Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 2023

Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 2023

If you ask a sports enthusiast to name a horse race, the Kentucky Derby will likely be their response. Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Derby is the most recognized horse race in the United States. Every year on the first Saturday in May, three-year-old thoroughbreds race a mile-and-a-quarter at Churchill Downs Racetrack. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to prepare to place a bet on the Kentucky Derby, also referred to as “the run for the roses.”

How to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Illinois

Participating in the festivities doesn’t require your presence at Churchill Downs Racetrack. Those who enjoy horse racing in Illinois can place bets on the Derby using advance deposit wagering (ADW) platforms. These platforms allow you to experience the excitement of horse betting on your computer, tablet, or phone. If you are legally permitted to gamble, getting started has never been simpler.

Creating an account on an Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) platform like TVG is a quick process that only takes a few minutes. Simply enter your name, address, bank details, and date of birth, then click on the “Complete Registration” button at the bottom of the page. Remember, many ADW platforms provide promotional codes during sign-up that match your initial deposit.

After establishing your account, you’ll have the ability to deposit money for betting through different methods. In Illinois, TVG enables you to load your account using e-check, credit/debit cards, PayPal, MoneyPak, a TVG prepaid card, or PayNearMe.

Once you’ve deposited money into your account, you’ll be ready to place a bet.

What happens if I win?

Once you make a successful bet, you’ll see your profits in your account when the race finalists are officially announced. After the money has been transferred, you can initiate a withdrawal. This withdrawal can be executed electronically or by sending a check through mail.

What bets can I make on the Kentucky Derby?

Every racetrack offers a diverse wagering menu for each race. Regardless of whether you are a novice or have been betting on races for years, there will be something to cater to your preferences at the track.

If you prefer focusing on a single horse, you can place a bet for win, place, or show. To receive a payout on a winning bet, your horse must secure the first place. However, place bets will also pay out if your horse finishes either first or second. Similarly, show bets will yield returns if your horse manages to be within the top three.

“Exotics wagers,” more elaborate bets, are also an option. These are divided into both “vertical” and “horizontal” exotics. Vertical wagers focus exclusively on a single race. Notably, an exacta demands that your horses finish in first and second place, while a trifecta necessitates that your horses finish in first, second, and third place.

Superfectas and “hi-five” bets have gained popularity, which involve betting on the fourth and fifth place finishers, often with lower minimum bets to enable a greater variety of combinations. For those who want to increase their combinations, or are uncertain about the horses’ finishing order, you can select a group of horses and “box” them, purchasing all combinations that include those horses. While this strategy requires a larger investment due to the increase in combinations, it also provides more coverage and is often viewed as a safer betting approach.

Meanwhile, horizontal exotics concentrate on numerous races within a single sequence. The Pick Six is the most recognized of these wagers, which aptly requires a handicapper or a team of handicappers to accurately select the winners of six successive races.

Pick Four and Pick Five bets have become increasingly popular in recent years. They often come with a minimum bet of 50 cents, allowing for extended coverage in specific areas. Horizontal exotic bets extend down to doubles and Pick Threes, requiring only two or three winners. These bets may be the most suitable for you if you prefer horses in several races close together.

How odds work in horse racing

The odds in horse racing are determined by a pari-mutuel betting system. In this system, your bet is pooled together with everyone else’s. The majority of the pool goes to the winners, while a specific percentage, known as the takeout, is kept by the track.

You stand to win more money when your horse fares well and is considered by most as an underdog. Take, for instance, the 2009 Kentucky Derby where Mine That Bird, a horse not favored by many, took home the win. The betting odds for Mine That Bird in Kentucky were 50-1, so for every $2 wager on a win, the return was $103.20. This was the largest payout since Donerail’s victory in the 1913 Derby.

In more recent history, the 2019 disqualification of Maximum Security, the first of its kind due to events during the Derby, led to 55-1 underdog Country House taking the lead. Those who placed bets on Country House endured a tense 22-minute stewards’ inquiry, but were eventually rewarded with a win payoff of $132.40 when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference with several horses around the far turn.

On the other hand, if your horse receives significant public support, it could be perceived as a strong contender with a greater possibility of winning. However, the payouts may not be as substantial due to specific bets. In the 2020 Derby, Authentic was considered a strong contender prior to the race and was the third-favourite with 8-1 odds. Authentic’s victory paid $18.80 and subsequently, he used the Derby win as a stepping stone to secure a victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic two months later.

You can bet on Thurby and more

The Kentucky Derby marks the apex of a racing festival in the Bluegrass State. Traditionally, a card filled with stakes races commences the festival on Derby week’s Friday. However, the Thursday card has recently risen in significance. Some racing enthusiasts refer to it as “Thurby,” and you can also place bets on these races through your ADW.

The Kentucky Oaks, which traditionally is the highlight of Friday’s program, is considered the sister race to the Kentucky Derby for 3-year-old fillies. Similar to the Derby, the victorious horse is adorned with a garland of flowers, in this case, lilies instead of roses. The winner is traditionally greeted at Churchill Downs winner’s circle with the cheers of over 100,000 fans. Many attendees dress in their most stylish and eye-catching outfits for the event, with the color pink being a prominent sight wherever a fan’s gaze may fall.

The Oaks is renowned for producing some of the most notable female horses in recent racing history. In 2020, Swiss Skydiver was runner-up in the Oaks, trailing behind Shedaresthedevil, before she stunningly defeated Authentic in a thrilling Preakness Stakes renewal at Pimlico. Monomoy Girl emerged victorious in this race in 2018 and has since triumphed in two separate Breeders’ Cup Distaff events. Back in 2009, Hall-of-Famer Rachel Alexandra achieved a victory of over 20 lengths without exerting her full potential. Alexandra then defeated male competitors in that year’s Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward, leading to her being named Horse of the Year.

The road to the Kentucky Derby

Maintaining the prestige of the race, reaching the Kentucky Derby is no easy feat. Planning begins months in advance, occasionally even before the thoroughbreds reach the age of 3. This is because the Derby participants are determined through a points system, which honors those who win or place in significant preparatory races throughout the winter and spring seasons.

The champions of races such as the Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby, Florida Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, and Wood Memorial secure their places in the Kentucky Derby. Many of the latest winners have emerged from these preparatory races held in March and April. Their recent performances have led to their remarkably low prices. Remarkably, from 2013 to 2018, the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby consistently emerged as the winner and took home the roses annually.

Stakes races dating from September also offer points. This list includes many renowned races for developing horses such as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This race is considered the premier race for 2-year-olds in North America and frequently determines the Eclipse Award winner for the top 2-year-old male in the country.

Only two champions of the Juvenile race have subsequently won the Derby the next year. The first was Street Sense who achieved this feat in 2007, one of the three Derby victories by jockey Calvin Borel in a span of four years. Nyquist, on the other hand, triumphed in the 2015 Juvenile and entered the following year’s Derby with a flawless record. He improved his record to an impressive 8 wins from 8 races by clinching the Derby, but did not secure another win before retiring to stud later in 2016.