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. 

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