How to Bet the Kentucky Derby Online

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On May 5th we will witness the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and as always it promises to be one of the races of the year. Betting will heat up at the turn of the year and by mid-April we should know who our Derby favorite will be.

Horses winning trial races around the country or even those with form straight out of the Breeders’ Cup will help to shape the betting market, plus some surprise contenders who we may not yet have considered for the race but who may well be lighting up the tracks in practice.

Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic and Magnum Moon are all now familiar names who will probably arrive in Kentucky with a huge chance, though a lot can change between now and then.

Bet Types

Betting the Kentucky Derby is one of the best ways to truly feel like, as a fan, you are getting involved in a major sporting event and it means feeling part of the party even if you’re not at the downs sipping mint julep. The three main bet types are the ‘win’, ‘place’ and ‘show’ bets. Here’s an explanation of what they mean:

This one speaks for itself; your chosen horse must win for you to get paid.

To win this bet, your horse needs to finish in the first 2.

This time, your horse must be in the top 3 to win the bet.

The payouts you can receive depend not just on how much money is in the pot, but also on the degree of difficulty. Naturally then, the highest payouts are on win bets, the second highest on place bets and, given that it is the easiest to get right, the lowest payouts are on show bets.

If you want to spice things up a little when betting the Kentucky Derby however, you can try something a little different. Maybe you really like the look of two or more horses in the race but can’t choose between them, an EXACTA bet may be for you.

With the exacta you basically predict which horses will finish 1st and 2nd and, if you get it right, this can lead to a big payout. If you’re not so sure that you can predict this accurately you can also box your bet to give yourself a better chance. You will pay double the amount to do this, but it means that your chosen two horses can finish 1st or 2nd in any order.

If you think of yourself as a real pro try a TRIFECTA bet. This time you need to pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd horses in the right order. Once again you can ‘box’ this bet and get paid out so long as your chosen horses finish in the first three, whatever the order. A SUPERFECTA will also be available concerning the first four home but is incredibly tough to get right.

Placing Your Bets

It’s a great thrill to feel like we’re taking part in the Kentucky Derby by betting, especially walking up to the teller to collect your money when you’ve backed the winning horse. For most of us though, it’s not realistic to make it to Millionaire’s Row at Louisville so betting here online is the way to go and you can check out more betting info here.

Choosing Your Bet

You don’t have to be a professional handicapper to place a bet in the Kentucky Derby. Reading a race program to find out each animal’s form, their work out times or what sort of race conditions they prefer is one way of doing it but remember to check in here for more info on each horse as we near post time.

Assuming you’re not a pro handicapper but you do want to have a chance of winning some cash, remember not to get too excited by contenders paying out huge prices. The truth is that most Kentucky Derby winners will be high up in the list.

Ready To Bet The Derby?

You can place your Kentucky Derby bets right here at TVG so check out our odds page for the latest prices. Our experts will have more information for you leading up to the big one in May so be sure to call back!



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