Last updated on: December 1st, 2022

Kentucky Derby Odds – Betting On The 2023 Kentucky Derby

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

149th Kentucky Derby Quick Facts

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023

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: n/a

Best Kentucky Derby Sportbooks

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Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

Legal betting sites on the Kentucky Derby can be found in every state through the use of Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie. Those Kentucky Derby betting options all have entire sections of their websites that are racebooks with odds available on nearly every horse race around the world with British-style odds (profit-stake), while also having American-style odds on nearly every horse racing event around the world within their sportsbook.


Bovada Sportsbook

Top Rated Kentucky Derby Racebook & Sportsbook

The top-rated legal Kentucky Derby betting site is Bovada, with the best American and European betting odds available. Bovada allows players to bet on each race on each horse to win, place, or show from within their racebook and sportsbook. When signing up to bet on the Kentucky Derby at Bovada, players are eligible for up to $750 in rewards when signing up with cryptocurrency or $250 when using a non-crypto deposit method. Those bonuses are especially appealing, as players can clear the 5X rollovers in about the same time frame that it takes the horses to finish the Derby itself!

Rating: 5 Star Rating

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BetOnline Sportsbook

Legal Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

Founded in 2004, BetOnline has a history that is similar to the Kentucky Derby in that it is unlike any other. BetOnline offers odds on more horse racing events than any other online sportsbook or racebook, while also offering better payouts. New players at BetOnline are all eligible for up to $1,000 in bonuses when signing up, with those funds especially useful for players that want to place multiple exactas, trifecta, and superfecta bets on the Derby. BetOnline stands out for its cryptocurrency deposit methods, as the sportsbook is consistently expanding its offering and now accepts over 15 different cryptos.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

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MyBookie Sportsbook

Easiest Sportsbook To Bet On The Kentucky Derby

New Kentucky Derby bettors frequently choose to sign up at MyBookie because of their easily accessible racebook and sportsbook sections, both of which offer odds on the most exciting two minutes in sports. Navigating MyBookie’s elite website can be done through its expanding list of odds on the left side of the page or through the tabs at the top, with the racebook and horse racing odds clearly outlined. MyBookie has also established itself as an excellent sportsbook for credit card and debit card bettors, as it accepts MasterCard and Visa deposits up to $2,500.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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2023 Kentucky Derby Odds

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.

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.

How Do Horses Qualify For The 2023 Kentucky Derby?

Betting odds on the 2023 Kentucky Derby are largely determined by how horses perform during Kentucky Derby qualifying events. Horses may qualify in three different ways for the Kentucky Derby: Road to the Kentucky Derby, the Japan Road, and the European Road. Within those different paths to qualification, horses earn points via strong finishes at each race. The top 20 horses in points qualify, with an additional four horses also gaining eligibility in case of injuries or withdrawals. In the sections below, each of the qualifying races and the winning horses odds can be found.

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.

How To Read Kentucky Derby Odds

There are two main ways that Kentucky Derby odds are displayed. The most common way odds are offered is via parimutuel odds, with classic American odds also relatively common. The difference in each method is below:

How to read parimutuel horse race odds: Pari-mutual odds will look like 3-1 or 2-5. The first number in each set of odds is the profit offered on a specific bet, while the second number specifies how much must be wagered to achieve that profit. Using the first example of 3-1, bettors would earn $3 of profit on a $1 bet if their bet was successful. They would bet $1 dollar and receive $4 because that would be their wagered amount ($1) and the amount to be won ($3). For the second example of 2-5, bettors would have to wager $5 to win $2. Since players also get their original wager back, they would they receive $7 back from the racebook.

How to read American odds on horse races: American odds are most commonly used for sporting events within the United States, but sportsbooks and racebook alike now often offer the ability to switch between parimutuel or American odds. American odds will look like -150 or +120, with minus odds representing how money is needed to wager in order to profit $100. That -150 example would have meant a $150 wager in order to earn $100 in profit, with the sportsbook/racebook paying you back your wager as well for a total of $250. Plus odds indicate how much profit would be made on a $100 dollar bet. With the +120 example that would mean $120 in profit from a $100 bet for a total payout of $220 (profit + wager).

Road to the Kentucky Derby

The Road to the Kentucky Derby consists of 37 races, with those races split into two sub-categories: Kentucky Derby Prep Season Races and the Kentucky Derby Championship Series Races. That division is based on the Championship Series races being worth more points.

Kentucky Derby Prep Season Races

  • (09/17/22) Iroquois at Churchill Downs: Curly Jack (8-1)
  • (10/1/22) Champagne at Aqueduct: Blazing Sevens (8-1)
  • (10/8/22) Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland: Forte (3-1)
  • (10/8/22) American Pharoah at Santa Anita: Cave Rock (4-5)
  • (11/4/22) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland: Flightline (2-5)
  • (11/26/22) Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs: Instant Coffee (3-1)
  • (12/3/22) Remsen at Aqueduct:
  • (12/10/22) Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos:
  • (12/17/22) Springboard Mile at Remington Park:
  • (12/26/22) Gun Runner at Fair Grounds:
  • (01/1/23) Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park:
  • (01/1/23) Jerome at Aqueduct:
  • (01/8/23) Sham Stakes at Santa Anita:
  • (01/21/23) Lecomte at Fair Grounds:
  • (01/28/23) Southwest at Oaklawn Park:
  • (02/4/23) Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park:
  • (02/4/23) Withers at Aqueduct:
  • (02/4/23) Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita:
  • (02/11/23) Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs:
  • (02/11/23) El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields:
  • (02/25/23) John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park:

Kentucky Derby Championship Series Races

  • (02/18/23) Risen Star at Fair Grounds:
  • (02/25/23) Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park:
  • (03/4/23) Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park:
  • (03/4/23) Gotham at Aqueduct:
  • (03/4/23) San Felipe at Santa Anita:
  • (03/11/23) Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs:
  • (03/25/23) UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse:
  • (03/25/23) Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds:
  • (03/25/23) Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park:
  • (03/26/23) Sunland Derby at Sunland Park:
  • (04/1/23) Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park:
  • (04/1/23) Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park:
  • (04/8/23) Wood Memorial at Aqueduct:
  • (04/8/23) Blue Grass at Keeneland:
  • (04/8/23) Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita:
  • (04/15/23) Lexington Stakes at Keeneland:

Japan Road To The Kentucky Derby

The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby was created back in 2017 when it originally included two races. Since then, the total number of races has doubled. The points awarded for each race go up throughout the season, with Cattleya Stakes points being rewarded to the top five horses (10-4-3-2-1). The proceeding races and their points are the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yush (20-8-6-4-2), Hyacinth (30-12-9-6-3), and Fukurya Stakes (40-16-12-8-4). The top points-earning horse is guaranteed a sport at the Kentucky Derby.

Japan Road To The Kentucky Derby Races

  • (11/26/22) Cattleya Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse: Continuar (39-10)
  • (12/14/22) Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki Racecourse
  • (02/19/23) Hyacinth at Tokyo Racecourse
  • (03/25/23) Fukuryu Stakes at Nakayama

European Road To The Kentucky Derby

Held throughout Great Britain, Ireland, and France, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby was established in 2017. The first four races are worth point values of 10-4-3-2-1 for first through fifth place, with the Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes and the Patton Stakes both worth more (20-8-6-4-2). The Cardinal Condition Stakes is worth the most with a 30-12-9-6-3 points split. The winner based on points on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby is guaranteed qualification for the Kentucky Derby.

European Road To The Kentucky Derby Races

  • (09/24/22) Juddmonte Royal Lodge at Newmarket (GB): The Foxes (17-2)
  • (09/24/22) Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford at Curragh (IRE): Crypto Force (15-2)
  • (10/2/22) Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère at Longchamp (FR): Belbek (17-1)
  • (10/22/22) Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster (GB): Auguste Rodin (9-4)
  • (03/1/23) Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes at Kempton Park (GB):
  • (03/3/23) Patton Stakes at Dundalk (IRE):
  • (03/30/23) Cardinal Condition Stakes at Chelmsford City (GB):

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:
2022 Rich Strike +8000
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