Kentucky Derby Horse Betting

The Kentucky Derby is held every year in Louisville Kentucky on the Churchill Downs racetrack and has been since 1875. The race is only open to 3 year old thoroughbreds, and is always held on the first Saturday in May. That means that the 2015 Kentucky Derby, which will be the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, will be held on Saturday May 3rd.

The Kentucky Derby was initially a one and a half mile race (that’s the same as 2.4 kilometers), which is the same distance as the Epsom Derby. In 1896 that distance was shortened to the current 2.0 Kilometers, which comes to 1 and ¼ miles.

Secretariat, a horse that even most laymen have heard of, to-this-day holds the record in this race at its current 2.0 kilometer (which is the equivalent of 10 furlongs) length; running the entire length of the track in just 1:59 2/5 seconds.

Secretariat is also one of 11 horses to win the Triple Crown by winning 1st the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness, and finally the Belmont Stakes, all of which are held within a 5 week time period, and are probably longer distances than these three year old horses have run competitively in their entire careers, the last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.

141th Running of the Kentucky Derby – May 3rd 2015 - Dates And Schedule

As we mentioned above, the 2015 Derby will be held on Saturday May 3rd. The gates at Churchill Down will be opened at 8am on race day. The post time for the first race is set at 10:30 that morning.

The 2015 Kentucky Oaks which is the major stakes competition for three year old fillies (female horses) is set to be held on Friday, May 2nd 2015. The gates will also open at 8am on that day, and again the first Post time is set at 10:30am.

The Kentucky Oaks is set to begin at 5:45pm Friday.

Both of these events are scheduled for a week after the start of the Churchill Downs Spring Race meet which kicks off April 27th through early July. Gate assignments will be issued during the Derby Post-Position Draw which will be held at 5pm Eastern on Wednesday April 30th 2015.

Results From The 2014 Kentucky Derby

Vegas odds on the 2014 Kentucky Derby showed eventual winner California Chrome as the favorite. Winning in commanding fashion by 1 3/4 lengths ahead of long shot Commanding Curve (paying $31.80 and $15.40), the California colt paid $7.00, $5.60 and $4.20. Commanding Curve made the Derby field at the last second after Bob Baffert's Hoppertunity was scratched, and if the race would've been run at the longer Belmont Park where the third leg of the US Triple Crown takes place, Commanding Curve could possibly have won. In third place was Todd Pletcher's Danza (paying $6 for the show finish), followed by Wicked Strong and Samraat in fourth and fifth. The second leg of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing, the Preakness Stakes, takes place on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. While that field is far from set, Ride On Curlin, Ring Weekend and Kid Cruz are already on slate to make the trip in an attempt to ruin California Chrome's Triple Crown effort.

Betting the Kentucky Derby

Whether you’re watching the Kentucky Derby in a local bar making small time bets with your buddies, or you’re attending the race live actually watching as horse hooves create thunder on the dirt track, or like hundreds of thousands of other Kentucky Derby Fans, you’re betting online, while watching the race on television at home, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular horse races to bet on every year. This is largely because betting on the Derby is absolutely legal, even in North America! It’s legal to bet on horse racing online at several major sports betting websites and in several betting houses as well.

If you’re new to betting on horses however, the process can seem a bit overwhelming at first. First, the Kentucky Derby isn’t just one race anymore. There are actually 34 Kentucky Derby events in 2014 leading up to the main event which is called the Run for the Roses.

Handicapping the Kentucky Derby

A lot of information comes into play when handicapping a horse in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. Some of that information includes some of the following.

Past Performances - Every time a horse races, a collection of data is recorded onto what is called a race card. Past Performances area collection of the date gleaned from a horse’s previous race cards, and made available on one page.

There’s a lot of basic information that’s widely used by handicappers available in the Past Performances, which by the way are available online and in the Daily Racing Form.

Other useful information includes the pedigree of a horse, which can give clues to hereditary abilities the horse may have garnered from his or her Sire or Dam. A publication titled Mudders and Turfers explained years ago, a method for narrowing the field using a method of rating horses in several abilities based on the horse’s lineage. This is now known as the Thompson Ratings.

Some secondary factors to take into consideration include:

• Pedigree

• The Jockey

• The Trainer

Track History - Hundreds of European horses enter the United States annually, entering races such as the Kentucky Derby. These horses have primarily run on turf in the past, which skews their numbers for American handicappers. This is an instance where using Thompson Ratings to handicap a horse would come into play. Western horses on the other hand, from states such as Oregon and Washington often provide an edge for handicappers, as they’re trained on dirt tracks.

Measuring Ability - Measuring the ability of a horse is absolutely simple, and one of the hardest tasks a handicapper faces. That is because it’s a pretty commonly proven fact that a horse will be able to do in a race, what it has done in a race. Sounds simple right? In the book HANDICAPPING 101 Brad Free uses the following example:

“… a horse that ran six furlongs in 1:10 last time, will run about 1:10 next time. A horse that ran six furlongs in 1:11 generally will run about 1:11 again”. He goes onto say, “Betting horses would be simple if six furlongs were the only race distance.”

Horses do not however always run on the same track, and not every track provides horses with an identical surface, or the same distance. A horse’s ability on the dirt Churchill Downs track might not be the same as it was on any other track.

Weight - The weight a horse is allowed to carry in any horse race is predetermined. In the Kentucky Derby, colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg), fillies 121 pounds (55 kg).

Blinkers - Blinkers are a tool used to keep a horse focused forward, and not on what’s to the side of him. In most cases, a horse that didn’t use blinkers in previous races, but is now adding blinkers for the first time, will oft times produce more early speed, and remain focused, therefore holding his position longer in a race.

Kentucky Derby News Gossip and Rumors

“Palace Malice galloped with a set of blinkers this morning and both the rider, Jake Nelson, and Todd Pletcher felt it was a positive move.” Reported on April 23rd 2013 alerting horse bettors that the horse may very well where blinkers during the big race.

A horse wearing blinkers that hadn’t previously can be a major change for horse bettors making bets on the Kentucky Derby. Having that news as soon as possible is integral to building a solid betting strategy for the Kentucky Derby. That’s just one example of what can be learned while reading horse racing news, and one example of the importance of information. At the same time, it’s equally important to filter out the ‘noise’ and extra information, as to avoid becoming overwhelmed with irrelevant information.

Record Number of Horses Nominated for Kentucky Derby, Pletcher in Control - 02/13/14 - Get an inside look into the early favorites for this year's Kentucky Derby contenders.

Placing A Derby Bet Online With Legal Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

Bet On The Kentucky Derby Through Bovada Racebook Getting signed up to a new online horse betting site is a pretty simple process that is usually completed within a few minutes. We’ll go ahead and walk you through the process here though, just to ensure you leave this article with no barriers between you and placing a bet on your favorite picks for the 2014th Kentucky Derby. First, visit Bovada Racebook. On that page, click the big red Join Now button; notice that the page says you’ll instantly receive a 50% free bet bonus up to $200 upon depositing. After clicking, you’ll be taken to a simple sign up page where you’ll fill in some basic details about yourself. Next you’ll check and confirm your email address, and prepare to make you first real money deposit into your new Bovada account. Bovada offers all players weekly cashback on Racebook volume every single week which is a really nice bonus for recreational players.

List Of The Best Kentucky Derby Horse Betting Sites

Horse Betting Site Link Sign Up Bonus Rating Full Review
Bovada Racebook Weekly Cashback Bonus 5 Star Rating Bovada Racebook Review
BetAmerica Racebook Weekly Cashback Bonus 5 Star Rating BetAmerica Racebook Review
5dimes Racebook Daily Cashback 5 Star Rating 5Dimes Racebook Review
BookMaker Racebook 8% Rebate 5 Star Rating Bookmaker Racebook Review

Other Resources

Kentucky Derby Official Website: - keep in mind this website does not take any bets. It's just for informational purposes. If you want to be on the Kentucky Derby race legally, visit one of our recommended sites above.

Are you throwing a Kentucky Derby party? Check out our Kentucky Derby party page to find common recipes and fun tidbits.