Last updated on: April 22nd, 2022

Kentucky Derby Betting

Legal Kentucky Derby betting has been around nearly as long as the legendary race itself. Exemplary horses have participated in this event and the potential profitability of this race alone attracts bettors who wouldn’t normally tune in to watch the ponies.

Founded by Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., grandson of William Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, the race has been held on the first Saturday of May since the year 1875 (except in 2020, COVID-19). The event is kicked-off with the Kentucky Derby Festival which lasts two weeks but the race itself tends to last only two minutes.

Thankfully, betting on the first leg of the Triple Crown can be done online in a safe and legal way. Online horse racing betting sites offer wagering types such as straight bets and exotic bets like perfectas, trifectas, and superfectas. While many of the best online racebooks operate outside of the US, there are also horse race betting websites that operate domestically as well, giving fans a plethora of options for legal betting on the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Logo

148th Kentucky Derby Quick Facts

Date: Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Location: Churchill Downs – Louisville, KY

Post Time: approx. 6:50pm ET

Distance: 1.25 mi. (10 furlongs)

Purse: $3M 1st place: $2,000,000

Favorite: Epicenter (+450) (Bovada)

Is It Legal To Bet On The Kentucky Derby?

Yes, and depending on where you live, the avenues to legal Kentucky Derby betting may differ. For states with horse racing betting officially on the books, most residents will have their local horse racing track or online racebooks that operate from within the US. However, there are certain states such as that have neither of these two options. If you happen to fall in that predicament, simply use an online betting site that doubles down as a horse racing betting site. These websites offer all the latest Kentucky Derby odds and are the safest option for placing a wager on the Kentucky Derby.

Current Odds For The 2022 Kentucky Derby

The 2022 running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place on May 7 and will be broadcasted on NBC. The Kentucky Derby betting lines are usually posted early on meaning those that got in when first posted could be staring at a massive payout. However, the odds do not close until the race begins meaning you can get in at any moment until then. Corniche, a Bob Baffert horse, opened up as the favorite early on, however, the status of the horse taking part in the race is still up in the air. The favorite right now is Epicenter, a product of the winningest trainer of all time, Steven Asmussen. Epicenter joined the field in early March and has been the favorite ever since.

2022 Kentucky Derby Props

2022 Kentucky Derby prop betting is a little different than betting on the race. Prop bets involve the sportsbook making predictions on certain actions happening at the Kentucky Derby. An example of a prop bet could be who will the winner thank first after the race? Props could be the horse for +115, God +365, or anyone else. There are also prop bets on celebrities attending the race. If a racebook has will Kanye West attend the Kentucky Derby? You can bet on that action. Prop bets are designed to bring in a little extra fun to betting on the races. We definitely recommend you give them a try.

Kentucky Derby Horse Bet Types

While many people who plan on tuning into the race this year are familiar with how the different wagering types work, first-time viewers may get confused on how to bet on the 2021 Kentucky Derby. This is why we’ve broken down the most popular forms of pari-mutuel wagers below into either straight bets or exotic bets. These Kentucky Derby Horse bet types will be available whether you’re at Churchill Downs watching the ponies live or using a third-party betting service.

Straight bets

Win – This is arguably the simplest type of bet. You’re simply selecting which horse will finish in first place. These will pay the highest amount of all the different straight bets.

Place – If the horse you choose finishes in either first place or second place you’d be able to cash in on this bet.

Show – If you choose a horse and it finished in either first, second, or third, you’d have a winning bet. Because this type of bet is easier to hit then the other straight bets, the payouts will be lower.

Across The Board – This is a bit of a combination of all three straight bets. With a bet across the board, if the horse you choose finishes in first then you win all three bets. If your horse gets second place then you’ll win on both the place and show bet. And if your horse gets in third place then you’ll simply win the show bet.


Exacta – In this case, you will be betting on two horses within a single race. If they place in first an second in the exact order you chose them then you’ll win the bet.

Trifecta – This is very similar to the exacta bet except with this you would have to bet on three horses and they would have to place first, second, and third in exact order.

Superfecta – This is only adding to the previous two exotic bets. You’d have to pick four horses and they would have to place first, second, third, and fourth in exact order. This is one of the most profitable wagering types.

Pick 3 – This is simply an addition to the daily double. If you choose a horse and they finish first on three consecutive races then you’d win the bet. You’d have to place the bet before the first race.

2022 Kentucky Derby Post Time

While there are 14 races scheduled at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, the most important race is obviously the Kentucky Derby itself. At the moment of this writing, it is a bit too early to know when post time is going to be for the 2022 Kentucky Derby. But because this is such a historical race, we can look at how things were last year and figure out the times. On Saturday, the first race of the day will be from around 10 am to 11 pm. This is the first race of the day and races start early. The following races commencing just about every half-hour after that. The Kentucky Derby will be the 12th race run, and the horses will be in their paddocks and ready to go somewhere between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Make sure your wagers are in before that, of course, as there’s no live betting on the Derby, and the whole amazing thing will be over in about two minutes.

2022 Kentucky Derby Purse

Although the 2022 Kentucky Derby purse can change, it is traditionally $ 2 million. In previous years, the prize has changed, but this appears to be something of a game-time decision. During the 2020 Kentucky Derby, for example, the purse was $3 million. If Churchill Downs has good business before the 2022 Kentucky Derby, the purse could potentially grow to $3 million or maybe even more. For now, the purse is set to $2 million which has been the traditional purse size within the last decade.

Past Kentucky Derby Winners

American PharaohPast Kentucky Derby winners ultimately cement their name into the history of the sport. After their career is over, they are highly sought out for breeding because of their championship pedigree. During the 1970s there were three horses that won the Kentucky Derby and then ultimately went on to win the Triple crown including Affirmed in 1978, Seattle Slew in 1977, and the famous Secretariat in 1973. Over 35 years had to pass before American Pharaoh was able to achieve that same success in 2015. And even more recently, last year saw the likes of Justify, who was able to complete the Kentucky Derby in two minutes and four seconds before going on to win the next two legs of the Triple Crown. During the 2019 Kentucky Derby, many controversies and horse scratches made it impossible for a Triple Crown winner to happen. The 2020 race was won by Authentic, while the 2021 Derby was won by Medina Spirit, who was later disqualified due to cheating on the part of trainer Bob Baffert, making the winner Mandaloun, pending ongoing proceedings.

Kentucky Derby Winners

Year: Winner: Odds:
2021 Medina Spirit +200
2020 Authentic +800
2019 Country House +6500
2018 Justify +250
2017 Always Dreaming +450
2016 Nyquist +200
2015 American Pharoah +250
2014 California Chrome +250
2013 Orb +400
2012 I’ll Have Another +1400
2011 Animal Kingdom +1900
2010 Super Saver +700
2009 Mine That Bird +4900
2008 Big Brown +250
2007 Street Sense +350
2006 Barbaro +500
2005 Giacomo +4930
2004 Smarty Jones +310
2003 Funny Cide +1180
2002 War Emblem +1950
2001 Monarchos +950
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus +130
1999 Charismatic +3030
1998 Real Quiet +740
1997 Silver Charm +300
1996 Grindstone +490
1995 Thunder Gulch +2350
1994 Go for Gin +810
1993 Sea Hero +1190
1992 Lil E. Tee +1580
1991 Strike the Gold +380
1990 Unbridled +980
1989 Sunday Silence +210
1988 Winning Colors +240
1987 Alysheba +740
1986 Ferdinand +1670
1985 Spend a Buck +310
1984 Swale +240
1983 Sunny’s Halo +150
1982 Gato Del Sol +2020
1981 Pleasant Colony +250
1980 Genuine Risk +1230
1979 Spectacular Bid -167
1978 Affirmed -125
1977 Seattle Slew -200
1976 Bold Forbes +200
1975 Foolish Pleasure -111
1974 Cannonade -200
1973 Secretariat -200
1972 Riva Ridge -200
1971 Canonero II +770
1970 Dust Commander +1430