2023 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

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Last Updated on: 23.02.2023

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 horse race held annually each May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The race is exclusively for three-year-old thoroughbreds and is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, with Kentucky Derby betting a monumental opportunity for US and international horse racing fans.

Race Structure for the Kentucky Derby

  • The Grade 1 stakes Kentucky Derby race itself makes up the finale of the fortnight long festival of the same name. The race, which lasts for one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs, is for three-year-old colts and geldings between which a five-pound weight difference is allowed. In the USA, the Kentucky Derby carries the reputation of being either the most exciting or the fastest two minutes in sports. Run before the other two Triple Crown races - the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes – this race carries a higher purse of $3 million GTD (guaranteed) and would, under normal circumstances, boast the highest attendance of the three races.
  • Since 2014, the race has used a tiered point system in a number of races, including some in Europe and Japan, in order to determine the horses that will qualify to take part. These qualification routes have been branded The Road To The Kentucky Derby. In total, 20 horses, those who have earned the most points, will line up on the night of the first Saturday in May for a race that has also been termed the Run for the Roses, thanks to the tradition of hanging a blanket of roses over the neck of the winner.

Best Betting Sites for Kentucky Derby Betting

William Hill
  • Special Kentucky Derby promotions
  • UK’s best received bookmaker in US
  • Biggest race in North America

New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

  • Wide range of Kentucky Derby betting markets
  • Some of the best odds around
  • Bet £10 get £50

18+ - Offer for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

Coral logo
  • Ante post at Churchill Downs
  • Best odds guaranteed on mobile
  • Withdraw cash on high street with Coral Connect

18+ New UK+ ROI Customers only. Deposit & Bet min £5 as first bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x £20 Free Bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

Paddy Power logo
Paddy Power
  • Horse racing betting specialists
  • Fantastic betting app
  • Bet £20 and get it back if it loses

New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £10. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

  • Horse racing special offers
  • Live betting on many popular markets
  • Bet £10 get £40 in bonuses

New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions

At the time of writing, the 2023 renewal of the Kentucky Derby will be run on the 6th May. We will publish more information about the event once it is available – until then, why not check out our detailed horse racing guide to get up to speed on the basics?

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds 2023

We will publish the latest odds for the 2023 Kentucky Derby closer to the start date of the race. In the meantime, feel free to check out our updated horse racing racecards for today and tomorrow's races.

Kentucky Derby Betting Tips 2023

Our expert tips and predictions will be added here as the commencement of the event approaches.

Kentucky Derby Betting Promotions 2023

  • As the pinnacle of international horse racing events, you will want to take full advantage of the best in Kentucky Derby betting - which is why claiming the fantastic Ladbrokes Bet £5 Get £20 offer makes perfect sense.
  • Here is a great way to bet on the Kentucky Derby: try the Betfair welcome offer of up to £100 in free bet credits.

5 Reasons to Bet on the Kentucky Derby

  • It precedes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in the American Triple Crown.
  • It is one of the most famous races in world horse racing.
  • And one of the richest races, too.
  • It features the ultimate thoroughbred horses only.
  • It is always a thrilling race to behold.

Kentucky Derby Betting Sites With Live Streaming

  • bet365
  • Paddy Power
  • Betfred
  • William Hill
  • Unibet

Popular Kentucky Derby Betting Markets

The purpose of this Kentucky Derby guide is to outline what experienced punters can expect from the Kentucky Derby as well as introducing newcomers to horse racing betting to some of the finer aspects of both the sport and the hobby of betting on it. As this Derby betting guide will demonstrate, there are endless ways to bet on horse racing and in this case the Kentucky Derby. Below we have listed some ideas for Kentucky Derby bets explained for newcomers to Kentucky Derby betting.


The most popular and uncomplicated way to bet on this race is to back the horse you think will win. To get a payout, your horse needs to finish first and be crowned the race’s winner. The odds you either accept when you place your bet or the starting price your horse is assigned will determine the amount of your winnings. Your return will be a multiple of your stake, based on those odds.

Generally speaking, most online bookmakers in the UK have an odds display button that can alter how you view their odds. For a US horse race with IS TV coverage, this is handy because, while in the UK we favour fractional odds, in the US, decimal odds are more common.

Best Kentucky Derby betting site for Winner betting: William Hill

Each-Way Betting

Think of the each-way bet as two bets with two separate stakes: one win, one place. Typically, when you bet on a horse each-way in the Kentucky Derby, you will be looking for your horse to finish first, second, third and, in some instances, fourth. Each-way bets will normally pay out at 1/5th of the odds if your horse finishes outside the top spot but within the top three or four.

Best Kentucky Derby betting site for each-way bets: bwin

Betting Without the Favourite

When a horse race, or other event for that matter, has an overwhelming short-priced favourite, bookmakers can sometimes offer a Betting Without market. This is related (but not identical) to betting on Against The Field. Dead cert horse racing tips are all well and good, but sometimes, we want to bet without a short-priced favourite and enjoy the rest of the runners.

This is where “Betting Without” markets come in. What this market does is remove the “dead cert” and draw up a whole new market to bet on, where the favourite horse has been removed from the betting market even though the horse will still run the race. Assuming the race goes to design and the short price romps home as expected, your horse can come home in second place but still be deemed “the winner”, and you get paid out accordingly.

Best Kentucky Derby betting site for Betting Without the Favourite: William Hill

Lucky 15 Betting

A Lucky 15 is a full cover bet, affording horse racing bettors differing sets of accumulators as well as four singles, meaning only one horse needs to win for the bettor to collect a return. A Lucky 15 consists of four picks which are counted as singles.

If you don’t pay for the singles, the bet is a Yankee which is 11 bets. After the singles, Yankees and Lucky 15s are constructed of 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold. But, of course, the Lucky 15 has four extra singles, hence the extra four bets.

Best Kentucky Derby betting site for Lucky 15 bets: 888sport

History of the Kentucky Derby

  • The Kentucky Derby first took place on May 17, 1875, when the winner was Aristides, a colt who had jockey Oliver Lewis on board. The race was the brainchild of Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, who paid a visit to Europe in 1872 where he was a spectator to a number of Europe’s biggest horse races. The colonel was lucky enough to be in the stands for that year’s Epsom Derby in Surrey, England, but then made the short trip to Paris to take in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp as well. Inspired by what he had seen, he returned home to Louisville where, with the help of Louisville Jockey Club, they sourced the necessary finances for a horse racing infrastructure that would include first-class facilities such as those he had seen during his travels. The site that they settled on to build these facilities was, and is still today, Churchill Downs.
  • The inaugural racing of the Kentucky Derby was raced over the distance of one and a half miles which, because of their historical links, exactly matched the distance of England’s Derby at Epsom. The first ever Kentucky Derby drew an impressive 10,000 spectators in its first year. The race was trimmed in distance by a quarter of a mile in 1986, when it raced for the first time over one and a quarter miles, which is still its distance today. Over the years, the Kentucky Derby cemented itself as America’s biggest horse race.

Recent Kentucky Derby Winners

2022Rich StrikeSonny LeonEric Reed
2021MandalounFlorent GerouxBrad H. Cox
2020AuthenticJohn VelazquezBob Baffert
2019Country HouseFlavien PratBill Mott
2018Justify Mike E. SmithBob Baffert
2017Always DreamingJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher
2016Nyquist Mario GutierrezDoug O'Neill
2015American Pharoah Victor EspinozaBob Baffert
2014California Chrome Victor EspinozaArt Sherman
2013Orb Joel RosarioClaude McGaughey III
2012I'll Have Another Mario GutierrezDoug O'Neill
2011Animal Kingdom John VelazquezH. Graham Motion

Kentucky Derby Betting – Key Stats

  • With five wins apiece, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are the most successful jockeys in Kentucky Derby history.
  • Ben A. Jones has the most wins by a trainer with six.
  • Calvin Borel became first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbies in 2010.
  • The second horse to win the Kentucky Derby despite never running as a two-year-old was Justify who won in 2018. The first being Apollo in 1882.
  • The 2019 renewal proved controversial as Maximum Security was disqualified leaving Country House as the winner.
  • Over its modern distance, the race’s record time of 2 minutes 35 seconds was set by Spokane in 1989.

Similar Tournaments to the Kentucky Derby

21st May 2022, Preakness Stakes: This is second leg of America’s horse racing Triple Crown and only the very best horses get to compete.

11th June 2022, Belmont Stakes: The final leg of the Triple Crown and a fabulous night of summer’s racing to boot.

1st November 2022, Melbourne Cup: One of the world’s richest horse races, the Melbourne Cup is a highlight on the international horse racing calendar.

Upcoming Sporting Events

Kentucky Derby FAQs

The best Kentucky Derby betting sites are William Hill, bet365, and Coral.
For Kentucky Derby betting UK, you can watch sports’ most exciting two minutes on Sky Sports.
The purse put up for the Kentucky Derby is a whopping $3 million, with $1.8 million set aside for the winner.
The other two horse races to count towards the American Triple Crown are the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, both of which take place after the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby.
Yes, as one of the biggest horse races in the world, bookmakers will offer ante-post markets on the Kentucky Derby.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

No matter where they are in the world, bettors will always make time for Kentucky Derby betting, America’s biggest race. Along with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Derby, which is the first race of the trio to appear on the calendar, makes up American horse racing’s Triple Crown. Make no mistake though, that this race, the most exciting two minutes in American sports, is the horsey highlight of the year.