Mystik Dan was the winner of the 2024 Kentucky Derby. The next edition will be the 151st running of the iconic race and will take place May 3, 2025, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s the biggest horse betting event of the year, with a variety of odds and wagers available at online racebooks. Below is a closer look at how to bet on the Kentucky Derby.

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How to bet on the Kentucky Derby

You can wager on the Kentucky Derby online on FanDuel Racing, one of the top sites for online horse betting. Follow the steps below to begin betting on the Kentucky Derby online:

  1. Sign up at a legal horse betting site like FanDuel Racing.
  2. Claim any welcome bonuses and deposit money into your account.
  3. Search for and select Churchill Downs as the track.
  4. Scroll through the list of available races and select the Kentucky Derby. This will likely be the second-to-last race listed.
  5. Review the Kentucky Derby odds for all of the horses in the field and make your decision(s).
  6. Review your betting options, including win, win/place, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta.
  7. When ready to wager, click the odds that correspond with your selection(s).
  8. Your choice will move over to your betting slip.
  9. Enter the amount you wish to wager while making sure you meet the minimum requirement.
  10. Click to confirm and place your wager.

Which states have legal online betting for the Kentucky Derby?

Online horse betting is currently available in dozens of states. Some markets are served by multiple racebooks, while others have just a single online option. Among the states where you can’t bet online, Texas allows in-person betting, while others do not allow any betting on horse races. Here’s the complete list of states where you can legally bet on the Kentucky Derby online.

Available Kentucky Derby bets explained

There are several ways to wager when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. Beyond simply trying to pick the winner, you can wager on horses to finish second or third, or tie together multiple entrants via exotic wagers for a chance at even greater payouts. Let’s take a closer look at the available bets for the biggest racing event of the year.

Win bet

This is a bet on a horse to win the race. The morning line odds for all of the entrants will come out in the days leading up to the race. The lines will shift from there right up until post time. If you correctly pick the winner of the race, the payout will depend on the odds for your selection and the total dollars in the pari-mutuel pool.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby win bet
  • Winner: Mystik Dan, 18-1
  • $2 bet payout: $39.22

Place bet

A place bet means that you like a horse to finish in first or second place. Just like a win bet, payouts for a winning wager will vary. For horses that are among the post-time favorites, place payouts will be relatively low, but the amount can rise to something more substantial if a long shot surprises and takes down second place.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby place bet
  • Second place finisher: Sierra Leone, 9-2
  • $2 bet payout: $6.54

Show bet

A show bet covers your selected entrant for a finish in the top three places. Just like the payout for a place bet, the amount can be quite small for big favorites but much larger when a long shot hits the board. Seasoned horse bettors will sometimes use a show bet as a safety net to capture at least some return for top choices that fall just short.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby show bet
  • Third place finisher: Forever Young, 6-1
  • $2 bet payout: $5.58

Win/place/show

You can also tie all three of the main 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 horse that wins the race. If you do so, you’ll win all three bets. While not easy to win, the payouts can be appealing, especially if a long shot finishes first. For a $2 bet, the wager would cost a total of $6 — equal amounts for each potential finish.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby win/place/show bet
  • Winner: Mystik Dan, 18-1
  • $2 bet payouts: $39.22 (W), $16.32 (P), $10.00 (S)

Exacta

An exacta bet is where you try to pick the top two finishers in the race in order. You can also box your selections, which means that you’ll win if your choices finish first and second, regardless of the order. Bettors can also choose multiple horses for each leg of the exacta, but keep in mind that the cost of the bet rises with every selection that you include.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby exacta bet:
  • Winning bet: Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone
  • $2 bet payout: $258.56

Trifecta

The trifecta is another exotic bet in which you try to predict the top finishers. In this case, you need to land on the top three when all is said and done. You can place a straight bet with three horses in order, box your three selections, or include multiple entrants for one or more legs. Once again, the amount of the wager will rise based on the type of bet you are placing.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby trifecta bet:
  • Winning bet: Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone, Forever Young
  • $0.50 bet payout: $556.92

Superfecta

The superfecta is typically a popular bet on big race days due to the potentially lucrative payout. However, it’s a challenging bet to win as it calls for you to correctly select the first four finishers in the race. As with the other exotics, you can go with a straight wager, box your selections, or include multiple choices for one or more legs via a single bet.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby superfecta bet:
  • Winning bet: Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone, Forever Young, Catching Freedom
  • $1 bet payout: $8,254.07

SuperHighFive

The last of the exotics is the SuperHighFive. This bet is even more challenging than the other three members of the category as it calls for bettors to correctly predict the top five finishers in the race. Payouts on a high-volume racing day such as the Kentucky Derby can be astronomical, which also helps to demonstrate the difficulty of cashing a winning SuperHighFive bet.

  • 2024 Kentucky Derby SuperHighFive bet:
  • Winning bet: Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone, Forever Young, Catching Freedom, T O Password
  • $1 bet payout: $316,920.10

Other Kentucky Derby betting options

While the Kentucky Derby is the biggest race of the day, the card at Churchill Downs also contains other races. You can bet on each of them individually as well, but there are also ways to bet on multiple winners from the day’s races

  • Pick 3
  • Pick 4
  • Pick 5
  • Pick 6

For all of the above, the goal is to pick the winners of a number of consecutive races: three for the Pick 3 and so on. The minimum wager for these bets is typically small, but you can make multiple picks for each race, with the cost rising accordingly.

Additionally, there are several two-day bets combining races from the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby cards. One of the most popular bets, the Oaks/Derby double, requires bettors to select the winner of Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Other wagers include a two-day Pick 3 and Pick 6 beginning on Friday, Kentucky Oaks day, and an all-dirt Pick 5 on Kentucky Derby day.

Kentucky Derby betting strategies & tips

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular betting events on the spring sports calendar. It’s perhaps the top highlight of the year for seasoned horse racing bettors, but it also attracts a huge amount of interest from casual fans. Here are some Kentucky Derby betting strategies and tips.

Kentucky Derby betting options

The Kentucky Derby kicks off the Triple Crown of horse racing and sets the stage for the two other signature events: the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. For betting on horse racing legally in the US, FanDuel Racing is one of the top options. 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. 

FanDuel Racing also has a clear layout that makes it easy to use. You can sort through the upcoming races with ease, and there are even some built-in options — some of which are free — that can help you handicap the races. The racebook is available on the web and via mobile devices, and it also has live streaming and a dedicated channel for horse racing action.

Two other popular places to wager on the Kentucky Derby are TwinSpires and TVG. TwinSpires is owned and operated by Churchill Downs, Inc. It’s available on the web and mobile platforms. TVG served as the longtime home for racing on TV before its rebrand to FanDuel TV. The TVG website and app is still available in select markets. Below is a more comprehensive list of betting options:

Signing up for Kentucky Derby betting

The sign-up process at FanDuel Racing is fairly quick. Head to the site via the link above to claim the welcome bonus, and then do the following: 

To begin wagering, you’ll then need to make a deposit. The available banking options may vary by state, but they typically include the following: 

Deposits will process instantly, so you can expect to see the money in your account 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. 

Explore more horse racing options

There are a variety of ways to wager on horses other than the Kentucky Derby, including additional big races throughout the year that offer options for bettors looking to get in on the action.

Kentucky Derby news and notes

2025 Kentucky Derby race facts

There have been 150 runnings of the world’s most famous horse race. Here are some of the key points for the 2025 Kentucky Derby:

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.

Who won the most recent Kentucky Derby?

Mystik Dan won the 2024 Kentucky Derby, clocking a time of 2:03.34. Trained by Kenneth McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., the horse had odds of 18-1 at post time.

Which Kentucky Derby winner was the biggest long shot?

Donerail, winner of the 1913 Kentucky Derby, continues to hold the record at odds of 91-1. Rich Strike, the surprising winner in 2022, is second at 80-1.

Has a filly ever won the Kentucky Derby?

Yes, this has happened three times at the Kentucky Derby: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980), and Winning Colors (1988).

What can you win with a $2 bet at the Kentucky Derby?

The return on a winning $2 bet depends on both the type of wager, the odds at the time of bet placement, and the amount of the pari mutuel pool. As an example, a winning $2 bet at odds of 18-1 on last year’s winner, Mystik Dan, returned $39.22.

What is the minimum bet for a superfecta at the Kentucky Derby?

The minimum bet for a Kentucky Derby superfecta bet is $1. For this dollar amount, you can pick any four horses to finish in an exact order. The amount of the wager can quickly climb if you add more selections or multiple picks for each leg.