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Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 2024

The first leg of America’s famous Triple Crown is one of the biggest races in the world, as is the Kentucky Derby betting. On the first Saturday in May, another champion is crowned after the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Betting Offers

We have researched all of the best Kentucky Derby betting promotions on offer at the moment if you sign up for an account. For new players that want to bet on the Kentucky Derby, you can use the bet365 referral code (this Referral Code is used for marketing/tracking purposes only) when signing up.

We’re taking you through all you need to know to be involved in Kentucky Derby betting markets.

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Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

It goes without saying that a key part of wagering on this race is to get the best odds for your Kentucky Derby betting. Always look for the best value odds around. Shopping around is always best. As of now, we don’t know every contender in order to compare their Kentucky Derby betting odds.

More contenders will show themselves around April. When we’ve seen the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby and other top races we will know more.

Based on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contenders. However, these are some of the top youngsters in the States with Derby ambitions:

Horse & TrainerBest OddsBet on Kentucky Derby
Timberlake (Brad Cox)Odds available on the site
Locked (Todd Pletcher)Odds available on the site
Muth (Bob Baffert)Odds available on the site
Prince Of Monaco (Bob Baffert)Odds available on the site
Rhyme Schemes (Norm Casse)Odds available on the site
The Wine Steward (Michael Maker)Odds available on the site
Heartland (Bob Baffert)Odds available on the site

*Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.

Kentucky Derby 2024 Favourites – 3 Horses to Watch

As mentioned, it’s early days as far as Kentucky Derby betting goes. The Breeders’ Cup in November and March and April’s trial races will go a long way towards shaping the market.

The Kentucky Derby favourite is always a very high-class animal. As are the others near the top of the odds. These three are interesting going into the American winter:


Trained by the outstanding Brad Cox, Timberlake is a Grade 1 winner. A son of star sire Into Mischief, Timberlake was second in G1 Hopeful Stakes. He went one better in the Champagne Stakes at the top level during the Belmont at the Big A meet.

Stamina may be his issue, as his sire got quicker as he got older. There is some staying power on the distaff side which offers encouragement and he will be one to watch in New York, Florida or Kentucky next March and April.


Another one to watch on the east coast is Locked, trained by Todd Pletcher. Sire Gun Runner was placed in the 2016 Kentucky Derby and has been responsible for Taiba, Cyberknife, Echo Zulu and other top-class performers.

Locked has already won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and will be right at home in Louisville. A big run could be on the cards.

Rhyme Schemes

Norm Casse’s Rhyme Schemes will be really interesting in the Kentucky Derby betting. He won two races in his early juvenile career, both by an astonishing 9½ lengths.

What made those runs amazing is that they were over 5½ and 6½ furlongs. In the future, he’ll be covering twice this distance but is very much bred to do so being by Ghostzapper.

Beginner’s Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

Firstly, there are no guaranteed ways to be successful with Kentucky Derby betting. Systems don’t work and trends are meant to be broken.

20 horses line up for the Derby, more than in most American races. They have to earn their place in the field via a points system in the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ races. These races are mostly in the US, but also in Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Japan and then UAE.

Form is very important. Rank outsiders rarely win the Kentucky Derby. Keep an eye therefore on the strongest trials, but bear in mind that races such as the Santa Anita Derby and the Florida Derby are themselves Grade 1 races.

That means that winners of those events will have been fully wound up to win. There may not be a whole lot of improvement to come. Keep an eye on good winners of Grade 2 and Grade 3 trials as they can still be on an upward trajectory.

Breeding is important in the Kentucky Derby. Horses will need to stay every centimetre of the 2000m distance. Look for sires of good Derby horses, or those who’ve run well in the race themselves. One more important factor is the draw.

There are tight turns at Churchill Downs, so a wide draw is not a positive thing. A great example is when Essential Quality had to take a wide path in the 2021 Derby. He covered around 8½ lengths more than the winner but was beaten only around a length. In the end however, he had to settle for fourth place.

How to bet on Kentucky Derby Race

The Event’s History

The Kentucky Derby is a historical race by any standards. Stretching back to 1875, the Derby has been the pinnacle of American horse racing ever since.

Many traditions have been formed over Derby weekend. Drinking mint juleps and singing “My Old Kentucky Home” are just a couple to mention. Meanwhile, winners of the race are draped in roses after passing the line.

As the name suggests, this race has a link to the Derby in England. Meriweather Lewis Clark travelled there looking at horse races and wished to emulate the better ones. When returning Stateside, Merriweather began the Louisville Jockey Club and initiated the Kentucky Derby.

The first Kentucky Derby was run in May, 1875. Around 10,000 were there, though ten times that pack into Churchill Downs these days. The track was named that in 1883 and has always hosted this race. Kentucky Derby betting has been lively from the start, with parimutuel wagering always competitive on the big day.

After steady progress, the prize money for the Kentucky Derby passed $100,000 for the first time in 1954. It continued to grow, hitting $1 million in 1995 and now sitting at double that.

A record crowd of 165,307 people crammed into Churchill Downs for the 2012 renewal. The race has also been the launching pad for 13 Triple Crown winners including Secretariat and Justify. To complete the treble, Derby winners have to go on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Kentucky Derby Betting Typs

Kentucky Derby betting is a little different to what we see in New Zealand. The terminology is easy to get used to however and should be pretty familiar.

Though there are many bets available depending on the operator, these are the most common:

  • Race Winner: This is a self-explanatory market, you are going to bet on whichever horse you think is going to win the race.
  • Place: A place bet sees you betting that a given horse will finish in the top two places come the end of the race.
  • Show Bet: A show bet sees you betting that a given horse will finish in the top three places come the end of the race.
  • Each-Way: An each-way bet is made up of a race winner bet and a show bet. Therefore, if you stake $10 on a horse in the each-way market, this will break down into a $5 race winner bet and a $5 show bet.
  • Exacta: An exacta bet sees you trying to predict the top two finishers in the race in the correct order.
  • Quinella: A quinella bet sees you trying to predict the top two finishers in the race in any order.
  • Trifecta: This type of bet sees you trying to predict the exact finishing order of the fastest three horses.
  • Superfecta: This type of bet sees you trying to predict the exact finishing order of the fastest four horses.
  • Super High 5: This type of bet sees you trying to predict the exact finishing order of the fastest five horses.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these bets. Kentucky Derby betting is varied, meaning you should shop around and find the right wager for you.

Kentucky Derby Horse Race Betting

Kentucky Derby FAQ

Uncover more interesting facts about the Kentucky Derby below.

When is the Kentucky Derby 2024?

The next edition of the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Before that, the Kentucky Oaks is run for the fillies on May 3 at Churchill Downs.

Who Will Win the Kentucky Derby in 2024?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball. There will be many top contenders for the Derby, with 20 eventually earning enough points to take part in the race. When the final field is known in early May, check out the top six in the betting market as the winner is quite likely to come from that list.

Who Won the Kentucky Derby 2023?

In 2023, the Kentucky Derby was won by Mage for trainer Gustavo Delgado and outstanding jockey Javier Catellano. The 15/1 shot took down Two Phil’s (second) and Angel Of Empire (third). Favourite Tapit Trice was back in seventh place at the line.

Kentucky Derby Live Streaming

Naturally, the Run for the Roses is among the most watched sporting events in the USA. Local broadcaster NBC Sports will take over live coverage, though the rest of the meet at Churchill Downs is available on TVG.

Internationally, the best way to watch the Derby is by live streaming. Contact your online bookmaker to see if they are showing the race. You may need to wager in the Kentucky Derby betting market to be involved.

Streaming is high quality and includes full commentary of the race.

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