Saddle up with the Sport of Kings as the Kentucky Derby is back on Saturday, May 2. Last year, 164,906 were on hand at Churchill Downs to see favorite California Chrome take home a purse of $1.4 million. They call this race The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports but with a jaw-dropping prize like that, they might want to change the name to “The Fastest Way to Become a Millionaire”.
The Kentucky Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses, is the Super Bowl of horse racing. If there’s one race that every jockey, trainer and owner dreams of winning, it’s the big annual race at Churchill Downs. And we’re here to get you ready for the 2015 Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby Tradition Traces Back to 1875
The Kentucky Derby has been one of America’s greatest traditions dating all the way back to 1875. And tradition is definitely the theme of the event, starting with the annual date that it’s hosted. The Run for the Roses is always held on the first Saturday in May. That’s just the start as there’s a whole host of traditions that elevate the atmosphere: there’s the ladies big, ostentatious hats; classy partying on the infield; the “Millionaire’s Row” box seats; the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home”; the drinking of the Mint Julep; and of course, the blanket of roses. Each year, the winner of the Kentucky Derby is decorated with a blanket of 564 red roses, hence the name the “Run for the Roses”.
Kentucky Derby: Betting the First Jewel in the Triple Crown
There’s some important significance to this race as it is the first of three in the American Triple Crown of racing. The other two jewels in this Triple Crown are The Preakness and The Belmont. Only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown (winning all three races in the same year) and each year, the pressure falls on the Kentucky Derby winner to get the job done. The challenge is that all three venues are quite different as Pimlico Race Course, which hosts The Preakness, is the shortest of the three while Belmont Park, which hosts the Belmont Stakes, is the longest. The last to do so was Affirmed all the way back in 1978, meaning that the drought has lasted 36 years.
We’ll tell you more about the history of the race and all of the great horses that have made their mark as we prepare for this year’s edition. We’ll also delve into further detail about Churchill Downs itself as that racetrack has some special characteristics. It’s important to understand what the track is all about before betting on Kentucky Derby as certain types of horses will thrive there while others might struggle. The track opened up in 1875 and we’ve got plenty of empirical evidence to work with, so that we can more accurately predict a future winner.
So sit back, relax and soak it all in. Betting on the Kentucky Derby is one of the greatest American pastimes and it has been for decades. We’ll be your guides through the odds, contenders, past results and even show you the best places to bet as we get set for this year’s running of the Kentucky Derby.
The Top Resource for Betting the Derby
If you’re doing some research and are on the internet learning about how to bet the Kentucky Derby, the first thing you need to know is how to find a reliable sportsbook. The Kentucky Derby presents a good money-making opportunity but you’ll need to start by finding a shop that has odds on the big race and then open up an account. The good news is we have many years of experience evaluating the online sportsbooks and can recommend the best destinations for you. Setting up an account is a pretty quick process and the sportsbooks that we’ve circled will even give you a bonus just for opening an account and depositing. That’s a great bonus as it allows you to play with a little bit of the house’s money when you eventually bet on Kentucky Derby.
While that may excite you to dive right in, make sure you take advantage of all of the resources on this site before you get going. We’ve got guides on Kentucky Derby odds and the different bet types, which is quite important. Sure, you can bet the race winner but you’ll want to know the difference between Win, Place and Show, as well as learn about some of the exotic bets like the trifecta, superfecta and exacta.
2015 Kentucky Derby Contenders
Once you’ve got a firm grasp on the basics, then all there’s left to do is have a look at the 2015 Kentucky Derby contenders. As we prepare for the Run for the Roses, there is what’s called a Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a points system that determines which horses will qualify for the big race. It has 34 stakes races, including 16 races over a 10-week schedule that is known as the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. If you’re betting on the Kentucky Derby, you’ll want to keep an eye on how the horses perform in these races (also known as the Kentucky Derby prep trail) as it will give you a good indication as to who has what it takes to win at Churchill Downs.
The winner of the Kentucky Derby will of course face the pressure of the Triple Crown as The Preakness comes two weeks later and then the Belmont Stakes is three weeks after that. We’ve seen some close calls lately with Triple Crown candidates, including California Chrome (2014), I’ll Have Another (2012), Big Brown (2008), and Smarty Jones (2004).
So, are you feeling excited? The sweet smell of spring is right around the corner and so is the 2015 Kentucky Derby. We’ve got a full resource here for you to tap into, so get yourself acclimated to the betting odds, the thoroughbreds, the trainers, the tracks and the jockeys. Get ready to place some bets and pick some winners as we’ll have you so prepared that you’ll be ready to saddle up yourself!