Kentucky Derby Betting

Other than the Super Bowl, there is only one other real sporting event in American that so captures the imagination and mainstream media attention that everyone needs to bet on it. That is the Kentucky Derby.

Betting on the Kentucky Derby usually happens on the day of the race, but can happen at any time during the year thanks to Horse Future Betting pools that allow you to pick a winner in November or January or March.

And once the field of 20 horses is set, it’s off to the races with tons of betting options and fun Kentucky Derby props to make this one of the most exciting days on the betting calendar.

Where Can I Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

All online racebooks and actual tracks offer Kentucky Derby betting, but not all offer the full range of horse wagers all year round. TrackChampion has long be a fan of and we were one of the first sites to promote them back when they launched in 2008. Nothing has changed our minds since then and we continue to play there and recommend it as the best place in the US to bet the Kentucky Derby.

If you are in Las Vegas on Derby Day, the Westgate offers a huge array of bets, a knowledgeable staff and huge big screens and hundreds of screaming bettors. If you are watching from home and live in the accepted states (read our review here), then check out for free live streaming and a generous bonus offer as a welcome perk for new horse betting customers.

How Can I Bet on The Kentucky Derby?

First step is to visit a legit online racebook such as and set up your account and deposit some money. Then its over to the betting window where you can choose among various Derby bet types.

Most casual fans like to have a ‘straight wager’ on the winner, meaning you pick which horse you think will win. This is also called a Win Place Show bet and you can get paid out based on first, second or third place finishes. As of 2019, the favorite had won six straight Kentucky Derby races, so check out the current odds (and morning line odds on race day) to see which horse is favored.

There are exacta bets where you are picking horses to finish first and second and trifecta bets where you are betting on the top three horses. There are fun ways to ‘box’ those bets to give you a better chance at winning, you can learn about that on our ‘How to Bet’ page.

There are horse matchup bets on Derby day, meaning you can bet within the race, picking whether Horse #5 will finish ahead of Horse #3. Usually on Derby day, there are plenty of Kentucky Derby horse matchup bets to be made.

You can also bet on hundreds of Kentucky Derby props, which are special wagers on the over-under of the attendance, which celebrity will wear a crazy pink hat and whether the winning time will be faster or slower than last year’s time. More on that below …..

What are Kentucky Derby prop bets?

If you have ever bet on the Super Bowl coin toss, then you know what a prop is. For Kentucky Derby props, these are fun wagers on the race or events happening around the race. Some examples:

  • Which gate will the winning horse break from?
  • Will the attendance record be broken?
  • Will the Derby winner also claim the Triple Crown?
  • Will the winning time be within one second of Secretariat’s winning time from 1973?
  • How many lengths will the race be won by?
  • And then things can get silly as well, such as
    • over under of arrests at Churchill Downs on race day,
    • will there be a streaker on the track
    • etc.