Smart Bets To Place In The Kentucky Derby

With less than a month away from the 148th Kentucky Derby, it is time to come up with a betting strategy that will help you lock in some profits. Since the beginning of horse racing, the system hasn’t changed much. It all comes down to choosing the best performing horse and the type of bet you’ll make that can make you some money.

When it comes to placing smart bets on the Kentucky Derby, the most important thing you should consider doing is research. Doing your homework and learning more about the participants and their capabilities on the racetrack will direct you to pick the right bets and improve your winning chances.

It seems like the popularity of the Kentucky Derby grows every year, especially if we consider the total amount wagered. In 2021, the betting handle was $153.66 million compared to 2020 with only $79.4 million.

Betting is fun, but how to place the right bets for this year’s Kentucky Derby? You need to know the right Kentucky Derby handicapping tips before placing a bet.

Well, there are two things you should worry about. The first and most important thing is knowing the participants of the race, and secondly the type of bets.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings

As of today, the Kentucky Derby standings can indicate which horses we will see on Derby day due to the points they acquired so far.

Epicenter – 164 Points

Trainer: Steven M Asmussen

Crown Pride (JPN) – 100 Points

Trainer: Koichi Shintani

Classic Causeway – 66 Points

Trainer: Brian A. Lynch

Slow Down Andy – 60 Points

Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill

Un Ojo – 54 Points

Trainer: Anthony W. Dutrow

These are some of the horses that managed to climb to the top of the table by winning races included in the Road to Kentucky.

Since we are about a month away from the main event, we can expect some changes in the table as the situation starts to heat up.

Following the path of these horses until the main event will help you make smart bets on Derby Day.

Types of Bets

Once you learn more about the participants and the horse’s racing history, it is time to put that data to work and choose which type of bet you should place on the Kentucky Derby.

Standard Wagers

Standard wagers include win/place/show and they are the most popular types of bets on every horse racing event including the Kentucky Derby. These are the most straightforward bets you can make, and they usually require a minimum bet amount of $2.

  • Win Bet

The Win bet is the simplest wager in horse racing, and it is basically choosing which horse will win the race.

  • Place Bet

If you are not sure about your top pick finishing first in the Kentucky Derby, the place bet will allow you to cash a ticket if your pick finishes in the top two.

  • Show Bet

This is the least risky bet from the classic category you can make on the Kentucky Derby, which is why it has the lowest payout. The show bet allows you to cash a ticket if your pick finishes in the top three spots.

Exotic Wagers

If you are someone who wants to spice things up and make betting interesting on Derby day, exotic wagers can help you achieve that. Exotic bets have less probability, which is why the payouts are much higher.

  • Exacta Bet

The exacta bet is one of the oldest wagers in horse racing, and it requires you to select the top two horses that will finish the race in the correct order.

  • Quinella Bet

If the exacta bet is too much for you, you can always go for a simpler Quinella bet, where you need to pick the top two finishers in either order.

  • Trifecta Bet

This type of bet adds an additional layer of complexity since you are required to pick the top three finishers in the correct order. The minimum bet amount is usually 50 cents, and if you get it right, you should win a considerable amount of money.

  • Superfecta

If you are feeling confident or you are hoping for significant profits, the superfecta bet allows you to pick the top four finishers in the exact order. The odds for superfecta bets are usually very high. For example, a $1 superfecta bet brought in a payoff of $6.658.3 on the Kentucky Derby in 2015.

  • Super Hi-Five

Last but not least, we have the Super Hi-Five where you should pick the top five finishers in exact order.


The classic bet types are the safest strategy for the Kentucky Derby, but some exotic bets are perfect for spicing things up.

Either way, if your goal is to secure a profit, you should do your research just to indicate which horse has the biggest potential for winning the race. After that, choosing some of the classic bet types is a great way to turn them into profit.

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