How To Bet The Kentucky Derby

Known as "The Run for the Roses" and "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports", the Kentucky Derby captures the imagination of hardcore horse bettors and novices every year on the first Saturday in May.

For most people, it's just a day to plop down a few bucks on a name they like or a long shot they had read or heard about and see if they will have a story they can share with friends for years.

However, many others actually want to put in the effort to try to win and that is what this piece is about, the ways and methods to pick a winner and or making money on the big race.

Take Advantage Of All Your Opportunities, On a Budget

The Kentucky Derby is more than just about one race and places like Intertops and other sports betting outlets will offer the full Friday and Saturday cards at Churchill Downs. By doing your homework, many of the other races do offer far greater chances of winning because of fewer horses.

Early Odds to Win The 2019 Kentucky Derby

If this is of interest to you, make certain you come up with a bankroll that you can afford to lose and not exceed it. Money management is always a key to successful sports wagering.

Find Information and Know/Learn How To Read a Racing Form

In the days leading up to The Derby, there will countless articles on the internet where you can learn about all 20 horses in the field. There will be explanations about past history, bloodlines, closing speed and many other elements that can help you create a profile on the top contenders.

On the day of the race or possibly before, you can find information if you want to dig deeper and learn more about the field. To help narrow your focus you can learn material like this:

* Beyer Speed Rating (advanced method to decide a horses speed)
* Jockey Stats
* Trainer Stats
* Latest Race Outcomes
* Official Equibase® Speed Figure
* Start, Middle and Finishing Positions in Previous Races
* Lengths and Times of Previous Races
* Number of Starts and In The Money Finishes

This might be overwhelming for many people, but if your intent is to maximize your wagering potential, knowing all these key factors does not guarantee victory, but if places you in the best possible position.

Understanding The Derby and How It's Changed

As mentioned, the field is now limited to 20 horses and there have been changes in determining which horses are chosen. The officials at Churchill Downs established a points system tied to particular prep races in order to qualify for the field. This has made for a stronger field and lately altered the outcomes, with the favorites more regularly winning. Prior to this, long shots were the way to go, but not recently.

Best Types of Bets To Place

The most common is picking a horse to "Win". You can also pick a horse to "Place" (Top 2) or "Show" (Top 3) and payouts go in descending order.

For those seeking bigger payouts, Exacta and Trifecta wagering is available. These are more difficult to win, having to correctly pick the precise order of the Top 2 (exacta) or Top 3  (trifecta) horse, but if correct, the payouts are often handsome.

Betting On a 2019 Triple Crown Winner

One last bet to place that gives you more possibilities is a Trifecta Box. With these bets, you can choose three horses and have six combinations for just $6. Or you could pick four horses and have 24 combinations for $24.

There you have it, you are armed and ready! Good Luck, have fun and don't drink too many mint julep's. 

About the Author

Doug Upstone has been involved in sports handicapping in some form or another his entire adult life. NOBODY watches and studies games more than he does. Whether it is live or going back and watching later, Doug has game notes and observations dating back two decades. (Yes, somehow he’s still married to his original wife.)

Doug is process person, meaning he’s developed his own power ratings in different sports to determine if the lines are accurate from his perspective, yet always follows the fundamentals when handicapping games.

Doug has been heard on various sports radio talk shows (Tony George Radio Show on Sirius radio the latest) around the country for years and never has a shortage of opinions. Plus, his Line Moves article is one of the most consistently viewed pieces among sports bettors on Facebook and Google Plus.

Doug has been writing articles for over a decade and doing videos nearly as long at several websites, which are among the most viewed in any particular week.

His articles have been in the New York,,,,, Daily Racing Form, and on a daily basis, along with being seen at many different websites on the internet and is pleased to become part of the team also in various capacities.

He also does work on some of the most popular football newsletters in the country, something he has done since 2006.

Doug has had 21 No. 1 rankings at documented sports monitors in a multitude of sports and over 80 Top 10 finishes and consistently delivers HUGE profits.


Doug Upstone's Most Recent Top Awards

#1 2016 NFL at The Sports Eye

#1 2015 NFL at Cappers Monitor

#1 2014-15 NHL at Cappers Monitor, Cappers Watchdog & The Sports Eye

#1 2013-14 NHL at Cappers Monitor & The Sports Eye

#1 2014 NFL Playoffs at The Sports Eye Monitor

#1 2013 NFL at Cappers Monitor

#1 2013 NHL at Cappers Monitor, Cappers Watchdog & The Sports Eye

#1 2009-10 CBB at Cappers Monitor

#1 2009 MLB at The Sports Eye and Free Sports Monitor