Kentucky Derby Betting Online - Odds | Handicapping | How To Bet Guide

Kentucky Derby Betting Online - Odds | Handicapping | How To Bet Guide

When it comes to the most thrilling moments in sports, not many can beat the Kentucky Derby. A two-minute sprint involving the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds, the Derby kicks off the race for the Triple Crown, an elusive feat that only 13 horses have achieved since 1919.

Are you ready to bet on the Kentucky Derby?

What Is The Kentucky Derby?

Also known as "The Run for the Roses", the Kentucky Derby is the first race in the Horse Racing's Triple Crown series that is presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade 1). The race takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and is a one and a quarter-mile race.

The Derby dates back to 1875 and is traditionally run on the first Saturday in May. Currently, the purse money for the race is $3 million.

How Does The Kentucky Derby Work?

The Kentucky Derby is a race restricted to three-year-old horses, regardless of sex and location. The horses selected for "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" is done so by a tiered-point system.

Each year 20 horses are selected and to earn a spot in the Derby, there is a series of designated races at tracks across the country and around the world. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. The 20 horses with the most points will earn a spot.

A new starting gate with twenty stalls is scheduled to debut for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. This will replace the previous method of using a 14-stall main starting gate and a six-stall auxiliary gate.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby is automatically entered into the Preakness Stakes.

When Is The Kentucky Derby 2020?

The 146th Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

  • Date: Saturday, May 2, 2020
  • Time: 6:50 pm EST
  • TV Broadcast: NBC
  • Track And Location: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Distance: One and a quarter miles (10 furlongs)
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Horses: Up to 20 Three-Year-Old Thoroughbreds
  • Track Record: Secretariat (1:59:40 in 1973)

Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

You can also bet on the Kentucky Derby online. Below is the best available Kentucky Derby betting site:

How To Bet On The Kentucky Derby?

The best and most convenient way to bet on the Kentucky Derby is online. TVG offers a $200 Risk-Free Bet, which is a great signup bonus and one you should take advantage of.

Kentucky Derby Bets Explained

There is a multitude of bets not just for the Kentucky Derby, but all races that happen on that day and throughout the racing season. Check out how to bet on horses for more information, but here are some of the most popular bet types:

  • Win: Place a bet on who you think will win the Kentucky Derby.
  • Place: This is a bet on a horse that you believe will finish first or second in the race.
  • Show: You win this bet if the horse you wagered on come in first, second, or third.
  • Exacta: An exacta bet is a wager to predict the first two horses to finish the race, which must happen in the correct order of the wager.
  • Trifecta: This is a wager that predicts the first three horses to finish the race in the correct order.
  • Superfecta: Predict the first four horses to finish in the correct order of the race.
  • Super High Five: Predict the first five horses to finish in the correct order of the race.

Kentucky Derby Odds 2020

Here are the current odds for the Kentucky Derby. This will be updated closer to the race:

Kentucky Derby Odds For 2020

Kentucky Derby Payouts

The wagering system for horse racing is unlike most other forms of gambling. Wagering on horses is done through a parimutuel system which means 'wagering amongst ourselves'.

Unlike casinos where the players are wagering against the house, who has a mathematically built-in advantage, wagering on horse racing is done so by essentially betting against everyone else making the same wager in that particular race, on a large scale.

The track simply holds all the bets and issues tickets to its participants with their bet. Once the race is run and declared official, the track pays the winners. The track makes money by taking a certain percentage of the wagers.

How To Pick A Winner In The Kentucky Derby

There are many factors that go into picking a Kentucky Derby winner. When handicapping (or breaking down) a race, try to look at these deciding factors:

  • Past Performances
  • Conditions of the Race
  • Restrictions of the Race
  • The Horse's Ability Against The Competition
  • Pace of the Race

These factors can be found in racing publications such as the Daily Racing Form, Brisnet, and Track Master.

Past Performances

The Daily Racing Form is considered the standard and has been around since 1894. It has a load of information when looking at past performances, which includes a horse's 12 previous races.

Many handicappers use a horse's past performances to determine their potential success in an upcoming race.

When thinking about a horse's past performance, you may want to ask yourself the following question:

How easy or difficult was it for the horse the last time he or she ran?

To break it down further, thinking about if how the horse's trip went:

  • Did they break well or not (troubled trip)?
  • Did the horse get checked, get forced to go five-wide?
  • Was the horse challenged in the race? Was it too easy? What was the pace?

These are things to look at during the course of a race that may have impeded or benefited the horse. You can see these as reasons or excuses as to why the horse may have won or lost during their last race or past races.

Conditions of the Race

You must also look at the conditions of the race. You can also find this in the Daily Racing Form. A couple of conditions to take into account are:

  • Level of Competition
  • Restrictions

You may also want to notice the trainers of the race. You can find training stats inside the racing form. For example, if a horse is coming off a 60-day layoff, the stats can show you how well a trainer has done in the last two years when his or her horse hasn't raced in 60+ days.

You may also want to take note of prestigious owners and if they happen to do well in these specific race conditions.

Level of Competition

You can break down the level of competition like this:

  • Maiden Claiming Race
  • Maiden Special Weight
  • Claiming
  • Allowance
  • Stakes

These are all different levels of competition in which a horse can run. Be aware if a horse is jumping up in Class, say from a Claiming to an Allowance Race.


A race will likely have some restrictions placed upon it and this can sometimes be a factor in the race you are currently handicapping. Two-year-olds can only race against two-year-olds for instance, and there are no exceptions. Some races, such as the Kentucky Derby, are restricted to only three-year-olds.

Some races only allow female horses, though the Derby is open to both sexes. And although it has been traditionally tougher for fillies (female horses), there have been three that have won the Kentucky Derby.

One important restriction to know is State Bred races. In a State Bred race, only horses born and bred in that state can compete in the race. This means the talent pool could be less than normal. But horses take different paths to reach the Triple Crown races. So just because a horse has found success in a State Bred race, does not mean it doesn't have the talent to compete in a wide-open competition like the Kentucky Derby. In fact, there are likely horses competing in the Derby that have also raced in a State Bred.

Then there are other factors when handicapping the race of the Kentucky Derby:

Looking At The Trip

When looking at the trip, consider the track conditions, the distance of the race, post position, how large is the field, and other factors that may impact a horse's performance. Is the horse used to running this distance? How is the track? Will it run fast or be sloppy? Is it on the turf or off? These are all things to look at when breaking down a race.

Pace of Race

Next, you want to determine how the race is going to play out, and much of this has to do with the pace of the race. What horses are going to be on the lead? Who is going to set the pace? Are you expecting this to be a run at a furious pace? How fast will the race go when we reach the quarter-mile and the half-mile?

Will it benefit the horses in front, just off the pace, or way off the pace?

Races that run fast early, generally favor Closers. You can determine a closer by looking at their past performances. You can see how many lengths they are off the lead and as the race progresses, see if the horse makes a move to inch closer and try to catch the leader as they head toward the finish.

Kentucky Derby Handicapping

Once you look at all of these factors, it is time to do some Kentucky Derby handicapping. We now have to compare the horses against each other's competition.

So, who is going to win the Kentucky Derby?

We can start by looking at the factors above and then put each horse into the following racing type:

  • Pace-Setter: A horse that looks or needs to lead in the opening quarter or opening half of a mile of a race.
  • Duelers/Stalkers: Horses who may challenge the pace-setter.
  • Mid-Closers: Horses who sit in the middle of the pack to eventually make a move to pass the horses who are in the lead.
  • Deep Closers: A horse who trails or is at the back of the pack, who then looks to make a sustained run to steal it at the wire.

Now that we determined the types of horses to key in on, we can look at the field, take into account all the factors mentioned above and make a decision on who will win the Kentucky Derby. If we feel the Pace-Setter can get out in front and not be challenged, we may choose that horse to go wire-to-wire to win the Kentucky Derby. But if it is a tough filled with Duelers, perhaps a Mid-Closer or Deep Closer can come from behind to catch a tiring Pace-Setter. Keep these things in mind when choosing your winner for the Kentucky Derby!

Past Kentucky Derby Winners

  • 2019 Winner: Country House (by DQ)
  • 2018 Winner: Justify
  • 2017 Winner: Always Dreaming
  • 2016 Winner: Nyquist
  • 2015 Winner: American Pharaoh (Triple Crown Winner)
  • 2014 Winner: California Chrome
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