handsomely. Longshot Golden Soul ran second at 64-1 with Revolutionary running third at 6-1.The $2 exacta paid $981 while the $1 trifecta returned a hefty $3,462.

Check back right here at OddsShark and our sister site Turf ‘n’ Sport for the latest Kentucky Derby betting odds, where to wager, news, and updates on all of the prep races leading up to the first Saturday of May and throughout the Triple Crown.