Kentucky Derby Betting Odds 2024 – Best Bets, Favorites and How To Bet

Posted by Dave Consolazio . Last updated:

Kentucky Derby betting is one of the best ways to get closer to the action from Churchill Downs and roar on your chosen horses this May. Online betting sites are competing to offer the best 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, and provide players with extensive horse racing betting options for the “Fastest Two Minutes In Sports”. It’s therefore the perfect time to discover the best online sportsbook for you!

The 2022 Kentucky Derby will be the 148th running of this famous race. Horses bolt around the 1 ¼ miles of dirt racetrack in under two minutes. Only three-year-old horses are allowed to compete in the Kentucky Derby, which means horse racing betting fans must wager on a fresh set of runners each year.

Read on to discover more about the 2022 race, how to bet on the Kentucky Derby, the current odds for Kentucky Derby and some tips to consider ahead of the big race!

Top Kentucky Derby Betting Books

Here are the best sportsbooks for betting on Kentucky Derby odds in the USA:

Final Kentucky Derby 2024 Odds and Post/Finish Positions

Our Kentucky Derby betting guide naturally begins with a look at the latest odds. Now the Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw has been made, we can look at the morning line odds with a better understanding of how the horses will fare. Below is the current list of horses running in the Derby, plus their latest odds.

Horse Kentucky Derby Odds Trainer Post Position Winning Position
Epicenter +350 Steve Asmussen 3 N/A
Taiba +1200 Tim Yakteen 12 N/A
White Abarrio +1000 Saffie Joseph Jr. 15 N/A
Zandon +300 Chad Brown 10 N/A
Messier +800 Tim Yakteen 6 N/A
Charge It +2000 Todd Pletcher 8 N/A
Mo Donegal +1000 Todd Pletcher 1 N/A
Smile Happy +2000 Kenny McPeek 5 N/A
Cyberknife +2000 Brad Cox 16 N/A
Happy Jack +3000 Doug O’Neill 2 N/A
Summer Is Tomorrow +3000 Bhupat Seemar 4 N/A
Crown Pride +2000 Koichi Shintani 7 N/A
Tiz The Bomb +3000 Kenny McPeek 9 N/A
Pioneer Of Medina +3000 Todd Pletcher 11 N/A
Simplification +2000 Antonio Sano 13 N/A
Barber Road +3000 John Ortiz 14 N/A
Classic Causeway +3000 Brian Lynch 17 N/A
Zozos +2000 Brad Cox 19 N/A
Tawny Port +3000 Brad Cox 18 N/A
Ethereal Road +3000 D. Wayne Lukas 20 N/A

Post Position Stats and Info (Ahead of the 2024 Kentucky Derby)

  • The top three post positions in terms of winning percentage at the Kentucky Derby are #5 (11%, last won in 2017 by Always Dreaming), #10 (10.7%, last won in 2005 by Giacomo), and #15 (10.2%, last won in 2020 by Authentic). Since the expansion to 20 horses, Gate 10 has become even more successful
  • #17 is the only post position without a winner in the history of the Kentucky Derby
  • 2021 winner Mandaloun won from the #7 post position, which Crown Pride takes in 2022
  • The Kentucky Derby post position draw took place on the Monday before the race

Kentucky Derby 2022 News

An early favorite to win the 2022 Kentucky Derby won’t be racing at Churchill Downs after suffering an injury in the build-up to the big race. Forbidden Kingdom was a +800 top pick with the bookmakers as recently as early April, but an epiglottis issue has forced him to miss the race. However, Tampa Bar Derby winner Classic Causeway will run despite his poor form, after trainer Brian Lynch decided it was worth a shot.

Kentucky Derby horses are only ever three years of age but most are vastly experienced, having raced at varying grades across the past year. But Taiba, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, could become the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby in only its third start since Leonatus in 1883. His trainer isn’t worried about the lack of experience, even though Taiba didn’t run competitively as a two-year-old. Santa Anita was also a stakes debut for Taiba, and the bookmakers have committed to backing the horse into +1200.

Zandon’s victory in the Blue Grass Stakes earned its owners the lions’ share of a $1m prize purse. And it means he heads to the Derby as the second-ranked horse in terms of points. Trainer Chad C. Brown has opted to keep Zandon training at Keeneland ahead of the Derby. His victory over Smile Happy at Blue Grass is seen by some as a viable precursor to a head-to-head battle down the home straight at Churchill Downs this spring.

Kentucky Derby Bet Types

There are numerous Kentucky Derby bets available to wager on via sportsbooks that feature horse racing odds. The majority of punters will stick to the winner markets, and back a horse to claim glory at Churchill Downs. But the beauty of the Kentucky Derby is that many racebooks will offer more extensive, detailed bet types.

This means punters have the chance to win on multiple outcomes, split their bets, and even earn themselves an insurance payout if a horse doesn’t win outright. Here are the top Kentucky Derby bets you could make at the race this year.

Remember, you can bet more than once on the Kentucky Derby and with multiple racebooks. This means you can often find discrepancies in the odds, and wager on horses at better prices across a variety of betting sites.



Betting on the Kentucky Derby winner is the most popular option among bettors. This is simply a wager where you back a horse to win at the advertised price. The greater the odds, the bigger your potential profit.


A Kentucky Derby Place bet is where you wager on a horse finishing within the top two places of the race. The odds are smaller than a Win bet, but you’ve a greater chance of earning a payout.


Like the Place bet, a Show bet in the Kentucky Derby is where you wager on a horse finishing in the top three positions.


To win an Exacta bet, you need to pick the first two horses of a race, in the exact order.


Much like an Exacta, a Trifecta bet requires you to pick the first three horses of a race, in the correct order.


Like an Exacta or a Trifecta, a Superfecta requires you to bet on the first four horses in a race, in the right order.


A popular bet option in the Kentucky Derby is the boost your odds by combining multiple bets into one big wager. This is a parlay, and means you can wager on, for example, one horse winning the race, two horses showing, and even weave in bets from other races.

2024 Kentucky Derby Date And Start Time

a green calendar with a clock on the open page

The 2024 Kentucky Derby start time is scheduled for 6:45 PM ET on Saturday, May 7th. As is tradition, the race is run on the first full weekend of May.

a stopwatch showing time

The “Run of the Roses” rarely lasts more than two minutes and usually goes off without a hitch. Horses are paraded before the race and placed into their respective post positions, before charging out once the gate doors open.

Racing Horse Icon

As always, the Kentucky Derby is only for horses that are three years old (colts, geldings and fillies are all allowed). It was run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a 1 ¼ mile race (10 furlongs or two kilometers) as horses and jockeys navigate the left-handed turns at Churchill Downs. The purse was a staggering $3 million USD, with $1.86 million going to Medina Spirit and his team.

How To Bet On Kentucky Derby

Betting on the Kentucky Derby has never been easier thanks to the wide array of sportsbooks offering racing odds on every horse. This is a race like no other and odds setters spend hours pouring over the stats in order to deliver competitive horse racing odds for players.

  • Before you place a horse racing bet it’s always advised you check out the latest USA online gambling sites and find a platform that’s right for you.
  • Yet no matter who you bet with, the process of online betting for Kentucky Derby remains the same. First you will be asked to provide your details at sign-up, and make an initial deposit. Don’t forget that this is often the best time to trigger a promo or welcome bonus.
  • From here, head over to your sportsbook’s horse racing page, where you’ll be able to find the Kentucky Derby odds. If you’re betting a few days out of the race, these odds will likely be in the Futures section of the racing page.
  • Once you’ve found the race list, you can check out the stats for each horse and compare their odds to other runners. Simply pick a horse you want to back, select the bet type, enter your stake and hit ‘Place Bet’ to complete the process.

2022 Kentucky Derby Race Details

How To Watch Kentucky Derby 2024

Your chosen sportsbook might offer Kentucky Derby live stream options so long as you bet on the race. However, if you cannot watch Kentucky Derby footage from your bookie, then NBC has you covered. NBC will show every second of the Kentucky Derby from 6:47 PM ET, with the network’s broadcast beginning at 5 PM ET.

  • The 148th Kentucky Derby will run on Saturday, May 7th at 6:47 PM ET. Broadcast coverage of the Derby will be provided by NBC and start at 5 PM ET.
  • NBCSN will show earlier races from Churchill Downs and across the country on Kentucky Derby Day from 12 noon. Dedicated Derby coverage then begins at 5 PM ET on NBC

  • The age of horses in the Kentucky Derby is limited to three years. Cold, geldings and fillies are all allowed to compete.
  • The Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky every year. The racetrack features its famous Twin Spires and welcomes thousands of horse racing betting fans through its doors every year.

  • Churchill Downs racetrack is a dirt oval and covers 1 1/4 miles of racing on Derby day. Jockeys and horses must navigate two left-hand turns during the race.
  • The 2024 Kentucky Derby prize purse is set at $3m, with approx. $1.86m going to the winning team.

Picks for the Kentucky Derby 2024

The withdrawal of Forbidden Kingdom in mid-April jumbled up the 2022 Kentucky Derby Odds. So much so that bookmakers weren’t initially sure who to favor. Most bookies were backing Epicenter for victory following his three victories in Road to the Kentucky Derby races. Zandon was also priced around the same, before emerging as the favorite after the post position draw gifted him Gate 10. But while some bookies are sticking with White Abarrio as their favorite, others are banking on Taiba.

And that’s perhaps not surprising. Taiba was nowhere near the list of frontrunners for this race until his victory at Santa Anita. Now suddenly he’s as narrow as +1200 in some racebooks to win the Derby!

Roughly 16% of all wagers on this market are so far backing Taiba, which goes some way to explaining why his odds have crushed in recent days. But there are arguably smarter picks out there for punters willing to explore the wider horse racing betting markets.

For example, Messier placed at both Los Alamitos and Santa Anita, while he won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at that latter racecourse in February. The horse trained by Tim Yakteen is not to be overlooked for a top-two or top-three finish here.

When it comes to Kentucky Derby best bets, you might want to look at those placed in the middle of the betting. For now, that’s the likes of Charge It (+2000) and Smile Happy (+2000). They’ve both earned a strong post position – and their odds could tumble further between now and race day!

Last 10 Kentucky Derby Winners

Year Horse Post Position Jockey Trainer Time Odds $2 Win
2021 Mandaloun 9 Florent Geroux Brad Cox 2:01.02 +1200 $55.80
2020 Authentic 15 John Velasquez Bob Baffert 2:00.61 +800 $18.80
2019 Country House 20 Flavien Prat William I. Mott 2:03.98 +3000 $132.40
2018 Justify 7 Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert 2:04.20 +300 $7.80
2017 Always Dreaming 5 John Velasquez Todd Pletcher 2:03.59 +500 $11.40
2016 Nyquist 13 Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 2:01.31 +300 $6.60
2015 American Pharoah 18 Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert 2:03.02 +250 $7.80
2014 California Chrome 5 Victor Espinoza Art Sherman 2:03.66 +250 $7.00
2013 Orb 16 Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey III 2:02.89 +350 $12.80
2012 I’ll Have Another 19 Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 2:01.83 +1200 $32.60

Kentucky Derby Traditions

The Kentucky Derby might be more known for their traditions than for the actual racing. From its date, which is always on the first Saturday of May, down to the roses draped over the winning horse, the Kentucky Derby is steeped in traditions as much as its past winners. Here are the most important traditions at the Kentucky Derby.

A sash showing the Kentucky Oaks logo

Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks is a three-year-old race exclusively for fillies, and it is run the day before the Kentucky Derby. It is called the “Lillies for the Fillies” as the winner is draped with a garland of fillies. The best-known winner of the Kentucky Oaks is Rachel Alexandra, which won in 2009, and then went on to win the Preakness Stakes.

Someone holding up a mint julep

Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a cocktail that consists of bourbon, fresh mint, ice and simple syrup. It has been associated with the Kentucky Derby since 1938.

Secretariat draped with roses

The Roses

The winner of the Kentucky Derby has been adorned with a garland of roses since 1883, 554 red roses, to be exact. Hence the nickname for the Kentucky Derby, “The Run for the Roses”.

A unique hat at the Kentucky Derby

The Hats

The Kentucky Derby has long been associated with large hats, and the VIPs that attend the race always make sure they’re dressed to the nines. The hat is the key to the entire outfit.

The Twin Spires at Churchill Downs

The Twin Spires

The Twin Spires were created in 1895 to give Churchill Downs something that made it stand out. You can’t miss them as they stand atop Churchill Downs.

Stephen Foster poses for a picture

"My Old Kentucky Home"

“My Old Kentucky Home” was written by Stephen Foster in 1852. It is sung at the beginning of the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Betting FAQs

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