clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Derby 2012: The Best Betting Race Of The Year

Year after year, the Kentucky Derby is the single greatest betting race in America due to it's large fields and somewhat unpredictable results. With a maximum of 20 betting interests in the start gate, the sheer number of exacta, trifecta and superfecta combinations keeps horseplayers up long hours during Derby week in order to prepare the best wagers possible. If you're a multi-race player, the Daily Doubles, Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5s and (if it's hit) the Pick 6 can result in huge scores, including some life-altering payouts.

There are a couple of different posts over at And Down The Stretch They Come that focus specifically on the boxcar payouts churned out at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. The post entitled Kentucky Derby Payouts: 2000 - 2011 provides a summary of the Win, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 payouts over the last decade, along with the median payouts for those wagers. The post Kentucky Derby: The Oaks/Derby Double Since 2000 provides a detailed look at a bet that tends to be very affordable for most players, yet still provides the allure of a big score., the Daily Double.

Some quick thoughts on the typical payouts from the Kentucky Derby over the last decade:

  • A $2 Exacta bet is one of the best deals on Derby day, paying a median of $241.10 since 2000.
  • If you can hit the Superfecta, and that's something that is usually both very difficult and expensive to accomplish, you'll likely be rewarded with some serious cash. Since 2000, the median Superfecta payout is a "not-bad-for-a-day's-work" $71,799.10. If you were lucky enough to hit the Super the year Giacomo shocked the world at 50/1, you pocketed a cool $864,000 for your troubles, plus a date with the taxman.
  • The Pick 6, a $2 minimum wager, is generally not a great play on Derby day given the risk and the cost of the bet. The new $0.50 Pick 5, however, is quite enticing. In it's debut year of 2011, the $0.50 Pick 5 paid a life-altering $213.895.35. That's good work, if you can get it.
  • The Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Daily Double is one of the best bets of the weekend, paying out a median of $237.40 since the bet was introduced in 2001. Five times in ten years the wager has paid more than $300.00. Not to be forgotten, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (the race immediately preceding the Derby) / Kentucky Derby Daily Double also returns a healthy amount on a year-to-year basis.