Future wagering on horse racing hits full stride with wagering on the Kentucky Derby in the spring and again with the Breeders’ Cup in the fall. Several months ahead of the big events, horseplayers can get their betting action down early, and at fixed and often generous odds.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a series of bets offered three times during the spring by Churchill Downs. There are 23 individual betting interests, with the 24th being “all others.” The wager is parimutuel, meaning the final odds fluctuate until each pool closes.
A Better Way to Bet
A better way to bet Derby futures is through Las Vegas or online sportsbooks, where once the wager is placed, the odds are fixed.
Because Las Vegas and online racebooks offer up to several hundred individual betting interests, the prices are going to be more generous than what Churchill Downs can offer bettors (see Kentucky Derby odds all year around).
Odds on Breeders’ Cup futures start appearing in July, a good three months before the two-day championship event. Horseplayers are advised to shop around, as the prices can vary greatly from the different racebooks and in Las Vegas.
Don’t forget, with future wagering, there are no refunds on scratches. If your horse fails to make it to the big dance, you can rip up your ticket before they even open the gate.
Make sure you look for value with future wagering. If you are going to invest part of your bankroll several months in advance, make sure it is worth the wait.
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Handicapper Michael Dempsey on future wagering:
“There is no better feeling than picking a Kentucky Derby Sportsbook in January at 150/1 and watch him win at Churchill Downs four months later at 6/1. Or picking the Sportsbook of the Breeders’ Cup Classic in July. However, make sure you are getting plenty of bang for your buck, as that part of your bankroll is going to be tied up for a while. It is a high-risk / high-reward type of wager, and fun too. Do you have $20 I can borrow?”