How To Bet The Kentucky Derby

Horse racing takes center stage this weekend with the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday, May 7, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the nation’s top three-year-old thoroughbreds will battle over 1¼ miles with $1.86 million for first place at stake and a total purse size of $3 million. Post time is set for 6:57 pm ET with broadcast coverage on NBC.

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How to bet the Kentucky Derby online

Betting the Kentucky Derby online is available in 17 states. To do so, you’ll need to do the following:

TVG and most horse betting apps are available in these states:

Best site for betting the Kentucky Derby online

For betting on horse racing legally and safely in the US, the TVG racing app stands out as the top option. The site provides coverage for all of the top tracks across the globe, and betting on major races such as the Kentucky Derby is among the featured offerings. 

TVG has a crystal clear layout which makes it easy to use. You can sort through the upcoming races with ease, and there are even some built in options that can help you handicap the races, some of which are completely free of charge.  

If you’re not already registered with TVG, there’s a great sign-up offer that our readers can take advantage of. Just use promo code 200TVG when you register to get your first single-horse win wager back if you lose.

How to sign up

The sign-up process for TVG is quick and painless. After clicking through this page to claim the bonus, you’ll be brought directly to the registration page. From there, just do the following. 

After your account is created, you’ll have full access to TVG. To begin wagering, you’ll need to make a deposit. The available funding options may vary by market but typically include: 

Deposits are processed instantly by TVG, so you can expect to see your account credited immediately. When it’s time to make a withdrawal, processing times can vary based on the method that you choose, but things tend to move quickly here as well. 

Bet types available

As one of the most popular sporting events of the year, the Kentucky Derby attracts a ton of betting volume annually. There are several different ways for you to wager on the day of the race. At the top of the list are the main single race bets. 

You can also tie all three of the wagers together into a Win/Place/Show bet. Known as betting across the board, the goal is to make a clean sweep if you land on the race winner. If you do so, you’ll be paid out for all three. 

Unlike betting on sports, the amount of your potential payout is not directly tied to the odds, but rather to the amount of money in the pari-mutuel pools. For example, a winning place bet will be based on the total amount of dollars in that pool and the number of betting tickets. 

You can also take your chances on bets with multiple horses. These wagers are sometimes referred to as exotics in the world of horse racing. While not easy to win consistently, the payouts can be lucrative when you manage to make the right calls. 

For standard multi-horse bets, you’re attempting to call the finishers in the exact order. You can also box your selections, which means that your selections can finish in any order. Another option is to wheel your picks, which means that you are mixing up your selections for each finishing position in various ways.  

The cost for exotic wagers can quickly climb based on the number of selections that you are including on the ticket. As always, there are no guarantees simply because you think you’re covering more bases, so be sure to keep that in mind as you build out your bets. 

Last but not least, while the Kentucky Derby is the biggest race of the day, the card at Churchill Downs is filled with other races. You can bet on each of them individually as well, but there are also ways to bet on multiple winners across the day. 

For all of the above, the goal is to pick the winner in a number of successive races: three for the pick 3 and so on. The minimum wager amount for these bets is typically small, but you can make multiple picks for each race with the cost rising accordingly. These bets can be a fun and entertaining way to make the excitement of Derby Day last that much longer.

Morning line odds and post positions released earlier this week

The early favorite is Zandon, who will be racing out of post position ten at odds of 3-1. The Chad Brown-trained horse will be ridden by Flavien Prat, a jockey who tasted victory at the 2019 derby with Country House.

Next up is Epicenter at odds of 7-2 and in post position number three. On the Road to the Kentucky Derby, this entrant racked up the most qualifying points with a total of 164 and grabbed several notable wins, most recently at the Louisiana Derby. Steve Asmussen is the trainer, while Joel Rosario will be in the saddle on Saturday.

In third on the morning line odds board is Messier at 8-1 and running out of the sixth post. The Canada-born horse spent the prep season in California, taking first place in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The Tim Yakteen-trained entrant only has a few races under his belt, but the buzz continues to grow in horse racing circles.

For the remainder of the field, odds range from 10-1 up to 30-1. Other top point-getters from prep season that are in the field include Mo Donegal (10-1), White Abarrio (10-1), and Tiz the Bomb (30-1). The Derby is the 12th race scheduled for Saturday’s racing card.

How and where to watch the Kentucky Derby

NBC is the broadcast home for the Kentucky Derby. The network will be providing coverage on the main broadcast channel, as well as on Peacock, the NBC Sports app and NBCSports.com.

You can stream the Derby directly to your mobile device. Even better, you can have the TVG app open to keep an eye on the latest odds in real time. TVG is also one of the biggest broadcast homes for live horse racing action, and you can stream a host of other races directly through the TVG app.

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