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The Kentucky Derby attracts more spectators than any other horse race in America. Held on the first Saturday of every May, this Grade I race puts the best 3-year-old thoroughbreds centre stage for a 1 ¼ mile performance. Many celebrities come to see the annual Run for the Roses, and take part in all the traditions associated with the cultural event. From the elaborate sun hats to the Mint Juleps, there are many ways to get involved.


What's the Best Way to Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Betting online is the most convenient way to wager on the Kentucky Derby. Let’s face it: not all of us can make it down to Louisville, Kentucky for the big day, so betting from home or from your smartphone while you’re at the bar makes life easier.


How Do You Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

The most popular way to bet on the Kentucky Derby is to pick a winner. You’ll see odds for each horse in the form of two numbers (one for the amount wagered and one for the payout). Let's say one horse has 7/1 odds. That means that for every unit you bet, you’ll win 7X the amount if your horse wins. If you bet $100 on California Chrome at 7/1 and he wins, you’d collect $700 in profit.

Outside of winning the race, you can also bet on a horse to place or show. Place means your horse can finish either first or second, and you still win. Show means you’ll cash in if the horse finishes in the top three. Picking a winner outright pays more than betting on place, and a place wager pays more than betting on show.

A variety of exotic bets are also available to wager on. The exacta will allow you to pick the top two finishers in order, the trifecta will allow you to pick the correct order of the top three and the superfecta will allow you to bet on the correct order of the top four. You can also "box" your picks, which means you pick the right horses to finish first and second, but it doesn’t matter which one is first and which is second. Boxing increases your margin of victory, so your payout will slightly decrease.


Tips for Betting on the Kentucky Derby

A lot of information is available online, so do a little bit of research before betting on the Kentucky Derby. There is a long lead-up to the Run for the Roses as the horses compete in the Kentucky Derby prep races. This set of races attracts the best 3-year-olds in the country and offers them points that can turn into invitations to the big event on May 7.

While researching, be sure to check out the different thoroughbred racing styles. Some horses are better running in front of the pack (front-runners) while others start slow, but turn on the jets coming down the stretch (closers). Different styles are better suited for different races, and at 1 ¼ miles, the Kentucky Derby is a bit longer than your average race.

You’ll also want to monitor the post positions as certain starting spots are more desirable than others and work better for different types of horses. And last but not least, don’t forget about the horse’s lineage: if someone in their family tree has won the Kentucky Derby before, many experts believe that it increases the kin's odds of winning it too.

Once you’ve done your homework, return to Bodog Racebook to place your bet on this much-anticipated event.