Held the first Saturday of each May, the “Run for the Roses” is one of racing’s biggest events. With so many great horses running this year the Kentucky Derby betting market is packed with great options to explore.

We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you find the best options and horse race betting sites online. Read on to find the best betting odds, details on the main contenders, where to find the best bonuses, and more.

The Top Kentucky Derby Betting Sites in 2024

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We’ve listed some of our favorite betting sites for Kentucky Derby odds below:

  1. Bovada – The best site for Kentucky Derby betting online
  2. Everygame – Simple design and layout for Derby betting
  3. BetUS – Ideal for unique and creative prop bets
  4. BetOnline – Fantastic welcome bonus to use on the Derby
  5. BetNow – Great sportsbook rebate on horse racing
  6. MyBookie – Great selection of Kentucky Derby markets
  7. XBet – Inviting reload bonuses to benefit from
  8. Lucky Block – An engaging horse race betting experience for crypto users
  9. Mega Dice – Provides a fantastic horse racing live betting experience

Best Odds for Outright Winners at the Kentucky Derby

We’ve highlighted some of the best winning odds for the favored horses at this year’s Kenucky Derby below:

Horse Odds Bookmaker
Sierra Leone +275 Everygame
Fierceness +275 BetUS
Forever Young +550 MyBookie
Catching Freedom +900 Bovada
Stronghold +1400 Everygame
Just a Touch +1600 Everygame
Endlessly +3000 Bovada

Please note: This list is accurate as of April 29, 2024 and do not represent live odds. Please check live odds at any of the sportsbooks on our list for any potential changes before betting.

Kentucky Derby – The Main Contenders for 2024

It’s important to know who the key challengers are before the race. While it might change due to factors like injuries, the weather, and so on, there are usually consistent favorites to look at. Our team of horse racing experts picked some quality options and we’ve listed their predictions below:

Sierra Leone

The Blue Grass Stakes and Risen Star Stakes winner, Sierra Leone has no issues running 1 1/8 miles. Runner-up in the Remsen on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, the 1 ¼-mile distance shouldn’t be a problem. His mix of speed and stamina is a big advantage.

Current Prediction: 1st or 2nd position.

Fierceness

Fierceness has proven he has both the tactical speed and staying power to win the big events. The winner of both races at the Florida Derby and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he’s become one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby. With a classy pedigree to follow – he’s the son of City of Light – it’s easy to see why he’s the favorite.

Current Prediction: 1st or 2nd position.

Catching Freedom

Catching Freedom is likely to go the distance in the Kentucky Derby 2024, thanks to its amazing pedigree. Having some good prep races with a win at Smarty Jones, he also finished third in the Risen Star and then achieved top honors in the Louisiana Derby.

Current prediction: 3rd position.

Stronghold

While finishing a very close second in the Los Alamitos Futurity, he’s improved his 2024 Kentucky Derby odds by winning the Santa Anita Derby and the Sunland Park Derby.

It’s hard to say if Stronghold will be capable of standing out in the Kentucky Derby. Its sire, Ghostzapper (2004 Horse of the Year), presented versatility on the track. Can Stronghold now bring that himself?

Current prediction: 4th position.

Resilience

After winning the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Resilience has become a tempting prospect for the Kentucky Derby. His pedigree is full of great horses, and as the sire of Into Mischief, who won three of six starts himself, including the CashCall Futurity, he comes from a winning line.

As two of Resilience’s siblings have won the event before, it’s possible it could happen to him.

Current prediction: 5th position.

Churchill Downs Road to the Kentucky Derby Results

The Road to the Kentucky Derby begins and ends at Churchill Downs. The top-placed horses in each race receive points towards qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. As of April 14, 2024, the leader is Sierra Leone with 155 points. Fierceness is in second position with 136 points.

Any of the horses finishing in the top qualifying position is a potential favorite to win the main race. To help you see the form heading into the main event, we’ve listed the full results for you below:

Date Race Track Winner
September 16, 2023 Iroquois Stakes Churchill Downs West Saratoga
September 23, 2023 Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes Curragh Racecourse Deepone
September 30, 2023 Royal Lodge Stakes Rowley Mile Ghostwriter
October 1, 2023 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere ParisLongchamp Rosallion
October 7, 2023 Breeders’ Futurity Keeneland Locked
October 7, 2023 American Pharaoh Stakes Santa Anita Park Muth
October 7, 2023 Champagne Stakes Race Belmont Park Timberlake
October 28, 2023 Kameko Futurity Doncaster Racecourse Ancient Wisdom
October 29, 2023 Street Sense Churchill Downs Liberal Arts
November 3, 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Santa Anita Park Fierceness
November 25, 2023 Cattleya Stakes Tokyo Racecourse Amante Bianco
November 25, 2023 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes Churchill Downs Honor Marie
December 2, 2023 Remsen Stakes Aqueduct Dornoch
December 13, 2023 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun Kawasaki Forever Young
December 15, 2023 Springboard Mile Stakes Remington Park Otto the Conqueror
December 16, 2023 Los Alamitos Futurity Los Alamitos Wynstock
December 23, 2023 Gun Runner Fair Grounds Track Phantom
January 1, 2024 Smarty Jones Oaklawn Park Catching Freedom
January 6, 2024 Jerome Stakes Aqueduct Drum Roll Please
January 20, 2024 Lecomte Stakes Fair Grounds Track Phantom
February 3, 2024 Southwest Stakes Oaklawn Park Mystik Dan
February 3, 2024 Withers Stakes Aqueduct Uncle Heavy
February 3, 2024 Robert B. Lewis Stakes Santa Anita Park Nysos
February 3, 2024 Holy Bull Stakes Gulfstream Park Hades
February 10, 2024 Sam F. Davis Stakes Tampa Bay Downs No More Time
February 17, 2024 Risen Star Stakes Fair Grounds Sierra Leone
February 18, 2024 Hyacinth Stakes Tokyo Ramjet
February 18, 2024 Sunland Derby Sunland Park Stronghold
February 21, 2024 Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes Kempton Artic Thunder
February 24, 2024 Rebel Stakes Oaklawn Park Timberlake
March 1, 2024 Patton Dundalk Bergamasco
March 2, 2024 Fountain of Youth Stakes Gulfstream Park Dornoch
March 2, 2024 John Battaglia Memorial Turfway Park Encino
March 2, 2024 Gotham Stakes Aqueduct Deterministic
March 3, 2024 San Felipe Stakes Santa Anita Park Imagination
March 3, 2024 Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay Downs Domestic Product
March 23, 2024 Fukuryu Stakes Nakayama T O Password
March 23, 2024 Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds Catching Freedom
March 23, 2024 Jeff Ruby Steaks Turfway Park Endlessly
March 30, 2024 UAE Derby Meydan Racecourse Forever Young
March 30, 2024 Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park Muth
March 30, 2024 Florida Derby Gulfstream Park Fierceness
April 6, 2024 Cardinal Condition Stakes Chelmsford City Bracken’s Laugh
April 6, 2024 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita Park Stronghold
April 6, 2024 Blue Grass Stakes Keeneland Sierra Leone
April 6, 2024 Wood Memorial Stakes Aqueduct Resilience
April 13, 2024 Lexington Stakes Keeneland Encino

Kentucky Derby Betting Records Up to 2024

Kentucky Derby betting online (and offline) has always been popular with racing and sports fans. It’s one of the year’s highlights for sports betting in Kentucky, attracting attention from across the state, country, and world.

2023 set a new record for bets on the Kentucky Derby, hitting $188.7 million in wagers. It also has a history of providing big payouts for adventurous gamblers. In 2022, one lucky bettor won $74,000 from a $5 Trifecta wager.

Best Kentucky Derby Sportsbooks for 2024 Reviewed

While many sites claim to be the best place to bet on the Kentucky Derby in 2024, most are at best average. We’ve reviewed and rated three of the most popular to help you find the true pacesetters for this year’s event.

1. Bovada – The best site for Kentucky Derby betting online

Kentucky Derby betting at Bovada.lv

What stands out the most about the Bovada sportsbook is how impressive the odds it offers are. Whether it’s Kentucky Derby future betting, parlays, props, or outrights you’re looking for, Bovada has you covered. And it’s not just great for horse racing either. The odds are good across the board.

To top it off, Bovada has a variety of deposit bonuses and promotions available on multiple sports throughout the year. Horse racing bettors can enjoy a 3% rebate on straight win, place, and show wagers. There is also a 5% return on all exotic wagers, including trifectas and superfectas.

Pros

  • Quick payouts for all withdrawals
  • 24/7 customer support available
  • Rebates on horse racing wageras
  • Excellent betting odds for the Derby
  • Has low minimum bet requirements

Cons

  • Lines can come out late in the day
  • Don’t have a mobile betting app

2. Everygame – Simple design and layout for Derby betting

The Everygame Kentucky Derby betting section

Everygame’s reputation precedes it. The general website design makes placing Kentucky Derby bets a breeze thanks to the simple sportsbook layout. This translates well to the mobile version of the site. Everygame also offers a compelling live betting section to experience.

Many bonus offers are available with small deposits of $20. They are also known for quick transactions, so any 2024 Kentucky Derby bets that win won’t be unpaid for long. Everygame offers a premium betting experience, and it’s why it’s one of our top picks.

Pros

  • Leading US sportsbook since 1996
  • Excels in offering a range of good promotions
  • Large selection of betting markets
  • Simple and effective online and mobile website
  • Responsive and helpful live chat support

Cons

  • Limited FAQ section for quick answers
  • Crytpo transaction process could be improved

3. BetUS – Ideal for unique and creative prop bets

Betting on the Kentucky Derby at BetUS

BetUS is the site for you if you’re a fan of unique prop bets. They usually offer a selection of inviting markets not available elsewhere. They often throw up surprising choices for favorites, so it’s one to check before you place any big bets.

BetUS has an established track record, which has been the case since 2000. That’s why choosing BetUS when deciding where to bet on the Kentucky Derby will give you peace of mind. The transactions are secure and encrypted, there is great customer support and a user experience that’s clean and efficient. It oozes trust and is one of our favorite options for horse betting, especially when combined with one of their promo codes for big rewards.

Pros

  • Quick payouts on wins
  • Solid track record in the US betting market
  • Good range of cryptocurrencies and fiat payment options
  • Exclusive deposit bonus offers for horse racing
  • Competitive betting odds

Cons

  • Does not offer cash-out options
  • No live streaming available

Kentucky Derby Quick Facts

It’s important to know the lay of the land before you start betting on the Kentucky Derby. We’ve listed some of the key info for this year’s race so you don’t miss a thing.

Date May 4, 2024
Time 2:30PM EST
Location Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
Track Surface Dirt
Distance 1 1/4 miles
Horse Type Three-Year-Olds
Race Type Thoroughbred
Where to Watch NBC, Peacock, USA Network, FanDuel TV
Recommended Betting Site Bovada

How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby 2024

While there are great options for betting on the Kentucky Derby in the USA, you’ll need to join a site to make the most of them. Taking Everygame as an example, we’ve put a step-by-step guide together to help you.

Step 1 – Register for an Account

Signing up at Everygame

You can start the sign-up process by clicking the button to register. Enter all necessary details into the registration form.

Step 2 – Make a Deposit

Payment options at Everygame

Once your account is opened, go to the cashier section. You will see all the available payment options you can use. Select one, enter an amount to deposit, and follow the instructions to transfer the funds.

Step 3 – Find the Kentucky Derby Markets

Finding the Kentucky Derby Betting Options at Everygame

Next, you need to visit the sportsbook lobby. This is where you can search to bet on the Kentucky Derby 2024. You’ll find it under the ‘Horse Racing’ section.

Step 4 – Place Your Bets

Placing a bet on Catching Freedom to win

You’ll see a screen showing all of the available betting options. Select which horse you think will win. Enter an amount to wager on it when prompted. Click to place the bet if you’re happy with everything.

What Kentucky Derby Bet Types Are Available?

To ensure you have the most fun when betting on the Kentucky Derby, you’ll need to know the types of wagers you can make. While there is a whole glossary of sports betting terms you can consult, the most important Kentucky Derby bet types include:

Straight Bets

A straight-up bet is a wager placed on the outcome of the horse race. It works as a moneyline stake, with the following options available:

  • Win – You bet on the horse you think will win the race.
  • Place – You bet on a horse you think will finish first or second.
  • Show – You bet on a horse you think will finish first, second, or third.

Exotic Bets

Exotic bets are riskier than straight bets. You’re gambling on a series of different things and bundling them into one bet. Everything you predict has to happen as you say it will to win. Exotic bets include:

  • Exacta – With exacta bets, you pick two horses you think will likely finish first and second. They must both finish first and second in the order you said for you to win.
  • Trifecta – Similar to the exacta bet, but this time you’re picking three horses. They need to finish first, second, and third in the order you say they will or you lose.
  • Superfecta – These are the same as exacta and trifecta bets, but you’re betting on the top four. If they finish in the positions you say, you win.
  • Super High Five – With super high five bets you’re picking the top five positions. Once again, you need the order to be 100% correct to win.
  • Exacta Box – A bit more forgiving than the exacta bet, you pick two horses to take the top two positions. However, they can finish in either order and you’ll win.
  • Wheel – The most complicated bet type on the list is the Wheel bet. If you’ve picked out a winner and think two other horses will finish second and third but don’t know the order, you can place a wheel bet. This is essentially a bet on every combination of the other horses in a race to finish second and third after your chosen winning horse finishes first.   Wheel bets can get expensive due to the number of wagers you place. Only use them if you know you can afford to lose.

How Do Horse Race Odds Work?

You need to understand how odds are calculated to have success when you place horse race bets. Kentucky Derby betting, and betting on horse racing in general, can be quite intimidating. Yet once you learn the basics, it becomes a lot simpler.

Horse race betting sites provide odds based on a pari-mutuel system. This is a mutual betting system, with odds determined by you as one of the bettors.

In pari-mutuel betting, the odds depend on the total money wagered on each horse. The more money wagered, the lower the odds. This is why the odds change so much before the race begins.

The Kentucky Derby starting odds will be released a day or two before or on the race day. These are known as the morning line odds and are set by the track handicapper. As explained, the odds change as the race approaches, but they are good indicators of what to expect.

How to Make Smart Bets on Kentucky Derby Horses

Before you place any Kentucky Derby bets, there are a few tips and tricks you should know to get the best results.

✅ Ignore the Media

Big horse racing events like the Kentucky Derby tend to get a lot of media focus. It’s best not to get carried away by the horses people heavily promote. The media tends pick a favorite and becomes blind to other options.

Instead, follow trusted expert advice from a variety of sources, along with your personal knowledge of horse racing. You can also talk to trusted bettors you might already know to get their opinions.

✅ Keep It Simple

Exotic bets are tempting with their high rewards, but they come at high risk and cost. Focus on simple straight bets as much as possible. If you have the budget to spend and can afford the loss, place an exotic bet or two. Generally, however, the simpler bet, the better.

✅ Don’t Ignore the Favorite

Even if it is being pushed by the media, never ignore the favorite if it’s backed by trusted sources and evidence. While it sounds contrary to the first point, the media does, sometimes, get it right. Favorites win around a third of the races they’re involved in, making them worth consideration. As before, make sure you do your research and trust in that.

✅ Don’t Skip Research

Picking Kentucky Derby winners takes research. Check track and weather conditions, the horse’s history, and their preferences. Also, consider the jockeys and their experience. The more you know about the race, the better.

When it comes to what you should know before a race, try and have answers for the following:

  • Past Performance – If it has run the Kentucky Derby before, look at its result and what caused it. If it’s a first-timer, check the results for similar racecourses and tracks.
  • Jockeys – What has the jockey won before? Is it a horse they’ve ridden before? How well do they do on the same track type and distances? These are all important things to consider.
  • Trainers – See if the trainer of a specific horse is used to winning big events. Find out when they last won with any of their horses.
  • Race Style – See what sort of horses have won the Kentucky Derby before. Consider looking at other events in a similar race style for more data.
  • Track Type – Find out if the horse(s) you’re considering generally do well on a dirt track like the Kentucky Derby.
  • Distance – What results has the horse had over 1 ¼ mile races before?
  • Post Position – Check which starting gate your horse begins the race from. How well have they done from such a position before?

✅ Understand Your Bet Before Wagering

You should always make sure you understand your bet before you place it. Most gambling sites offer odds in multiple betting formats, so if you see a system you’re unfamiliar with, change it.

Exotic bets, particularly wheel bets, can be complicated. If you’re new to betting or are wagering on the Kentucky Derby for the first time, then keep it simple. Focus on straight bets. While you might not win as much, you won’t lose as much if things go wrong.

How We Rate the Best Kentucky Derby Sportsbooks

Churchill Downs betting is something you should only do at a reliable, recommended sportsbook. Those we’ve listed above are some of the most trusted options available. Even so, they might not be right for you.

That’s why you should know how we rate and review the sportsbooks we’ve listed before you make your decision.

Our experts research and review each site in full. We look at the range of betting markets, the competitiveness of the odds, the range of bonuses and promotions, customer support quality, supported payment methods, and more.

All the sportsbooks we recommend will provide excellent Kentucky Derby betting experiences, and stay great for any other sport you want to wager on.

Final Verdict

Bovada offers the best opportunities for horse racing bets at the Kentucky Derby. It provides updated Kentucky Derby odds, with a good range of betting options.

You’ll also enjoy a wide range of promotions at Bovada. The welcome offer is particularly generous, with a $750 crypto or $250 fiat currency sports bonus to help you get started.

While it’s tempting to start betting on the Kentucky Derby, remember to take it slow. Conduct proper research and understand the bet types before you start. If you follow our guide and keep updated with the latest news, you’ll have a great day at the races.

Responsible Gambling

Always remember to practice responsible gambling at your chosen sportsbook. The Kentucky Derby is thrilling, but remember to wager within your means. Here are some tips to help keep your horse race gambling on track:

  • Only bet with a bankroll of funds you can afford to lose.
  • Don’t place bets on markets you don’t understand.
  • Think before you place a high wager.
  • Understand the odds of a horse before betting on it.

If you find yourself experiencing any gambling or addiction problems, some organizations can help. One of the best is the National Council on Problem Gambling. They offer aid through self-assessment tests, online chat, calls, text options, and various learning tools.

Kentucky Derby FAQs

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