How To Bet The 2017 Kentucky Derby

How To Bet The 2017 Kentucky Derby

How To Bet The 2017 Kentucky Derby

The fastest two minutes in sports is just around the bend as the all 2017 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 6th in an all day affair. The crowning race is scheduled for 6:34 PM ET. The first leg of horce racing’s triple crown will pit up to 20 qualifiying horses over a mile and quarter.

This year’s Derby may feature the first ever entrant from Japan in Sunday Silence but everyone’s early odds-on favorite is Classic Empire. The thoroughbred won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2016 and the Arkansas Derby. Other early favorites include Girvin, which is the top point-earner after winning the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby. Other horses will a leg up on the odds to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby are Always Dreaming, Irish War Cry and my personal favorite because of the name, McCraken. 

Learning How To Bet The 2017 Kentucky Derby For Beginners

What: 2017 Kentucky Derby
When: May 6, 2117
Post Time: 6:34 PM ET  
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: Churchill Downs
Watch: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live

2017 Kentucky Derby Odds As Of Writing:

  • Classic Empire – 9/2
  • Always Dreaming – 5/1
  • Irish War Cry – 13/2
  • McCraken – 10/1
  • Gunnevera – 12/1
  • Battalion Runner – 16/1
  • Irap – 16/1
  • Practical Joke – 16/1
  • Tapwrit – 16/1
  • Girvin – 18/1
  • Hence – 22/1
  • Malagacy – 22/1
  • J Boys Echo – 28/1
  • Battle of Midway – 40/1
  • Cloud Computing 40/1
  • Conquest Mo Money – 40/1
  • Lookin At Lee – 40/1
  • Patch – 40/1
  • Royal Mo – 50/1
  • State of Honor – 50/1
  • Untrapped – 50/1
  • Fast and Accurate – 66/1

Horse racing betting trends and stats have changed how big races such as the Kentucky Derby are handicapped. Longshots used to win the Kentucky Derby every year. Now? Favorites dominate. California Chrome in 2014, American Pharoah in 2015, and Nyquist (pictured) in 2016 all went off the favorite.

2016 was even crazier. In a 20-horse race, the first four betting interests finished in exact order in 2016. Favored Nyquist finished first. Second choice Exaggerator finished second. Third choice Gun Runner finished third. Mohaymen finished fourth. Yep. He was the fourth betting choice.

Based on that information, the winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby should be either Classic Empire or Always Dreaming. The Derby winner definitely shouldn’t be a horse other than Classic Empire, Always

Dreaming, Irish War Cry, McCraken, or Gunnevera.

What are Straight Bets and Other Kentucky Derby Betting Tips?

Straight bets are exactly what they sound like. Making a straight bet means that you’re not betting on a combination. For sports bettors, straight bets in horse racing are equivalent to moneyline bets in sports.
For example, if you make a straight win bet for $2, the minimum, on Girven at 18 to 1, you can expect your payback to be $36 for every $2 bet because 18 times $2 is $36.

If a sports bettor puts $100 to win on the Raiders at +200 to beat the Chiefs on the moneylline, the profit is $200. The payback on the sports bet is $300 because the sports bettor gets back his $100 investment.

That’s the main difference. In horse racing, you don’t get back your investment. Once you plop down the $2, it’s gone. You don’t get back $38 on Girvin at 18 to 1.

Why? This is so because in horse racing, the racetrack or betting parlor only takes a cut of all the money placed into a pool.

So, if there’s $2,000 in the win pool, the racetrack takes it’s 20% cut off the top. The bettors that bet on the horse to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby split up what’s left in the pool. The split is based on the amount of money invested on the horse to win as well as the odds of the horse that won.

How Do Kentucky Exotic Bets Work?

If straight bets are like moneyline bets, you may have already guessed that exotic bets are like parlay or teaser bets. Exotic bets are any bets offered at the racetrack that require bettors to hit a combination.

For example, say I want to play a trifecta with the following numbered horses: 3, 6, 7, 8. If I really like the 6, I can key the 6 over a box of the 3, 7, 8. That would cost me $6 for a $1 trifecta wager. Check out the possible combinations wagers:

  • 6-3-7-8
  • 6-3-8-7
  • 6-7-3-8
  • 6-7-8-3
  • 6-8-3-7
  • 6-8-7-3

These are the only possible combinations based on the way I constructed the trifecta bet above with a key horse. For the same $6, I could drop one of the horses, say, the 8, and come out with a box bet like this:


My $1 box trifecta yields 6 different combinations. Therefore, it costs $6.

Types Of Kentucky Derby Straight Bet & Exotic Bet

Straight Bets

  • Win $2 min – Bet on a horse to win. The horse must win.
  • Place $2 min – Bet on a horse to finish second. You win if the horse finishes first or second.
  • Show $2 min – Bet on a horse to finish third. You win if the horse finishes first, second, or, third.

Exotic Bets

  • Exacta $1 min at most tracks – Bet on the top two finishers in a race.
  • Trifecta $.50 min at most tracks – Bet on the top 3 finishers in a race.
  • Superfecta $.10 min at many tracks – Bet on the top 4 finishers in a race.

Horizontal Exotic Bets

  • Pick 3, $1 min at most tracks – Bet on 3 consecutive race winners.
  • Pick 4, $.50 min at most tracks – Bet on 4 consecutive race winners.
  • Pick 6, $2 min at most tracks – Bet on 6 consecutive race winners.

The pools in the Kentucky Derby are going to be the largest that they are all year long. The win pool for the Derby alone should reach over $5 million. All bettors should try for a piece of the action by at least betting on a horse to win.

If you don’t have a ton of experience betting on horses, don’t worry. Just remember that straight bets are like moneyline wagers while exotic bets are like parlays. Now, check out the past performances and make sure to get in on the 2017 Kentucky Derby action!