2023 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

The famed Kentucky Derby takes place annually in early May at Churchill Downs. Twenty of the nation's top three-year-old thoroughbreds compete in the event dubbed as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” and also known as “The Run for the Roses.”

First run in 1875, this event is the signature horse race of the season, captivating the public and elevating the stature of the sport. It is the first jewel of racing's Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later and the Belmont Stakes three weeks beyond that.

Here's a Kentucky Derby primer and guide for racing and betting fans in New Jersey. Learn more about the race, Derby betting odds, changing history, some memorable moments, and key handicapping variables.

Best Kentucky Derby betting app in NJ

Up to $1250 to bet on sports
250% Slots + Table Bonus
150 Free Spins On Gorilla Or Buffalo Ways
50 Daily Boost For Your Massive Wins
Grab your 175% + 50 free spins
$30 bonus
On Sign Up
$30 Bonus On Sign Up
Up to $100 in Deposit Insurance
Use Promo Code: PLAYBONUS30
$30 FREE
On Sign Up
$30 Free On Sign Up
Up To $100 Cashback On First Deposit
Excellent Range of Games
Use Promo Code: 30BUCKS
25 Reward Spins
On Sign Up
25 Reward Spins on Starburst
100% Up To $2,000 On Deposit
Use Promo Code: FREE25FS
$1,000 BONUS
On Deposit
50% Up To $1,000 On Deposit
New and Improved Site / App
New Casino Tournaments Feature!
Use Bonus Code: BONUS-MATCH
Up to $500 Bonus
+ 500 Bonus Spins
100% Up to $500 on Deposit
500 Bonus Spins on Deposit
Slots, Live Casino, Blackjack, Roulette & more
To Claim: Click Play Now
$35 Casino Credits
On Sign Up
$35 Casino Credits on Sign Up
100% Match up to $100 (1x PTR) or
100% Match up to $2,000 (15x PTR)
To Claim: Click Play Now
$1,000 Bonus
100% Match On First Deposit
100% Up to $1,000 On deposit
300+ Casino Games
To Claim: Click Play Now
In Bonus Bets
UP TO $1,000
Free Live Streaming - Watch Live Games
$1,000 Paid Back in Bonus Bets
Use Bonus Code: PLAYBONUS

How to bet on the Derby in NJ

If you are one of the 100,000+ fans who like to watch the race live, head to Churchill Downs in Kentucky to place your bet on Derby Day. But if that is not your first choice, New Jersey offers a slate of horse betting options.

  • New Jersey racetracks: There are three active racetracks in NJ that have betting on horses and are simulcast facilities. The Meadowlands, Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway are simulcast facilities. All three will take bets on the Derby.
  • Off-track betting facilities: New Jersey has a host of off-track betting facilities in and around the state, all of which offer Derby betting.
  • Atlantic City casinos: Borgata is the only casino in NJ with a racebook. Simulcast is also available.
  • Bet online: In New Jersey, betting online is easy and legal. Visit FanDuel Racing to open an account and bet on horses.

2023 Kentucky Derby odds

Post positions and morning line odds are out for the next running of the Kentucky Derby. Zandon is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Epicenter at 7-2 and Messier at 8-1. The three entrants were among the top performers on the Raod to the Kentucky Derby. For the remainder of the field, odds range from a low of 10-1 up to 30-1.

Here’s a look at the morning line odds for this year’s derby.

Post Horse Opening Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Mo Donegal 10-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher
2 Happy Jack 30-1 Rafael Bejarano Doug O’Neill
3 Epicenter 7-2
Joel Rosario Steve Asmussen
4 Summer Is Tomorrow 30-1 Mickael Barzalona Bhupat Seemar
5 Smile Happy 20-1 Corey Lanerie Ken McPeek
6 Messier 8-1 John Velazquez Tim Yakteen
7 Crown Pride 20-1 Christophe Lemaire Koichi Shintani
8 Charge It 20-1 Luis Saez Todd Pletcher
9 Tiz the Bomb 30-1 Brian Hernandez Ken McPeeek
10 Zandon 3-1 Flavien Prat Chad Brown
11 Pioneer of Medina 30-1 Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher
12 Taiba 12-1 Tim Yakteen Mike Smith
13 Simplification 20-1 Antonio Sano Jose Ortiz
14 Barber Road 30-1 John Ortiz Reylu Gutierrez
15 White Abarrio 10-1 Tyler Gaffalione Saffie Joseph Jr.
16 Cyberknife 20-1 Florent Geroux Brad Cox
17 Classic Causeway 30-1 Julien Leparoux Brian Lynch
18 Tawny Port 30-1 Ricardo Santana Jr. Brad Cox
19 Zozos 20-1 Manny Franco Brad Cox
20 Ethereal Road 30-1 Luis Contreras D. Wayne Lukas

Common bet types for Kentucky Derby

  • Win: Selecting the top horse. Odds are reasonable for any winner in this race, given the top competition. The minimum bet is usually $2.
  • Place: A horse to finish second or higher.
  • Show: A horse to finish third or higher.
  • Exactas: Selecting the order of the top two finishers. It's always good to box them. You'd hate to have the right two horses in the wrong order.
  • Trifectas: Picking the top three finishers. Wagered via straight bet, a box of three or more horses, or a partial wheel.
  • The latter option involves taking one's favorite horse in the first position, with several additional selections in the second and third slot. It can also be wagered by placing one's favorite horse in the second or third position with the other selections. The key is the horse must finish in the exact spot where he is played and the others must finish in the top 3.
  • Superfecta: Picking the top four horses. Same combinations for trifectas can be uses. The superfecta is often lucrative, but extremely hard to hit.

Costs for many common bets

A $1 trifecta box with three horses cost $6. A $1 trifecta box with four horses cost $24. The $1 superfecta box with four horses is $24.

Thinking razzle-dazzle? A $1 key, putting your favorite horse in the first position and three others in the second and third slots, is $6. For $12, you can place four horses in the second and third slots. The “key" for this bet is that your favorite horse must win the race.

The same principle applies in putting your horse in the second position.

Derby betting strategy

If you love a particular horse to win, invest strongly on the win line. The worst feeling for many players is to pick the winner of a race and not cash because the horses in second and third place were not the ones you played.

If you believe the favorites will run in the top two spots, consider playing a hefty exacta box.

Another option is to play one's two favorite horses in the first and second slots, place a few others in the third and fourth positions, and have pretty good coverage on a potentially lucrative superfecta for reasonable money.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby

While there have been some impressive longshot winners (Donerail 91-1, 1913; Giacomo, 50-1, 2005; Mine That Bird, 50-1, 2009), the race has been dominated by favorites in recent years.

It happened by design with a rule change that alters the makeup of the race. For bettors, it's good to know the race is now tilted toward favorites.

Before 2012, horses qualified for the Derby-based on earnings of stakes races.

That changed with the Road to the Kentucky Derby system implemented for qualifying races. It completely disregards sprint races and places heavy weight on recent results. Sprinters don't have a place in this Derby. A horse must be effective at a long distance to have a chance at entering the field.

How it works

The points system has changed the way horses are prepared for the Derby, the composition of the field, and how the race itself is run given the absence of pure sprinters that normally ensure a fast early pace.

This means there are now fewer “speed duels," which compromise distance horses by locking them into a sizzling early pace with sprinters.

In earlier years, that had set the stage for the front runners to tire and be overtaken in the stretch. Mine That Bird and Giacomo, for instance, rallied from nearly last to first.

The pace change means the early leaders run the first half-mile in roughly 47 seconds, rather than the 45-ish area they had been pushed into with previous speed duels. Horses now get into position around the first turn and their jockeys then try to relax them so they can fire on all cylinders during the home stretch.

There have been far fewer lead changes in recent Kentucky Derbys. Horses that have been starting in the back of the pack have been staying there.

In recent years, the “chalk” (industry jargon for favorites) has been able to “talk the talk and walk the walk."

Previous Kentucky Derby winners (under the new format)

Year Horse Odds
2014 California Chrome 5-2
2015 American Pharoah 5-2
2016 Nyquist 2-1
2017 Always Dreaming 9-2
2018 Justify 5-2
2019 Country House 65-1
2020 Authentic 8-1
2021 Mandaloun 12-1
2022 Rich Strike 80-1

Has there ever been a disqualification in the Kentucky Derby?

Yes. The first one happened in 2019 when Maximum Security was denied the Derby crown.

Maximum Security triumphed and was taken down 22 minutes later because of alleged interference with other horses on the final turn.

Racing purists cried foul over the disqualification because rugged traffic conditions and jostling on the turn happen in each Derby and come with the logistics of a 20-horse field. More glaring collisions over the years have been ignored.

The controversy called attention to the large 20-horse field and the presence of spectators along the backstretch rail who are not there for most races throughout the year.

Spectators can startle a horse into making a sudden move in the wrong direction.

Country House, a 65-1 choice, was placed first. About $9 million was lost by Maximum Security bettors because of the disqualification.

In 2021, Medina Spirit was the original winner on race day, but a lengthy investigation followed due to suspected illegal drugging of the horse. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission officially named Mandaloun the winner of the race in 2022.

Betting tips for the 2023 Kentucky Derby

Before betting on the Derby in New Jersey, it’s important to note a few things about the track and check in on the details via the Daily Racing Form. For instance, the listing of track conditions is important.

They are:

  1. Fast: Normal, and ideal
  2. Good: A heavy, often muddy and tiring track, which usually occurs a day after heavy rain. Speed horses can do poorly in these conditions. Horses from the back of the pack can make big rallies.
  3. Sloppy: Wet. Horses can't easily get footing, early front-runners do well because they are flinging wet mud into the face of horses behind them.

Information on how horses run on different surfaces will be available in the Daily Racing Form, too. More on that below.

The surface of the track is paramount.

If there is heavy rain, as there was for the 2019 Derby, it will be difficult to assess the merit of each horse. Running in the “slop" will adversely affect many horses. Some can run well on slop. Some hate it.

If you can get an angle on a horse you like, in the slop, be partial to early speed. Maximum Security went from 10-1 one night beforehand to 9-2 by race time last year because the skies opened up just before the race and he was a good speed horse.

That foresight proved to be right. He led most of the way and rallied at the finish.

How to read a Daily Racing Form

Pick up the Daily Racing Form. Local stores or a simulcast facility will have them.

The form shows the running pattern of every horse in each of his races. If you see a listing like 1-1-1-3-3-4, it means the horse broke quickly but could not sustain the pace and faded. You would think this horse unlikely to win if another horse also broke quickly, but would be dangerous if no other horse showed early speed.

If you see something like 4-4-4-3-3-3-2-2-2-1-1 it means the horse can rally and that his running style is “off the pace.” You would want to see an indication that the front speed could tire before playing this horse.

The indicator would be multiple horses showing they like to run near the front early.

The tricky part of this is that there is often more than one horse fitting each type of running style.

Guess that's why they call it gambling.

In the Racing Form, you can find track conditions for fast (fst), good (gd), or slop (usually slp) next to a horse's race. There is also a Wet number (normally 200-350) that can be measured against others, to indicate how a horse is likely to compete on the sloppy track.

What are Beyer figures?

Absolutely relevant.

Beyer figures will be in black, indicating the horse's performance on a given day relative to track conditions. Potential Derby winners will have numbers in the 90s and above 100. You will want to respect any horse with a Beyer figure above 100.

Handicapping the Kentucky Derby

Although significant attention goes to fall and winter races, the Kentucky Derby picture gains full focus with a series of prep races in March and April.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby invariably wins one of these preps.

These events provide matchups between horses that will be helpful in your Kentucky Derby betting. They will also provide a sense of which of these races was run fastest, thus giving a glimpse of who might be the best horse on Sept. 5.

They can also deliver some insight about exacta and trifecta wagering. If two horses finish noses apart in a prep race, they might be a good Kentucky Derby exacta bet or both can be placed in a trifecta wager.

For many of these horses, this will be their final appearance before the Derby.

2023 Kentucky Derby prep races

Below is a list of some of the key prep races to watch for early handicapping. If you can't watch or bet these races live, they are ultimately available on YouTube and can be used for assessing Derby hopefuls.

Race Date Location Distance
Louisiana Derby March 25 Fairgrounds Race Course, Louisiana 1 3/16 miles
Florida Derby April 1 Gulfstream Park, Florida 1 1/8 miles
Arkansas Derby April 1 Oaklawn Park, Arkansas 1 1/8 miles
Wood Memorial April 8 Aqueduct Race Track, New York 1 1/8 miles
Santa Anita Derby April 8 Santa Anita Park, California 1 1/8 miles
Lexington S. April 15 Keeneland, Kentucky 1 1/16 miles

Prep races and Kentucky Derby winners

Here's a look at the final prep race and how they finished for the last 20 Kentucky Derby winners:

Year Horse Last Prep Race Place
2022 Rich Strike Jeff Ruby Steaks Third
2021 Mandaloun Louisiana Derby Seventh
2020 Authentic Haskell Stakes First
2019 Country House* Louisiana Derby Fourth
2018 Justify Santa Anita Derby First
2017 Always Dreaming Florida Derby First
2016 Nyquist Florida Derby First
2015 American Pharoah Arkansas Derby First
2014 California Chrome Santa Anita Derby First
2013 Orb Florida Derby First
2012 I’ll Have Another Santa Anita Derby First
2011 Animal Kingdom Spiral Stakes First
2010 Super Saver Arkansas Derby Second
2009 Mine That Bird Sunland Derby Fourth
2008 Big Brown Florida Derby First
2007 Street Sense Blue Grass Second
2006 Barbaro Florida Derby First
2005 Giacomo Santa Anita Derby Fourth
2004 Smarty Jones Arkansas Derby First
2003 Funny Cide Wood Memorial Second
2002 War Emblem Illinois Derby First
2001 Monarchos Florida Derby First

Kentucky Derby race history

The Kentucky Derby may very well be the most popular sports event in the US. In fact, the Derby has become a multi-million-dollar spectacle.

More than 150,000 fans jam into Churchill Downs to watch it live. The Derby garners more attendance than other major sports events including the World Series, Super Bowl, and NCAA Final Four.

Its storied history began on May 17, 1875, when the Louisville Jockey Club sponsored the first Kentucky Derby. Fifteen three-year-old thoroughbred horses raced 1 1/2 miles. Aristides was the first winner of the Derby.

Over the course of decades, the Derby has seen its fair share of changes. In 1883, the track is named Churchill Downs for the first time. The length of the race was shortened to 1 1/4 miles starting in 1896. And the red rose became the official flower of the Derby in 1904.

By 1931, the Kentucky Derby is permanently scheduled for the first Saturday of May. This allowed the three key races of the Triple Crown — Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes — to have a consistent schedule.

There have been only 13 Triple Crown winners in horse racing history: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018).

Which horse is the GOAT in Kentucky Derby history?

Secretariat did something in the 1973 Kentucky Derby that never occurred before, or since. He ran each quarter of a mile faster than the one before. That made him a logical choice to run even better in the 1973 Belmont Stakes which he did, smashing the runner-up by a record 31 lengths.Kentucky Derby

Secretariat's 1:59.40 winning time remains the Kentucky Derby record. It was also the first Derby run in under two minutes. The second was from the horse who finished second in that race, Sham, who was two lengths back at roughly 1:59.80.

The third was Monarchos, who romped home with a time of 1:59.97 in 2001.

Secretariat is still considered the gold standard of Kentucky Derby racing. Because the distance of 1 1/4 miles never changes, horses can be compared from different eras. One second in horse racing is equivalent to about five lengths.

By that barometer, Secretariat would still be defeating modern-age winners handily. He would romp not only over other Kentucky Derby winners, but Triple Crown winners.

2023 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 5

Want to compare and have some fun checking the myriad list of Derby winners?

Assess five lengths for every one-second difference between the winning time of Secretariat and the others and you can project how Secretariat would have done against previous Derby winners.

He would have beaten Justify, the last Triple Crown winner, by roughly 25 lengths in the Derby!

Kentucky Derby winners, 1875-2022

This is a list of every Kentucky Derby and shows not only rich history, but the unparalleled success of Secretariat. Enjoy it and good luck at the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

Year Horse Jockey Time
2022 Rich Strike Sonny Leon 2:02.61
2021 Mandaloun Florent Geroux 2:01:02
2020 Authentic John Velazquez 2:00.61
2019 Country House Flavien Prat 2:03.98
2018 Justify * Mike E. Smith 2:04.20
2017 Always Dreaming John R. Velazquez 2:03.59
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez 2:01:31
2015 American Pharoah * Victor Espinoza 2:03.02
2014 California Chrome Victor Espinoza 2:03.66
2013 Orb Joel Rosario 2:02.89
2012 I’ll Have Another Mario Gutierrez 2:01.83
2011 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez 2:02.04
2010 Super Saver Calvin Borel 2:04.45
2009 Mine That Bird Calvin Borel 2:02.66
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux 2:01.82
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel 2:02.17
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado 2:01.36
2005 Giacomo Mike Smith 2:02.75
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott 2:04.06
2003 Funny Cide José Santos 2:01.19
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza 2:01.13
2001 Monarchos Jorge Chavez 1:59.97
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux 02:01
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley 2:03.29
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux 2:02 1/5
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens 2:02 2/5
1996 Grindstone Jerry Bailey 2:01
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens 2:01 1/5
1994 Go for Gin Chris McCarron 2:03 3/5
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey 02:02
1992 Lil E. Tee Pat Day 02:03
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley 02:03
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret 02:02
1989 Sunday Silence Patrick Valenzuela 02:05
1988 Winning Colors Gary Stevens 2:02 1/5
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron 02:03
1986 Ferdinand William Shoemaker 2:02 4/5
1985 Spend a Buck Angel Cordero, Jr. 2:00 1/5
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay, Jr. 2:02 2/5
1983 Sunny’s Halo Eddie Delahoussaye 2:02 1/5
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye 2:02 2/5
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez 02:02
1980 Genuine Risk Jacinto Vasquez 02:02
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin 2:02 2/5
1978 Affirmed * Steve Cauthen 2:01 1/5
1977 Seattle Slew * Jean Cruguet 2:02 1/5
1976 Bold Forbes Angel Cordero, Jr. 2:01 3/5
1975 Foolish Pleasure Jacinto Vasquez 02:02
1974 Cannonade Angel Cordero, Jr. 02:04
1973 Secretariat * Ron Turcotte 1:59 2/5
1972 Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte 2:01 4/5
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Avila 2:03 1/5
1970 Dust Commander Mike Manganello 2:03 2/5
1969 Majestic Prince William Hartack 2:01 4/5
1968 Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela 2:02 1/5
1967 Proud Clarion Robert Ussery 2:00 3/5
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield 02:02
1965 Lucky Debonair William Shoemaker 2:01 1/5
1964 Northern Dancer William Hartack 02:00
1963 Chateaugay Braulio Baeza 2:01 4/5
1962 Decidedly William Hartack 2:00 2/5
1961 Carry Back John Sellers 02:04
1960 Venetian Way William Hartack 2:02 2/5
1959 Tomy Lee William Shoemaker 2:02 1/5
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela 02:05
1957 Iron Liege William Hartack 2:01 1/5
1956 Needles David Erb 2:03 2/5
1955 Swaps William Shoemaker 2:01 4/5
1954 Determine Raymond York 02:03
1953 Dark Star Henry Moreno 02:02
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro 2:01 3/5
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary 2:02 3/5
1950 Middleground William Boland 2:01 3/5
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks 2:04 1/5
1948 Citation * Eddie Arcaro 2:05 2/5
1947 Jet Pilot Eric Guerin 2:06 4/5
1946 Assault * Warren Mehrtens 2:06 3/5
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro 02:07
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary 2:04 1/5
1943 Count Fleet * John Longden 02:04
1942 Shut Out Wayne D. Wright 2:04 2/5
1941 Whirlaway * Eddie Arcaro 2:01 2/5
1940 Gallahadion Carroll Bierman 02:05
1939 Johnstown James Stout 2:03 2/5
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro 2:04 4/5
1937 War Admiral * Charle Kurtsinger 2:03 1/5
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford 2:03 3/5
1935 Omaha * William Saunders 02:05
1934 Cavalcade Mack Garner 02:04
1933 Brokers Tip Don Meade 2:06 4/5
1932 Burgoo King Basil James 2:05 1/5
1931 Twenty Grand Charle Kurtsinger 2:01 4/5
1930 Gallant Fox * Earl Sande 2:07 3/5
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee 2:10 4/5
1928 Reigh Count Charle Lang 2:10 2/5
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee 02:06
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson 2:03 4/5
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande 2:07 3/5
1924 Black Gold John D. Mooney 2:05 1/5
1923 Zev Earl Sande 2:05 2/5
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson 2:04 3/5
1921 Behave Yourself Charles Thompson 2:04 1/5
1920 Paul Jones Ted Rice 02:09
1919 Sir Barton * John Loftus 2:09 4/5
1918 Exterminator William Knapp 2:10 4/5
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel 2:04 3/5
1916 George Smith John Loftus 02:04
1915 Regret Joe Notter 2:05 2/5
1914 Old Rosebud John McCabe 2:03 2/5
1913 Donerail Roscoe Goose 2:04 4/5
1912 Worth Carroll Hugh Shilling 2:09 2/5
1911 Meridian George Archibald 02:05
1910 Donau Robert Herbert 2:06 2/5
1909 Wintergreen Vincent Powers 2:08 1/5
1908 Stone Street Arthur Pickens 2:15 1/5
1907 Pink Star Andy Minder 2:12 3/5
1906 Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler 2:08 4/5
1905 Agile Jack Martin 2:10 3/4
1904 Elwood Frank Prior 2:08 1/2
1903 Judge Himes Harold Booker 02:09
1902 Alan-a-Dale Jimmy Winkfield 2:08 3/4
1901 His Eminence Jimmy Winkfield 2:07 3/4
1900 Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland 2:06 1/2
1899 Manuel Fred Taral 02:12
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms 02:09
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner 2:12 1/2
1896 Ben Brush Willie Simms 2:07 3/4
1895 Halma Soup Perkins 2:37 1/2
1894 Chant Frank Goodale 02:41
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze 2:39 1/4
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton 2:41 1/2
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy 2:52 1/4
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy 02:45
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley 2:34 1/2
1888 Macbeth II George Covington 2:38 1/4
1887 Montrose Isaac Lewis 2:39 1/4
1886 Ben Ali Paul Duffy 2:36 1/2
1885 Joe Cotton Erkine Henderson 2:37 1/4
1884 Buchanan Isaac Murphy 2:40 1/4
1883 Leonatus William Donohue 02:43
1882 Apollo Babe Hurd 2:40 1/4
1881 Hindoo James McLaughlin 02:40
1880 Fonso George Garret Lewis 2:37 1/2
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer 02:37
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter 2:37 1/4
1877 Baden-Baden William Walker 02:38
1876 Vagrant Bobby Swim 2:38 1/4
1875 Aristides Oliver Lewis 2:37 3/4

* Denotes Triple Crown winners.

Kentucky Derby FAQ

In recent history, it has been 20. A second auxiliary gate is needed to fit all the horses.

Saturday, May 6 is the scheduled date of the 2023 Kentucky Derby, with a post time of 6:57 p.m. ET.

Qualifying races late in the fall of 2022 and throughout the spring of 2023 award points to winners and runners-up of the “prep" races. The most significant preps occur later in March and April.

Total is $3 million, with the winning connections receiving $1.8 million. The Derby was once the most lucrative race on the circuit.

Its total has become pedestrian compared to the $6 million Breeder’s Cup Classic and recent blockbusters like the $20 million Saudi Cup and $12 million Dubai Cup. But the Kentucky Derby has history, consistency, glamour, and significant betting totals.

1 1/4 miles. It is not the shortest race in the Triple Crown, however. The Preakness Stakes is a hair shorter in distance at 1 3/16 miles.

The 13 who eventually won the Triple Crown. That group includes Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).

Maximum Security likely ranks as famous (or infamous) due to his disqualification in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

The introduction of the superfecta (selecting the top four finishers in a horse race) ushered in an era of staggering payouts when longshots hit the top spots.

The best ever was 2005, when Giacomo prevailed at 50-1. Closing argument finished second, at 71-1. Afleet Alex was third at 9-2 and Don't Get Mad completed the superfecta at 29-1.

How could anyone get mad at this ticket? It paid an unbelievable $864,000 for the $2 superfecta, still the largest Derby payout ever.

Even the trifecta, the top three finishers, paid more than $133,000. The exacta returned $9,814.

How did it happen? Front-end speed horses tired down the stretch. Two horses mired near the back of the pack overtook them, finishing first and second. They were the two longest shots on the board. One lukewarm favorite was third and another longshot rallied to complete the eye-popping superfecta.

The biggest payout from one horse came in 1913. Donerail prevailed at 91-1 and paid $184.90. But there was no superfecta then. Imagine hitting a superfecta with him on top.