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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 to step to the betting window or place 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 5 in front of a crowd that will exceed 100,000, not to mention millions more watching at home on television, many with a vested interest in the outcome. This year’s race will be on NBC with the post time expected to be at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Bet on the 2018 Kentucky Derby here!

If you’re new to horse betting and would like to learn more about the different ways to bet on the sport, get started by checking out these tutorials:


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 19 and the Belmont Stakes on June 9. The last horse to sweep all three races was American Pharoah in 2015.

Prior to American Pharoah, it had been 36 years since a horse – Affirmed in 1978 – had won the Triple Crown. During that span, 13 horses won the Derby and the Preakness but came up short in the Belmont Stakes.

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. 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.

Just in the last 13 years 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 $1 returned $278,503. When Giacomo pulled off the upset in 2005, Closing Argument ran second at +7000 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 +250 betting favorite in a field of 19, and did not disappoint, paying $7.00 for the win.

The exotic payoffs were still huge with +3700 Commanding Curve running second and +800 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 +500 favorite in a field of 19.

The colt paid his backers $12.80, and again the exotics paid handsomely. Long shot Golden Soul ran second at +6400 with Revolutionary running third at +600. 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.