How to Bet on the 2022 Kentucky Derby Online

Hero image
Kentucky Derby Horse Race

The Kentucky Derby, the most popular betting race in the United States, is just around the corner. The Super Bowl of horse racing takes place annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Dubbed “The most exciting two minutes in sports”, the Derby attracts tons of betting as America’s most wagered-on horse race.

The Kentucky Derby draws considerable media attention and interest from casual sports fans. In recent years, the Sport of Kings has generated unprecedented interest among the casual sports bettors as live attendance, betting records, and Derby telecast viewership has set new records.

This page will cover the latest Kentucky Derby betting odds. We’ll also enlighten you about the history of the Kentucky Derby, including the important events that took place in Kentucky Derby 2021.

We’ll also look at some of the leading contenders for the 2022 race, allowing you to know where to bet on the Kentucky Derby online legally.

The 2022 Kentucky Derby Race Facts

Here are some of the most important points to know before you get ready for the upcoming Derby race:

  • 2022 Race Date: May 7
  • Post time: 6:57 p.m. ET
  • 2022 location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
  • Race Distance: 1 ¼ mile
  • Age limit: 3-year-old
  • 2022 purse: $3 million
  • Where to watch: NBC 

Where Can You Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

You can wager on the Kentucky Derby legally at racetracks, off-Track Betting (OTB) Centers, or online racebooks through advanced deposit wagering platforms like TVG, TwinSpires, and NYRA. Bettors in 33 states can legally bet on the Derby from their mobile platforms. Hundreds of casinos in Nevada also allow you to wager on horse racing legally.

Best Online Sites to Bet on Kentucky Derby 2022

Over $150 million is won by fans wagering on the Kentucky Derby each year. You can also bet on the Run for the Roses online legally in most of the states in the US.

TwinSpires

TwinSpires is our first recommendation as it is the official partner of the Kentucky Derby. The official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated is a reliable site that’s popular with horse racing fans across the country. In addition to the Derby and other leading national events, twin spires design is also recommended as it allows you to bet on races from across the world.

Signing up is easy, and TwinSpires provides its new customers with a risk-free betting opportunity for their first WIN bet. The Churchill Downs-owned company offers a $25 risk-free bet, promising to refund your first win bet up to $50 if your horse doesn’t finish first.

Churchill Downs Incorporated asks bettors to wager responsibly, suggesting its trademarks are registered trademarks of CDI, cautioning that it does not sponsor or endorse any other horse racing site.

TwinSpires Promo Code

The new customers can register with Twinspires offer code ‘FREE50’ and get 14 days to deposit and place a first WIN bet, risk-free, up to $50. Members can place free bets at 300+ horse tracks across the globe, including the upcoming race.

TVG

Television Games Network (TVG) is a digital horse and greyhound racing company. Owned by FanDuel Group, TVG is home to live horse racing action, besides offering mobile horse betting. If TwinSpires is our top recommendation for its official attachment with the Kentucky Derby, TVG is our leading suggestion to those looking for more enticing promos.

TVG Promo Code

You can claim your $300 Risk-Free Bet at TVG by using Promo Code:

NYRA Bets

The New York Racing Association expanded its state-of-the-art wagering interface – NYRA Bets – across the country in 2016. NYRA Bets offers mobile horse betting to its nationwide customers, featuring a $25 wagering credit for new sign-ups.

NYRA Bets Promo Code

New customers can claim a $25 wagering credit by using code FREE25. The NYRA Bets customers can place and win bets on equestrian performance sports with an excellent sign-up bonus, which matches 100% of your initial deposit up to $200. You can get this promo with the NYRA bonus code “MATCH200”. The app will award you a match bonus equaling your first deposit in full up to $200. You’ll essentially get extra money regardless of the result of your wager.

Pro Tip:

KentuckyDerby.com recommends customers sign up soon and fund their accounts prior to the Kentucky Derby Day.

The official site recommends EZ Banks to fund your account as it allows you to fund and withdraw directly to and from your account.

Top Contenders for the 2022 Kentucky Derby

The leaderboard for qualifiers on the road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby continues to change. Currently, there are eight horses with 100 or above points from prep races, and at least 20 have earned 40 or more points. Here, we have given the details of the top 30 contenders.

Kentucky Derby 148 Leaderboard Horse Rank Points

  1. Epicenter 164
  2. Zandon 114
  3. White Abarrio 112
  4. Mo Donegal 112
  5. Tiz the Bomb 110
  6. Cyberknife 100
  7. Crown Pride (JPN) 100
  8. Taiba 100
  9. Simplification 74
  10. Smile Happy 70
  11. Slow Down Andy 60
  12. Barber Road 58
  13. Un Ojo 54
  14. Early Voting 50
  15. Morello 50
  16. Messier 40
  17. Zozos 40
  18. Summer is Tomorrow 40
  19. Charge It 40
  20. Tawny Port 40
  21. Happy Jack 30
  22. Pioneer of Medina 25
  23. Grantham 21
  24. Rich Strike 21
  25. Rattle N Roll 20
  26. Ethereal Road 20
  27. Bye Bye Bobby 20
  28. Skippylongstocking 20
  29. In Due Time 20
  30. Golden Glider 15

Epicenter leads the chart thanks to a win at the Louisiana Derby (Fair Grounds) at odds of 1-1. Zandon rose to second following a victory at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. Except for any extraordinary happenings, the top 18 on the leaderboard have qualified to run in this year’s Derby. As the race draws close, we’ll have the latest updates on the top Derby contenders.

Kentucky Derby 2022 Odds

For those fans looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby but are new to horse betting, it’s often helpful to know which horses are better and worth betting on. Past performances matter. This is where Kentucky Derby odds come in.

The 2022 Derby will kick off Saturday, May 7, and the official field will not be drawn until the week of the race. However, the track will publish a morning line once the race is drawn. Meanwhile, there will be odds forecasts in the form of future wagers and future pools.

Before the action day, there would be 5 Kentucky Derby Future Wage Pools, allowing horse race enthusiasts to bet on potential contenders before the field is officially announced. When betting closed, 24 selections drew at least some interest, with 10 choices closing at odds of 20-1 or better. The upcoming derby’s Odds as of Pool 5 on April 9 were as follows:

Vegas Odds Kentucky Derby 2022

  • Epicenter 9-2
  • Messier 6-1
  • Smile Happy 9-1
  • Forbidden Kingdom 9-1
  • White Abarrio 12-1
  • Morello 15-1
  • Charge It 16-1
  • Cyberknife 17-1
  • Zandon 18-1
  • Tiz the Bomb 22-1
  • Mo Donegal 24-1
  • Crown Pride (JPN) 24-1
  • Barber Road 28-1
  • Early Voting 29-1
  • Simplification 32-1
  • Emmanuel 35-1
  • Ethereal Road 40-1
  • Zozoz 40-1
  • Slow Down Andy 50-1
  • Summer is Tomorrow 66-1
  • In Due Time 95-1
  • Pioneer of Medina 99-1
  • Tawny Port 99-1
  • All Other Three Years Olds 18-1

Kentucky Derby 2021 Highlights

Kentucky Derby 2021 saw $153.66 million in the betting handle, nearly double from $79.4 million witnessed in 2020. But it was the betting on the 2019 Derby that set a record with a $165.6 million handle on the American Classic.

The biggest highlight of the Kentucky Derby 2021 was Medina Spirit, the winning horse who finished first before being disqualified. Medina Spirit crossed the line first with a time of 2:01.36 but failed a post-race drug test. In February, Mandaloun, who initially finished second, was declared the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby title.  

NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby since 2001. The New York-based broadcasting company’s Kentucky Derby coverage has averaged over 14 million viewers each year since 2008. But the number increased in 2021 as NBC averaged nearly 15 million viewers last year. It was a great increase from the 2020 broadcast, which had averaged 9.8 million. The Kentucky Derby 2020 took place in September due to pandemic-led reasons. NBC Sports app also covers the event besides offering betting news on the latest events.

Kentucky Derby History

The Kentucky Derby will be run for the 148th time this May in 2022. It is the first race (or leg) of the Triple Crown – a series of horse races for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The other two races are Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 at the Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, and the Run for the Roses has become the annual event since. Aristides was the inaugural Kentucky Derby winner, crossing the line at 2:27.75 over 1 ½ mile. In 1896, the length changed to 1 ¼ mile and remains unchanged to this day.

The race usually takes place on the first Saturday in May each year. Derby winners naturally become the favorites for the next two legs – the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. The Triple Crown Trophy was commissioned in 1950, but it was also awarded to all previous winners. To date, it has happened just 13 times. Sir Barton was the first official winner. Most recently, the feat was achieved by Justify in 2018. Secretariat holds the all-time speed record at Kentucky Derby with a blistering time of 1:59.4 in 1973. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are tied for the most wins as a jockey, each crossing the line first on five occasions. Trainer Bob Baffert has the most Derby wins – seven times – for a trainer.

The Derby is also known for its attendance, with more than 150,000 fans usually attending the event at the hallowed Louisville course. Wagering on the Derby Day card touches somewhere around $200 million. The Kentucky Derby betting craze has increased to an all-time high. Betting begins months before the event with the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), offered four times throughout the winter and spring at multiple tracks, off-track facilities, and mobile platforms like TwinSpires.com. 

Betting on the Kentucky Derby Information Guide

Types of Bets

Horse racing fans have as many as seven types of wagers to bet on the Kentucky Derby. They can either stick to pick winners, bet on which horses they think will hit the board, or you can have some innovative bet types with a chance of massive returns. Here, we’re giving all the major options for your Derby betting: 

  • Win: Choose the horse you think will win the race. You will win if your horse finishes first.
  • Place: Wager on a horse to finish in first or second. You will win the bet if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Show: A show bet is placed on a horse to finish in at least third place.
  • Exacta: A bet on the top two finishers in the race.
  • Trifecta: Select the top three finishers.
  • Superfecta: Wager on the top four finishers.
  • Super high five: Bet on picking the top five horses.

The first three types of bets – win, place, and show – are standard wagers. These bets can be placed individually, but you can also combine your selections. The remaining four bet types are exotics involving multiple horses. Though it is tricky to win those exotic bets consistently, they offer huge payouts. You can win bets by choosing the correct order for your horses to finish in. However, you can also make boxed selections to finish in any order or wheeled to cover a number of bases.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Season

The Kentucky Derby is divided into two phases – the Kentucky Derby Prep Season and the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. It is a point system created in 2012, and Churchill Down uses the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep season and Kentucky Derby Championship Series to determine the qualified runners in the Derby. There are a total of 48 races spread across the United States, Europe, Japan, and the UAE. It started when these horses were still two years old.

How do horses qualify for Points?

The prep races leading to the Derby are typically run between September and February, and points are awarded to the top 4 finishers in each race on a 10-4-2-1 scale. However, since 2016, Breeders Cup Juvenile has been awarded points differently, on a 20-8-4-2 scale.

The championship season comprises two legs and a “wild card” round. The first leg involves minor prep races – normally Grade II – with a 50-20-10-5 scale. Super Six Prep races make up the second leg, each worth 100 points to the winner. The second leg races include the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita Park, the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland Race Course, the Louisiana Derby (G2), at Fair Ground Race Course, and the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.

There are two wild card races on a 20-8-4-2 points basis.

Point Variation

Races in the series vary in importance and grade, and the following scales show the points depending on the race level.

  • 10-4-2-1
  • 20-8-4-2
  • 30-12-6-3
  • 40-16-8-4
  • 50-20-10-5
  • 100-40-20-10

Evidently, those awarded the largest number of points draw the most attention, and fans may anticipate results as an indicator of how things might unfold at the Kentucky Derby. 

Eight Championship Races in the 2022 Kentucky Derby

In 2022, eight Championship Races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby will award 100 points to the winner, 40 points to second place, 20 points to third, and 10 to the fourth. In addition, the top two finishers earn a spot in the starting gate for the greatest race if they have not already earned sufficient points.

  • March 26: Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds
  • March 26: UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse
  • April 2: Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park
  • April 2: Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
  • April 2: Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park
  • April 9: Blue Grass at Keeneland
  • April 9: Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack
  • April 9: Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park 

Kentucky Derby Purse

The $3 million Kentucky Derby purse that was set in 2019 allows the winner to take home $1,860,000. The purse has swelled ever since 1875, the first-ever race when Oliver Lewis received only $2,860 – equivalent to $72,489 in today’s currency.

What Goes into the lines for the Kentucky Derby?

As soon as the field is set for the Derby, there will be a draw to determine post position for all top contenders in the greatest race. The morning line odds for all participants will come out a few days in advance. The oddsmakers take into account key factors when setting the lines, such as the following:

  • Performance in qualifying races
  • Pedigree, trainer, jockey, stable, and other similar factors.
  • Public interest and expected betting trends.

Any odds that come out for the Derby in advance of the draw are speculative, but they serve as the guide for new bettors to place informed bets. Once the lines are out, it’s time for horse racing fans to make their guesses. You should always be ready to expect variations in the numbers right till the end.

The Highlight of the 2021 Kentucky Derby

And here are the odds for the last race last year’s odds to win. In the 2021 Kentucky Derby, the four top contenders were:

  • Hot Rod Charlie, 8-1
  • Essential Quality, 2-1
  • Known Agenda, 6-1
  • Rock Your World, 5-1

But at post time, Essential Quality was the top favorite. Hot Rod Charlie, the 2021 Louisiana Derby, could not make the Kentucky distance.

 Horse Morning Line Odds Trainer

Known Agenda 6-1 Todd Pletcher

Like the King 50-1 Wesley Ward

Brooklyn Strong 50-1 Daniel Velazquez

Keepmeinmind 50-1 Robertino Diodoro

Sainthood 50-1 Todd Pletcher

O Besos 20-1 Greg Foley

Mandaloun 15-1 Brad Cox

Medina Spirit 15-1 Bob Baffert

Hot Rod Charlie 8-1 Doug O’Neill

Midnight Bourbon 20-1 Steve Asmussen              

Dynamic One 20-1 Todd Pletcher

Helium 50-1 Mark Casse

Hidden Stash 50-1 Vicki Oliver

Essential Quality 2-1 Brad Cox

Rock Your World 5-1 John Sadler

King Fury SCR Kenny McPeek

Highly Motivated 10-1 Chad Brown

Super Stock 30-1 Steve Asmussen

Soup and Sandwich 30-1 Mark Casse

Bourbonic 30-1 Todd Pletcher

Five Biggest Kentucky Derby Long Shot Winners Ever

Nothing is predictable when it comes to the Run for the Roses, and we have many historic examples. The most recent is the 2019 winner, Country House. We’ll tell you about the 5 most significant upsets in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

Country House (2019) 65-1 Odds

One of the biggest upsets of all times in Kentucky Derby history was when Country House became the winner of the 145th running of the race. Country House was declared the winner after Maximum Security, who crossed the line first, was disqualified. At 65-1 odds, Country House became the second-most shot at winning the Kentucky Derby, only behind Donerail (91-1), who achieved the feat in 1913.

Go For Gin (1994) 9-1 Odds

In 1994, Go For Gin won a shocking race. Though at 9-1 odds, he was not one of the biggest longshots to win the competition, what made his victory more interesting as the 2-1 favorite Holy Bull looked invincible, having won eight of nine races entering the Run for the Roses. Yet, Go For Gin won by two lengths, with the heart favorite Holly Bull finishing twelfth.

Giacomo (2005) 50-1 Odds

Giacomo was a 50-1 Kentucky Derby winner in 2005 in an exciting finish in the final strides by a half-length over another long shot Closing Argument (72-1). Giacomo was actually denied a Triple Crown bid with his late charge.

Mine That Bird (2009) 50-1 Odds

In one of the biggest upsets in the Grade 1 stakes race, Mine That Bird, at 50-1 odds, rushed past the 19 through three-quarter miles. In an unbelievable race, the Canadian colt won by nearly seven lengths over Pioneer of the Nile.

Thunder Gulch (1995) 24-1 Odds

Thunder Gulch entered the 1995 Kentucky Derby after winning the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby at the celebrated Gulfstream Park. Thunder Gulch was bumped twice during the competition and ran five wide most of the trip. But jockey Gary Stevens finally overtook Judge TC in deep stretch to win the race by one length. At 24-1 odds, it is shocking to see a Florida Derby winner could go off at those long odds, finishing 2nd in the Preakness before winning the Belmont and Travers Stakes.

Kentucky Derby 2022 FAQ

When and Where is the 2022 Kentucky Derby held?

The first leg of the three races of the Triple Crown is almost always held annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (The race was run in September 2020 due to the COVID-19.) The 2022 Kentucky Oaks will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022.

How many horses run in the race?

The current rules set the number of horses at 20.

How much does the Kentucky Derby winner receive?

Since 2019, Churchill Downs has increased the purse for the Kentucky Derby to $3 million, with the winner in the race grabbing the first prize of $1,860,000.

When is post time?

The post time for the 2022 Kentucky Derby is scheduled to begin at 6:57 p.m. ET. The doors open for the 12th of 14 races at Churchill Downs that day at 8 a.m. ET, allowing horse racing fans and bettors to enjoy the day-long experience.

How much are Kentucky Derby tickets?

General admission tickets become available on sale online from November, starting at $60. As the date for the Derby race draws near, the tickets prices soar up to $80.

How long does the Kentucky Deby race last?

The Kentucky Derby lasts just a little more than two minutes.

Which horse holds the world record for the fastest 1 ¼ miles on the dirt?

Spectacular Bid – the winner of the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes – holds the world record for the fastest 1 ¼ miles on the dirt. The champion American Thoroughbred racehorse broke a 30-year-old record of 1:58.2. Spectacular Bid, who did it in 1:57.8, remains unbeatable to this day.

How do I know which horses/horses to bet on for the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

That’s the tricky part. But checking out who did well in Derby prep races can guide you. Check out the Kentucky Derby contenders list we have given above to see who’s taking part this year.

What kind of wagers can I make on the Derby?

You can have a variety of Kentucky Derby bets to choose from, ranging from win place to show bets to those a bit more exotic.

I’m hosting a Derby party, what types of Derby betting games can we play?

There are several fun Derby betting games you can play with your guests. A few include The Derby Hat Draw, Derby Auction, and Lucky Longshots. Click here to see the rules for each game.

How do I understand the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds?

This year’s odds are decided on the pari-mutuel system. For example, if a horse is 4-1 and you wager on $10, you will get $50 in return if it wins: $40 in profit, in addition to your original $10 bet.

Who are the favorites for the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The odds continue to change drastically as the Derby pre races post their outcomes. But as of now, Louisiana Derby Winner Epicenter is a 5-1 favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, while Mo Donegal is an 8-1 favorite.

Can I bet on the Kentucky Derby online?

Yes, you can bet on the Kentucky Derby online one of the many US sports betting sites or racebooks.

How many horses Have Won the Triple Crown?

Thirteen horses won the Triple Crown title between 1919 and 2018.

 Who won the first Breeders Cup Classic?

Chief’s Crown won the first-ever Breeder’s Cup race in 1984.

What are speed figures?

Speed figures measure how fast a horse races.

When was Churchill Downs founded?

Churchill Downs was founded In 1875.

Stay Updated & Receive Exclusive Offers

Be the first to know when new states legalize online gambling and gain access to exclusive casino and sports betting promotional offers.