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How to Bet the 2021 Kentucky Derby – Where to Make a Bet, What Time Does the Race Start, and How You Can Watch

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Horse Racing News

Apr 29, 2021 · 11:48 AM PDT

Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby entrant Essential Quality works out at Churchill Downs Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • The Kentucky Derby runs on Saturday, May 1st with a 6:57 pm ET post time
  • It’s the first leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown
  • Everything you need to know to bet on the race is right here

It’s the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby going down at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1, 2021. When is the race? Who are the favorites? Where and how can you bet the big race? We answer this and everything else you may want to know about the Run for the Roses.

2021 Kentucky Derby Odds

Horse (Post Position) Odds at TVG
Essential Quality (14) +200
Rock Your World +500
Known Agenda (1) +600
Hot Rod Charlie (9) +800
Highly Motivated (17) +1000
Mandaloun (7) +1500
Medina Spirit (8) +1500
King Fury (16) +2000
O Besos (6) +2000
Midnight Bourbon (10) +2000
Dynamic One (11) +2000
Super Stock (18) +3000
Soup And Sandwich (19) +3000
Bourbonic (20) +3000
Like The King (2) +5000
Keepmeinmind (4) +5000
Brooklyn Strong (3) +5000
Sainthood (5) +5000
Helium (12) +5000
Hidden Stash (13) +5000

Odds as of April 29th

When Is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby will be contested on Saturday, May 1st. Post time for the race is 6:57pm ET.

Where Is the Kentucky Derby Run?

Under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville is where the Kentucky Derby is contested.


How Can I Watch the Kentucky Derby?

NBC is carrying the broadcast of the race. The telecast will begin at 2:30 pm ET. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

How Long is the Kentucky Derby?

The race’s current length of 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs) was established in 1896. Secretariat set the Derby record in 1973, winning in a time of 1:59.4.

The weather is forecast to be sunny and 70 degrees at race time, which should make for a fast track.

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What Kind of Bets Can I Make on the Kentucky Derby?

The most common horse racing wagers are win, place and show. You’re picking a horse to finish the race in first, second (place) or third (show).

A win bet is self-explanatory. The horse you play must win the race in order to cash.

A place bet cashes if your horse finishes first or second, while a show bet will be a winner as long as your horse hits the wire among the top three.

You can also bet across the board (combining win, place and show wagers on the same horse). Exactas (correctly combining the top two finishers in a race), trifectas (correctly combining the top three) finishers in a race and superfectas (correctly combining the top four finishers in a race).

You needn’t be at the race to wager on it. TVG and others are the best Derby racebooks to try.

Which Jockeys and Trainers Have Won the Most Kentucky Derbys?

Bob Baffert will send out Medina Spirit (15-1), looking to break his tie with Ben Jones for most Derby wins by a trainer (six).

Jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack each won a record five Derbys. This year’s fields include several Derby jokcey veterans with the likes of Mike Smith (Midnight Bourbon) recording 26 Derby mounts, John Velazquez (Medina Spirit) 22 and Javier Castellano (Highly Motivated) 14.

How Much Does a $2 Win, Place, Show Bet Pay?

That all depends upon the odds. A $2 win bet on a horse at odds of 2-1 would return $6 – $4 for the win and your $2 stake.

Calculating place and show wagers will depend upon which other horses factor into those pools. The payout pool on a show bet factors in two horses and the place pool takes into account three horses.

If those horses are all at lower odds, the price won’t be very high. However, if there are one or two longshots as part of the pool, that price will increase exponentially.

What Is a Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta?

Exotic bets such as exactas, trifectas and superfectas are the parlay bets of horse racing. You can win a lot with minimal risk, but the odds are long that your bet will come in.

Wheeling or boxing a group of horses – combining them all to finish in any order among the top three – will cost more money, but does increase the chances of cashing a winning ticket.

Which Horses are Favored to Win the Kentucky Derby?

Essential Quality is the 2-1 favorite to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Should I Bet Essential Quality to Win the Kentucky Derby?

Tiz The Law, last year’s 3-5 chalk, was a beaten second. Country House won in 2019 at odds of 30-1.

However, between 2013-18, favorites won six straight Derbys.

Which Horse Will Win the Kentucky Derby?

The Todd Pletcher stable sends out two intriguing contenders for the race – Dynamic One at (20-1) and Bourbonic (30-1). They finished 1-2 in the Wood Memorial, Bourbonic winning at odds of 72-1.

Florida Derby winner Known Agenda (6-1) is another to watch. He drew the rail and no horse has won from the rail since Ferdinand in 1986.

Where Can I Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

TVG is the best-known online racebook for Derby betting made easy. Be sure to check them out for all your Kentucky Derby betting needs. TVG is currently offering odds for all the races leading up to Saturday, as well as odds for the Derby and winning jockey and trainer.

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