Kentucky Derby

Every May, Louisville, Kentucky, waits for one of the most significant sports events in the state: The Kentucky Derby. The horse race that pits qualified three-year-old horses against each other on an 11⁄4 mile (two km) flat course has been magical in each edition for close to two centuries. In horseracing lingo, the two-km distance is called 10 furlongs.

Usually held on the first Saturday of the month, the race is the climax of the Kentucky Derby Fest, a two-week-long event. It is run on the Churchill Downs, a left-handed flat course. The Derby has earned itself the rank of a Grade 1 Race owing to its displays over the years. It is the first race of the Triple Crown (America) circuit which also includes The Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. Of the three races, only the Kentucky Derby has happened every year since its inauguration, even during World Wars and the Great Depression.

About horse racingHistory of the Kentucky DerbyWhy is the Kentucky Derby popular?How to bet on the Kentucky DerbyKentucky Derby betting strategy
About horse racing

About horse racing

Owing to its huge following, the most-attended stakes race has earned several nicknames too. Some refer to it as 'The Run for the Roses,' an allusion to the drape of flowers that the winner receives. Others refer to it as 'The Fastest/Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport.' All this fondness goes to show why every sports lover should attend or follow the usually televised race from across the globe.

Horseracing is one of the oldest competitive sports, dating back to as far as 648 BC. For many centuries since then, it was a reserve of the wealthy, hence its nickname 'The Sport of Kings.'
It involves a jockey (rider) and a trained horse competing with others to clear a certain distance and jump over set obstacles.

Horse races take many different forms e.g flat racing, endurance racing, jump racing, etc. The rules also vary for different races. These include handicap inclusion, categories by age, and so on. The sport has grown tremendously and has numerous events and festivals that attract millions of physical and television viewers worldwide. The sport has also been an attraction for bettors since its inception to date.

About horse racing
History of the Kentucky Derby

History of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has been running annually since 1875. It was the idea of Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who brought together a group of friends to build a racecourse. The course was named Churchill Downs, after the donor of the land on which it was built.

Since then, the race has been run every year here, with little if any modifications to its format and racetrack. It was first broadcast on radio in 1925 and made a maiden TV appearance in 1949. These were crucial moments for the race that had sometimes run into financial difficulties. They marked a start in the rise of the purse that competitors fought for. This growth has continued to date.

Famous horse Secretariat holds the record for the fastest time run in the Derby. The three-year-old set the record in 1973 by clearing the course in 1:59.4 minutes. Secretariat went on to become one of the most successful racers in the division.

Recent history

Queen Elizabeth II was among racegoers at the 2007 event. This highlighted just how much of a high-profile event the Derby is and gave it some very-much welcome publicity. In 2017, the Churchill Downs recorded a crowd of 158,070 people as Always Dream took first place in the race. During the event, the betting section posted $209.2 million worth of bets. This showed how much attention people betting on sport tournaments give the event compared to other sport leagues.

In 2020, when most competitions were canceled altogether, the only effect that the Kentucky suffered was a shift of dates from May to September.

History of the Kentucky Derby
How to bet on the Kentucky Derby

How to bet on the Kentucky Derby

Horserace betting is one of the oldest forms of betting and among the easiest. Whether one is placing bets online or physically, bets are straightforward. Online betting is similar to betting on the best eSports championships. Some popular bets to place include:

  • Win bet: Predicting the horse that will win the race
  • Place bet: The place where a specific horse will finish
  • Show bet: Predicting that a specific horse will finish in any of the first three places

These are direct and straightforward bets, even for a beginner. Of the three, the win bet is the hardest to predict and has the highest payout. The reverse is the show bet.

  • Exacta Bet: Predict positions one and two in the correct order
  • Quinella Bet: Predict the first two in any order

Other bets include Trifecta, Super High Five, Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5, among others. Different betting sites offer different markets and slightly varying odds.

How to bet on the Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby betting strategy

Kentucky Derby betting strategy

Understanding what each bet means is the first step. Players should also understand the risk/probability of every bet and not just look at possible winnings. The higher the payout, the lower the likelihood of winning.

Following the news about the Derby prior to the event is also vital. This gives information on happenings such as injuries, changing odds, weather effects on different horses, etc. Above all, players should always follow the traditional betting guides; do not blow money on bets, make sober decisions, and know when to stop. And always enjoy the magical Kentucky Derby!

Kentucky Derby betting strategy

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