Kentucky Derby Betting Sites: Best KY Derby Online Betting Platforms

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Updated April 10, 2024
Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

The Kentucky Derby, otherwise known as the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, is like the Super Bowl for horse racing fans. As the first leg of the American Triple Crown, the Derby has a distinction of being the only one of the major races to never be interrupted since its inception. As a highly popular sporting event, finding the right Kentucky Derby betting site is imperative.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby is coming up Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The race covers 1 1/4 miles and is open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Throughout this guide, we’ll explain how to bet on the Kentucky Derby and where to find the best odds to suit your needs. It is time for Kentucky Derby 2024 betting, and it’s time for us to explore the big day a little deeper.

Let’s look at the Kentucky Derby betting overview:

Best Kentucky Derby betting sites

For betting the Kentucky Derby online, you first need an online betting account. We have picked the best horse racing betting sites for US, Canada, and Global bettors. All of these sites offer market-leading odds, trusted payouts, great betting experiences, and promo codes that can help you build your bankroll even faster.

Bovada is the best Kentucky Derby betting site in the US

The Bovada racebook covers Kentucky Derby odds very well. They also have props and futures for other races in the Kentucky Derby Festival.

You can use the Bovada sportsbook welcome bonus at the racebook as well. At 5x, the rollover requirement is among the lowest in the industry.

Bovada is a top Kentucky Derby betting site because it is so nice to navigate their extensive sportsbook. They also provide a Kentucky Derby betting guide and many other helpful articles.

Read Bovada Review
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BetOnline offers US bettors 7% rebates

At the BetOnline racebook, you can bet on matchups, futures, and props for the Kentucky Derby and other major races during the Festival.

Thanks to their horse race rebate special, you get 7% back from your Kentucky Derby bets even if you do not win.

You are in good hands at BetOnline! With nice bet options and specials to alleviate the risk, you can have lots of fun at this Kentucky Derby betting site.

Read BetOnline Review
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Betway is the best in Canada

Betway features competitive Kentucky Derby betting odds and the occasional prop betting odds. They open fairly quickly, but rely on other books to set and match their odds.

Betway offers a bonus that matches 100% of your initial deposit, up to $250.

Betway is a solid choice, especially for first-time players. The only caveat is the short run times that may lead to sessions expiring quickly, which may push bettors to make quick decisions. The generous signup bonus, extensive odds selections, and easy-to-navigate interface make this a handy book to have.

Read Betway Review

Bet365 rules the global horse racing market

Bet365 prides itself as the one-stop shop for bettors of all types and sizes. No matter what kind of Kentucky Derby bettor you are, you’ll find great value with the odds at Bet365.

You can collect up to $200 in free bets when you open an account with Bet365. A minimum of a $5 deposit applies along with other terms & conditions.

Bet365 is a staple among most experienced bettors. With improvements to its website interface, users can now easily find what they want to bet. The site is also famous for its amazing share of markets. If you can think it, Bet365 lets you bet it.

Read Bet365 Review
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Kentucky Derby betting guide

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most important events of the year, and anyone who is serious about horse racing betting looks forward to it as one of the most lucrative opportunities of the year. Oddsmakers have carefully scouted out and lined these events. To start, keep in mind some basic principles in betting. 

Bet on markets and types of bets that you have a good read on. There are many betting options for the Kentucky Derby, but you don’t need use all of them. Pick the wagers you feel confident in, and that best reflect your opinion on the horses.

Play the numbers, not the horses or jockeys. It is a common mistake for many casual bettors or fans to simply bet on names. Betting is a numbers game and odds are a translation of a competitor’s chances of winning. As much as oddsmakers analyze these events, there is still some margin for error. 

And it goes without saying to do as much research as you can. You would not purchase a car without being familiar with how it works. Likewise, don’t bet on any events where you didn’t at least know of the basics.

Keep updated with the news. Check back on our page, and constantly peruse Kentucky Derby 2024 betting odds from the best online sportsbooks.

Kentucky Derby preview

Sites offering online betting for Kentucky Derby, like most sportsbooks, can bring either great prosperity or horrible misfortune. Take the case of two friends, John, the “expert” gambler and his friend, Henry, the casual fan.

John has been an avid sports bettor and is also a passionate follower of the Kentucky Derby. He eats, sleeps, and breathes sports betting and he’s made some profit on the side. Henry only occasionally bets, and he does so purely for the joy of it.

The Kentucky Derby can be unpredictable and yield baffling results. Some years favorites win the Kentucky Derby; other years, a longshot wins. John’s careful strategy will make more money in the long run, though no matter whose tactic you use, make sure you’re having fun.

What can you bet on during the Kentucky Derby?

In terms of where to bet on the Kentucky Derby, both casual fans and sharps will have plenty of opportunities to cash out with its plethora of Kentucky Derby betting lines and payouts across the top sites.

Kentucky Derby Winner 2024

A win bet is the most straightforward bet and is often the one that is opened the first. Choose which horse will win the Kentucky Derby, straight-up. Depending how books present this, it can be a choice between all the horses or a group of favorites versus the field.

Kentucky Derby Odds 2024

These are the 2024 Kentucky Derby win bet odds for horses at the top of the market at the top-recommended online sportsbooks. These include Bovada Kentucky Derby odds, as well as those for BetOnline and MyBookie.

Remember that playing at an online racebook is better than playing from the pari-mutuel pools at the track because you can lock in your odds before the race online for major races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes! They work like a Kentucky Derby future wager, with fixed odds.

Since odds on track move all the way to post time, betting the Kentucky Derby at a trusted horse racing betting site lets you lock in your price as soon as you see an overlay.

Kentucky Derby – podium finish

Next to picking the outright winner, you can pick if a horse will make it to the podium, a top-three finish. For most American races you have two options: a place bet for a horse finishing second or better, or a show bet for a horse finishing third or better.

This is often a good supplementary bet for the outright winner or a lower risk type of bet. It can also be a good idea to do a place or show parlay, especially if you have strong opinions on horses who can run well in races before or after the Kentucky Derby on the card.

The odds will be a bit easier on this than a win bet, though, since there are more chances for a horse to be successful.

Kentucky Derby – horse props, jockey and trainer props, and event props

The Kentucky Derby is like the Super Bowl of horse racing. You’ll notice the countless props released by oddsmakers closer to the event. These are more specified types of bets that outline certain conditions for a horse or jockey to achieve. Think of it as “bonus points”. Here are some examples of horse props you might see:

The horses may be the stars of the attraction, but their jockeys sometimes get equal shine. You can find plenty of props focused on the jockeys and trainers as well:

There are also event props perfect for bettors who aren’t invested in any specific horse. These props deal with general stats, situations, and prospects for the event. Some event props available might be:

Betting Strategies

Betting strategies for the Kentucky Derby vary depending on your goals and what you’re good at. There are two main factors to consider when betting: 1) the level of your confidence on a bet; and 2) the value of a bet.

Both have to align to constitute a “sound” bet. Your level of confidence might be high that a specific horse will win, but if the odds are too steep and the return is pitiful, it may not be worth investing. This is a low risk, low reward scenario.

Conversely, you may not be confident on a bet like a prop, but the rewards are high. This is a high risk, high reward scenario.

By reading the odds and doing a bit more research, you may find gaps in the betting lines that you may exploit.

How does the Kentucky Derby betting work?

Kentucky Derby odds are available all year round, literally. Odds are commonly released right when the Derby ends. Of course, take this with a grain of salt as these are very early odds and have a high chance of changing or being taken down depending on news events.

The Derby’s odds are usually affected by the races that take place before it such as the previous year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Road to the Kentucky Derby races in New York, Arkansas, and Keeneland among other places. The horse’s performance during these races serves as a barometer for the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

2024 Kentucky Derby Schedule

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2024. It is usually run on the first Saturday in May, though there are occasional exceptions, like the 2020 event being rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The calendar for the Kentucky Derby, including the Kentucky Derby Festival is usually released about a year before the event. Tickets go on sale as soon as the event is released.

The 2024 Kentucky Oaks will be run Friday, May 3, 2024.  

Kentucky Derby 2024 Bets

Knowing the top contenders in the Kentucky Derby and their past performances is the foundation of good handicapping. These are expert picks for the most important horses to track as the race gets closer.

2024 Kentucky Derby Market Leaders

The two leaders in 2024 Kentucky Derby betting markets include Sierra Leone and Fierceness.

Sierra Leone is the favorite in most Kentucky Derby futures markets and will probably continue to lead the rankings if he trains well into the run for the roses. He has won both of his starts against 3-year-olds, including turning the tables on Dornoch with an impressive score in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Trained by Chad Brown, he shows strong stamina and ability to handle different tracks and pace setups.

Fierceness, trained by Todd Pletcher, has not been the most consistent runner but when he is good, he is very good. He disappointed with a third-place outing in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal debut, but was able to return to his best with a 13 1/2-length blowout win in the Florida Derby (G1) next out. Especially if he draws a good middle post position, he should be a threat start to finish.

2024 Kentucky Derby Value Bets

Horses who run well in final prep races often carry that form into the Kentucky Derby, so look to improving horses who ran well in their last race before the Derby.

The Louisiana Derby (G2) has had an increasing profile in recent years, and Catching Freedom is ready to continue that trend. He improved from a third-place finish in the Risen Star (G2) with a victory in the final prep at Fair Grounds, and trainer Brad Cox knows how to get a horse ready on the big stage.

Dornoch should be a value price in the Kentucky Derby, but there are reasons he can bounce back to do better. He was fourth to Sierra Leone in the Blue Grass, but trainer Danny Gargan made clear Dornoch was running in the Blue Grass to learn a lesson, not because he needed points. This horse beat Sierra Leone last year. He also has pedigree upside on the stretch out to the Kentucky Derby distance since he is a full brother to 2023 winner Mage.

2024 Kentucky Derby Longshots

Honor Marie, second to Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby, is rounding back into form. The race was a step forward from his fifth-place tilt in the Risen Star, and he should be even sharper third off the lay. His pedigree appeals strongly for the stretch out to the classic 1 1/4-mile distance, and he is already a graded-stakes winner at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Betting history

With 148 years of records behind it, there is plenty of Kentucky Derby betting history to look at. The first race was contested in 1875 and was won by Aristides.

The Derby has a distance of 1.25 miles (10 furlongs or 2,012 meters) and is on a dirt surface. Horses are assigned weights of 126 lbs (57.2 kilos) for colts and geldings and 121 lbs (55 kilos) for fillies.

The total purse of the Kentucky Derby was raised to $5 million for 2024, up from $3 million in previous years.

Here are a list of the Derby’s notable records:

Kentucky Derby FAQs

When is the Kentucky Derby?

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 4.

Where is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby will be run at historic Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

Will the race be on television?

Yes! The NBC family of networks will air the Kentucky Derby via both NBC and their Peacock streaming service.

Who won the Kentucky Derby in 2024?

Mage, coming off of a second-place finish in the Florida Derby, won the 2023 Kentucky Derby. He became only the third horse who didn’t race at age 2, after Apollo and Justify, to win the Run for the Roses! His full brother Dornoch will be running in 2024.

How many horses run in the Kentucky Derby?

Up to 20 horses can run in the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby also allows up to four horses to enter as also eligible if any horse in the main field has to scratch before local betting begins at 9:00 am EDT Friday.

How many people attend the Kentucky Derby each year?

Many years over 150,000 people attend the Kentucky Derby. The record attendance was 170,513 fans who saw American Pharaoh win in 2015. However, with COVID-19 regulations, only 20,000 to 30,000 people are expected to attend in 2021.

How much does the winner of the Kentucky Derby get?

The winner of the Kentucky Derby gets $1.8 million from a total purse of $3 million.

Which are the other Triple Crown races?

The Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes follow the Kentucky Derby. In 2024 the Preakness is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, and the Belmont is scheduled for Saturday, June 8.

How long is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is one and one quarter miles (10 furlongs, 2012 meters) in length.

Who is the favorite to win the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

After his impressive victory in the Blue Grass, Sierra Leone is the favorite or co-favorite in most sportsbooks for the 2024 Kentucky Derby. Fierceness, the blowout winner of the Florida Derby, is the second favorite in most books and is co-favored with Sierra Leone in some places.

Is it possible to bet on the Kentucky Derby from your home?

You can use any internet-connected device such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone to watch and bet the Kentucky Derby easily.
Depending on what your sportsbook offers, you can then either place your bets through the sportsbook’s website or download an application with instant betting access.

Is it possible to bet from a mobile device?

Yes! You can use the internet connection on your mobile phone to access any sportsbook website and play the races. Many sportsbooks also let you download an app that gives you a smooth, convenient betting experience designed for mobile-first.

Which are the best sportsbooks for betting the Kentucky Derby?

With so many sportsbooks available, it can be a difficult decision to find the sportsbook that suits your betting needs. We can help. Our experts have reviewed the best online sportsbooks, and their trusted reviews can help you find the sportsbook that fits your betting needs and goals best.

Do sportsbooks offer any promotions for betting on the Kentucky Derby?

Sportsbooks offer many promotions to players including rebates, welcome bonuses, free bets, and other promo codes. The vast majority of betting sites offer horse racing rebates through their racebooks. Though the rebate percentage varies by site, they often range from 7-15% of the amount you bet, whether you win or lose, paid out every day.

Do sportsbooks offer live streaming of the race?

Not all sportsbooks offer live streaming of the Kentucky Derby yet, though it is something bettors are requesting. The race will stream live on Peacock, so even if the best sportsbook for you has not arranged for streaming, you can still watch the race while you bet.

What types of bets are usually available?

Sportsbooks offer a full range of Kentucky Derby bets including simple win wagers, exotic wagers, and prop bets. More than anything, it is important to choose a bet that you feel confident about and that balances risk and reward in a way that makes sense for you.
Common horse racing wagers include the following:
Win bet
Place bet
Show bet
Exacta
Trifecta
Superfecta
Double
Pick 3
Pick 4

How do Kentucky Derby odds work?

Different sportsbooks offer different odds for the Kentucky Derby, based on how bettors are playing the horses in their sportsbook and other important betting markets.
This is why it is important to read betting guides and expert analysis of the Kentucky Derby horses and compare the odds on multiple sportsbooks. This can help you find the best odds.

How early can you bet on the Kentucky Derby?

You don’t have to wait until Derby Day! Through online sportsbooks, you can bet on the Kentucky Derby months in advance! This is called Kentucky Derby futures wagering. What makes future wagering more exciting than pari-mutuel betting at the track is that you can lock in your price, and often you can get many times the price you get on race day if you bet a good horse online in the futures markets.

Our take-aways

Enjoy all of the Kentucky Derby props

The Kentucky Derby is the Super Bowl of horse racing betting. You will find countless props and even more when you sign-up to more than one sportsbook. This is great for serious bettors looking for the best odds, as well as casual players looking to throw darts at some lucrative prop bets. You never know when you’ll get lucky.

Anything can happen, don’t underestimate the underdogs

It doesn’t happen that often, but longshots do emerge victorious from the Kentucky Derby. While we can’t advise to keep betting on underdogs recklessly, we also encourage you to go with your gut if you feel an underdog has a better chance to win than odds indicate. 

Use multiple sportsbooks to find the best odds

It’s tough to find the best Kentucky Derby betting sites for you. Our advice is to peruse the different sportsbooks and compare. They have their strengths and weaknesses, but they all offer signup bonuses or perks of some sort. Divide your bankroll into two or three books that offer various benefits.

About the Author

Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent’s your man when it comes to all things sports. He covers a wide range of sports for Sports Betting Sites, and has been published in some pretty reputable outlets, such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent’s got the inside track on all the happenings in the world of sports.

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