Kentucky Derby 2021: Horse Racing Tips, Bet Types, Start Time & Odds

“I tell you waiting for the Derby to start is the longest day of your life… It’s just a unique time of thrill and tension and worry.”

Penny Chenery, Secretariat owner said this for a reason — The Kentucky Derby is an exciting day for jockeys, trainers, and of course, bettors. What can you expect this year? We cover it all, from types of bets you should make, when to watch and more.

Best Bets

The 2021 Kentucky Derby sees ‘The Run of the Roses’ return to its traditional May billing this weekend with up to 45,000 fans expected to be in attendance at the Churchill Downs racetrack.

COVID-19 restrictions means Saturday’s big race will have a reduced capacity in Louisville – although the fact horse racing fans are able to attend at all is testament to the track staff for their tireless work in implementing social distancing guidelines.

Kentucky Derby betting is already heating up ahead of the race and fans from across the US are preparing their Saturday afternoons to watch and bet on the ‘Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Kentucky Derby before the race.

When is the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby date this year is Saturday, May 1. The Kentucky Oaks will run the day before, on Friday, April 30.

The race, which has been held almost every year since its inaugural run in 1875, is scheduled for the first Saturday of May each season. The Kentucky Derby was moved to September last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and was run without crowds in attendance at Churchill Downs. This year marks what race organizers hope is a return to normality.

What Time is the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

The 2021 Kentucky Derby has a 6:57pm ET start time. It will follow the traditional rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home” sung by racegoers at Churchill Downs.

2021 Kentucky Derby TV Channel

Being able to watch the 2021 Kentucky Derby on TV is possibly the best way to follow your bets over the ‘Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’. NBC will televise the 2021 Kentucky Derby as well as the other races at Churchill Downs on Saturday. NBC’s coverage of the 147th Kentucky Derby will run between 2:30pm and 7:30pm ET.

2021 Kentucky Derby live stream

You can live stream the 2021 Kentucky Derby via the NBC Sports app and their website. Meanwhile, some horse racing betting sites might have coverage of the race via their online and app platforms, depending on the site.

You may also be able to watch Kentucky Derby highlights on these platforms too.

2021 Kentucky Derby Attendance

Last year there were no spectators at the Kentucky Derby but race organizers are hopeful for a one-third capacity in 2021. Kentucky Derby tickets sell fast each year and around 45,000 fans are expected to enter the Churchill Downs gates on Saturday. The venue is limited to ticket sales up to 50% of reserved seats, and 30% for infield-only admission.

If 45,000 spectators attend the race, this Kentucky Derby will be the biggest sporting spectacle in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

How to Bet on 2021 Kentucky Derby

Placing a Kentucky Derby bet couldn’t be easier this year. The growth of online sports betting in the US means you can now place your horse racing bets without being required to attend the racetrack!

Our experts have scoured the internet to find and review the best online sportsbooks that players can join. Read each review and find the sportsbook that’s right for you.

To bet on the 2021 Kentucky Derby online, first you will need to choose a sportsbook and register for an account. Once you make your first deposit, you’ll be able to explore the range of horse racing odds and make your preferred selection. If you win? Your account will be credited with your winnings.

jockeys on horses at kentucky derby at churchill downs

Horses cooling down.

Best 2021 Kentucky Derby Bet Types

Most Kentucky Derby betting fans will immediately gravitate towards the race bets and back a horse to Win. It’s only natural to choose a winning horse – but there are many more smart bet types available to shrewd players.

For example, betting on Place (top two finish) or Show (top three finish) widens your chances of winning a bet. Of course, widening your win possibility also reduces your odds – but betting on horses is an art form that requires betting with your brain, not your heart.

If you’re seeking high-odds bets on the Kentucky Derby then consider a Trifecta. Here, you can wager on the exact first, second and third places in the race. Many punters place a small bet on a Trifecta in the hope of winning a big payout from a low stake.

And of course, before you place any wager make sure you read our Kentucky Derby betting tips.

Triple Crown Betting

The Kentucky Derby is part of American racing’s Triple Crown, a series of three stakes races that also includes the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Only 13 horses have ever won the Triple Crown – the most recent was Justify in 2018.

You can bet on Triple Crown winners at many US sportsbooks but be aware that as soon as the Kentucky Derby winner is confirmed, the markets on all other horses will close.

2021 Kentucky Derby Latest Weather Forecast

The latest Kentucky Derby weather prediction is for mostly sunny skies and 73°F, with no chance of rain. This is important for horse racing betting fans who will be looking at the race card to discover which horse will suit the conditions. The turf could be partially saturated with rainwater from the expected downpours over Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday, so this may be a slow race despite the bright sunshine.

2021 Kentucky Derby Prize Money

There is a $3m purse for the Kentucky Derby this year and the cash will be split among the top five places in the race. What’s more, the jockeys will also earn a cut of the winnings.

Place Prize Money Jockey Split
1 $1.86m $186,000
2 $600,000 $30,000
3 $300,000 $15,000
4 $150,000 $4,500
5 $90,000 $2,500
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