Louisville, Kentucky is the home of the first leg of the thoroughbred racing Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby. The Derby’s first race occurred in 1875 and is held at Churchill Downs each spring. The race is known as “The Run for the Roses” because the winner is draped in roses at the end of the race. It’s the only race out of the Triple Crown races to run each year continually since its inception.
Bet on the Kentucky Derby Online
Betting on the Kentucky Derby has become as much of a past-time in North America as the race itself with the expansion of internet handicapping. Placing a wager on the Derby is incredibly easy with the online sportsbook listed in the chart below.
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Triple Crown Racing Series: Kentucky Derby Handicapping History
In 1875, the inaugural Kentucky Derby winner was Aristides when the race was run at a distance of 1 and 1/2 miles. The current length of 1 and 1/4 miles did not take effect until 1896. The Churchill Downs track is named for John and Henry Churchill, who donated the land on which the track was constructed.
In 2004, the race underwent a major change, not to its actual running but to the jockeys’ uniforms. For the very first time, because of a court order, the jockeys were allowed to have advertisements printed on their uniforms that they wear during the race.
Churchill Downs Race Track Online Horse Wagering
With the advent of the internet, horse racing enthusiasts find it easier to place their bets on their favorite horses right from the grandstands of Churchill Downs. Bettors can place wagers on races such as the Kentucky Oats, which takes place the Friday prior to the Kentucky Derby, and the Turf Classic Stakes.
Bettors interested in the Turf Classic Stakes should visit Churchill Downs early in the month of May. Other races at the track include the Stephen Foster Handicap, which is held in the middle of June as the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs comes to a close.
2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders
With the prep races completed, the field is almost set for the 143rd Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6 from Churchill Downs, although final entries and post positions won’t be drawn until the Wednesday before the race. With that in mind, here’s a rundown the probable field, odds and race record, in order of the final points leaderboard.
1) 18-1 Girvin (4 starts, 3 wins, 1 second): Won the (G2) Risen Star Stakes and (G2) Louisiana Derby, defeating Derby starters Untrapped in the first, and Patch in the second.
2) 5-1 Classic Empire (7 starts, 5 wins, 1 third, 1 DNF): The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion. Prepped for the Derby by winning the (G1) Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, beating Derby starters Lookin’ At Lee and Untrapped.
3) 15-1 Gormley (6 starts, 4 wins): California-based runner was seventh in the BC Juvenile, in 2017 won the (G3) Sham Stakes, and the (G1) Santa Anita Derby, finishing ahead of Derby starter Battle of Midway.
4) 20-1 Irap (8 starts, 1 win, 3 seconds, 1 third): Was winless for his career until he shocked the world by taking the (G2) Blue Grass Stakes at odds of 31-1, defeating Derby runners Practical Joke, McCraken, J Boys Echo and Tapwrit.
5) 8-1 Irish War Cry (5 starts, 4 wins): Started the season with an upset win over Classic Empire in the Holy Bull, and looked solid in winning the (G2) Wood Memorial ahead of Derby entry Battalion Runner.
6) 20-1 Thunder Snow (8 starts, 4 wins, 2 seconds): Irish-bred runner is a wild card in the Derby field who gets in with a win in the UAE Derby in Dubai, his third straight. Has a Group 1 win on turf in France.
7) 6-1 Always Dreaming (5 starts, 3 wins 1 second, 1 third) Kicked off 2017 by getting his first lifetime win in three tries, and made his graded-stakes debut winning the (G1) Florida Derby with ease over Derby entries State Of Honor and Gunnevera.
8) 12-1 Gunnevera (9 starts, 4 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third): Started the year highly rated, but has been inconsistent in the prep races. Grandsire Unbridled won the 1990 Kentucky Derby.
9) 15-1 Practical Joke (6 starts, 3 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third): Started his career wth three straight wins, but, while competitive, has yet to win as a three-year-old.
10) 20-1 J Boys Echo (6 starts, 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third): Looked good winning the (G3) Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March, but seemed to take a step back running fourth in the Blue Grass.
11) State Of Honor (10 starts, 1 win, 4 seconds, 2 thirds) Front-running Ontario-bred has finished in the money in six straight races, but only has a single maiden win to his name.
12) 20-1 Tapwrit (6 starts, 3 wins, 1 second): Stamped himself as a contender with a convincing win in the (G2) Tampa Bay Derby, but like a few others seemed to regress in the Blue Grass Stakes.
13) 20-1 Hence (6 starts, 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third): Won the (G3) Sunland Derby in the second-fastest 1 1/8 mile time of all Derby starters. His grandsire is Hall of Fame Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner AP Indy.
14) 50-1 Fast And Accurate (6 starts, 3 wins, 1 second): Connections paid an extra $200,000 supplemental fee to nominate him for the Derby after he won the (G3) Spiral Stakes.
15) 10-1 McCraken (5 starts, 4 wins, 1 third): Once considered a leading contender, injuries slowed his prep season and he was another that showed little in the Blue Grass Stakes.
16) 20-1 Battle Of Midway (4 starts, 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third): Has yet to win at the stakes level, and didn’t race as a two-year-old. No horse has done that and won the Derby in more than 100 years.
17) 30-1 Patch (3 starts, 1 win, 2 seconds): Like Battle Of Midway, didn’t race as a two-year-old. Sire won the 2012 Belmont Stakes.
18) 50-1 Untrapped (6 starts, 1 win, 3 seconds, 1 third): Draws into the field with the defection of Malagacy and Cloud Computing, has only a maiden win to his name.
19) 30-1 Lookin’ At Lee (9 starts, 2 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds): Late-running colt has tried graded-stakes company in six straight, has yet to get a win.
20) 30-1 Sonneteer (10 starts, 0 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds): Draws into the field a week before the Derby with the withdrawl of Battalion Runner. No maiden has won the Derby in 83 years.