Betting on the Kentucky Derby: Who’s the Favorite?

This year will be the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. It will be held on Saturday, April 6th this year at the legendary Churchill Downs. If you’re looking to place a wager on this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, then check out these betting tips!

The Favorites

While they won’t be officially declared until closer to the start of the race, it’s always an accepted practice to tip the favorites beforehand. These are the horses that we, as fans and bettors, believe will win the derby. They are typically the favorites in the pre-derby line-up and throughout the majority of the year.

Last year’s Derby winner was Always My King, a horse that had been backed into greatness after years of mediocre competition. He shattered the record for the fastest one-mile lap in derby history en route to winning the race by a record 11 lengths. Although his dominance was rather unprecedented, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Before the start of the year, most people had him as the early favorite. After a 4-10-1 start to the season, he climbed as high as fourth place in the standings. However, his poor performance in the winter months saw him drop to ninth by the start of the Kentucky Derby. This year, he’ll once again be one of the early favorites. The consensus is that he will break the record once more.

The Underdogs

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the underdogs. These are the horses that many people feel does not deserve to win the derby. Sometimes they’ll surprise us and pull off an upset victory, but more often than not they’ll disappoint us and lose by a large margin.

In 2018, the favorite for the Derby is once again Revolutionary, a horse that has been backed into greatness through years of mediocre competition. Like Always My King, he too will break the record. Unlike his counterpart, Revolutionary didn’t start the year off terribly well, getting off to a 2-4-1 start. However, he managed to turn it around and win five of his last seven races, bringing his overall record to 9-2-3. Even though he’s the underdog in the derby, many people still have him as a contender. Like many of the other underdogs, he too will fail to impress this year. He’ll break just as many records as he topples.

How To Bet On The Kentucky Derby

Now that you’re familiar with the two main types of participants, let’s discuss how to bet on the Kentucky Derby. The first step is to decide whether you want to risk a dollar or two on each race, or if you want to invest a larger sum of money.

If you have a few dollars to spare and you’d like to see how the horses perform over a short distance, risking a couple of dollars on each race is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your money. If you have a significant sum of money to invest and you’re looking to profit from the race, you might consider wagering on just a few races as there is often significant payoff if you’re picking the winners.

The next step is to pinpoint the races that you would like to bet on. This year’s derby will run on April 6th, but you can place bets on previous iterations of the race up until the end of March 31st. This provides you with plenty of time to study the form, predict the winners, and place your bets. If you’re doing this online, all the major bookmakers offer good odds on all the major horse races across the world. Just make sure that you’re betting on the right edition of the derby.

Which Race To Bet On?

With all the information at your fingertips, you might be tempted to commit to a few longshots that you pick in the fifth race. However, this is generally a bad idea. The best tactic is to keep your wagers to two or three horses per race. This way, even if one of your picks loses, you won’t be affected too greatly by the loss. Remember, the more you bet, the greater your chances of winning. But remember, the more you bet, the greater your chances of losing.

The Key To Success

The key to betting successfully on the Kentucky Derby is to have an idea of what to look out for. Since this is such a prestigious race, many people will be paying special attention to it. This can lead to some rather significant differences in comparison to other races. As well, having an idea of the probable winner(s) can help you choose the right horse(s) to back. Below we’ve listed some of the key differences that you might encounter.

More Attention

With more than a century of experience behind it, the Kentucky Derby has established itself as one of the premier races of the year. As a result, it often attracts significant attention from the press, as we’ve seen with this year’s entry list. This attracts a certain breed of bettor who likes to get in on the action early, before the frenzy of the season. As a result, you’ll often see early bets on the Kentucky Derby, with many people backing a winner before the field has even been settled. One of the great things about the early bets is that you often get a good idea of what to look out for. If you’re new to betting, then this can help you get a better understanding of what’s going on. The early bets aren’t always easy to win, but they also provide an opportunity to get an idea of the probable winners before the excitement of the season begins.

Fewer Deductions

Many horse races across the world have a penalty for losing. In some cases it’s as punitive as the horse being disqualified. In the case of the Kentucky Derby, the loss of any money is taken away from your total. This makes it much easier to budget for the day. When you’re at the casino, you’re spending money anyway. The winnings from the bet will be added to your total, but the losses are taken away. This is one of the great things about the Kentucky Derby. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way, but for the longest time, all money placed on the Derby was non-cumulative. Nowadays, this is no longer the case. Bookmakers have seen the value of the winnings from the Derby, so they’ve started allowing for the cumulative effect of previous wins and losses.

A Fewer Alternatives

When you bet on the Kentucky Derby, there are only a few alternatives for the person you’re backing. If you pick the correct horse in the first half of the race, you’ll be able to back it in the latter stages with very little in the way of alternatives. For example, in 2018, there were four other horses in the race apart from Always My King and Revolutionary. This is a significant difference from years past when there were often several alternative choices for the person who won the pick. This year, with less than a dozen horses, there is very little deviation from the norm. The Derby is generally considered one of the more predictable races of the year, providing good value for those who know what to look for.