The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous horse races in the world. Every year hundreds of thousands of fans attend the famous Louisville, Kentucky, race to watch the world’s greatest Thoroughbreds compete for glory. Unfortunately, finding betting odds and getting action is far easier said than done. The following article will tell you everything you need to know about betting on the Kentucky Derby, including when exactly does the betting start and how to make the most of it.
The Evolution of the Derby
The Kentucky Derby has been around for more than a century and over that time it has evolved from a simple race to one of the greatest gambling events of the year. In fact, the history of the Derby is quite fascinating. It all started with the first official Kentucky Derby in 1917. At that time it was mostly a family affair with the men in the family taking their sons and grandsons to watch the horses race. Since then the Derby has grown in importance and became its own separate holiday. People travel from all over the world to attend the race and even more attend the betting pools. The following year saw the first televised edition of the Derby and it didn’t take long for the public to realize the value of this new invention and how they could use it to their advantage. This is when the online betting boom began. In 1927 the state of Kentucky established a separate racing entity called the Jockey Club which runs the Kentucky Derby. Since then the derby has always been held in the spring. This will give the horses the best chance at competing successfully for the season. The weather has to be right and of course the fields have to put in a good performance for people to turn up in large numbers.
Each year racing schedules are published well in advance so that the fans can start making their plans. The following is the schedule for the upcoming 2020 Kentucky Derby:
- First Friday in May
- Over Fifty Thousand Attend
- Pre-Race Activities
- Post-Race Party
As you can see above, the first four events in the 2020 Kentucky Derby are set to take place on consecutive days. The first event will be the Pre-Derby Party and Cool Weather Contest at Churchill Village in Louisville. This will be a great opportunity to get a head start on the festivities and make the most of it. The following day, the first part of the Kentucky Derby itself will take place. The second leg will be held several hours later and include the awards ceremony and the post-race activities. Finally, the third and the fourth events, the Racing Pools and the Casino Excitement will close out the day. All of this takes place at the famous Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville.
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 race with a purse of more than $2 million. Since it is such a high-profile race, the organizers put in place a number of measures to protect the integrity of the event. Here are the rules that will govern betting and wagering in the Kentucky Derby:
- All horses, except those entered in the “stirrup championship”, must undergo a veterinary exam within seven days of the race.
- Trained individuals may not work in the paddock or vicinity of the track before, during, or after the event.
- No alcohol may be brought on site.
- A limit of one vendor per race is allowed.
- Bets may not be taken before the race or during the pre-race activity.
- Bets must be placed in the racing form by Thursday at noon EST for the following day’s Derby.
- The starting price for the winners of previous Derbys should be accepted at face value.
The above rules should make any bettor feel confident that their money is going to be safe and they are not going to be cheated. Now that you know the essentials of betting on the Kentucky Derby, it’s time to make some serious betting plans. Remember to keep an eye on upcoming schedules so that you don’t have to rush to place bets before it’s too late.