Kentucky Derby Betting Sites & Apps

Your Guide to Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

Below are the best betting sites in your area to place Kentucky Derby wagers.

ByPat Pickens

May 3, 2024

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the world. The one-and-a-quarter mile race attracts more than 100,000 people to iconic Churchill Downs for the Run for the Roses, aka the 12th race on the second Saturday in May every year.

This is a marquee betting event — particularly due to the symbiotic relationship between horse racing and betting. Without wagering, the race wouldn’t command anywhere near the attention it does, and the event is prime season for bookmakers, family pools, and also online betting.

The latter is your best chance to win big on the Kentucky Derby, since betting on horse racing online is more widely available than other sports. But if you’ve never bet a horse race online, or interacted with a horse-race website, it can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Benefits of Betting on the Kentucky Derby Online

If you’re not at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, it’s best to place your wagers online.

Here’s why:

  • Horse racing sites feature useful promotions to enhance the value on your wagers.
  • It’s convenient to place your bet from the comfort of your personal electronic device.
  • Betting online makes it easier to research your preferred horse at the Kentucky Derby.

Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

TwinSpires

TwinSpires Horse Racing Betting app was created by the people at Churchill Downs, which means it’s the perfect place to put down your money for the Kentucky Derby.

It’s the official betting partner of the Derby with a lucrative welcome bonus to put you in then best position to succeed in your horse racing wagering.

The TwinSpires app and website offers users analysis and handicapping from brisnet.com. Aside from the exceptional odds and promos, fans can also wager on races at more than 300 tracks around the globe daily.

How To Pick the Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

The following criteria can help guide you on choosing the right betting site for Kentucky Derby betting:

Welcome Bonuses

Check to see what type of welcome bonus is offered.

First deposit bonuses are when the sportsbook matches your first deposit up to a certain amount. Risk-free bets are when your first bet is reimbursed up to a certain amount if it loses. These are helpful because they are free bet credits to allow you to build your bankroll.

Promotions

You’ll want to also try to take advantage of any Kentucky Derby promotions. Some betting sites offer promos, like win-protection — either reimbursement for a failed win bet or if the horse you picked to win places or shows.

Odds

Do you like to bet superfectas or trifectas or quinellas or just a win-place-show bet? Each of the sportsbooks above offers a litany of options, but with each site offering unique odds and promotions, it is worthwhile to shop around to get the best Kentucky Derby odds on the bet you want to make.

User Interface

User interface is another key component when choosing a Kentucky Derby site. With odds constantly evolving, having a site that is easy to navigate and offers users easy-to-wager markets is integral.

Live Betting

It’s important that your Kentucky Derby offers live betting so users can make the best bet while the race is happening. Obviously a user-friendly interface helps with live betting since horse races are fast, and split-second decisions can be the difference between winning, losing or not getting your bet in in time.

Best Kentucky Derby Bets You Can Make

The easiest bet to make is a win-place-show bet, which means you pick a horse to win, finish second or finish third. This is probably the safest bet a user can pick.

If you’re interested in longer-odds bets, there’s the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta, which invites bettors to pick the top-2, top-3 or top-4 horses in order of finish.

If you’re confident in two-or-more horses, but don’t want to be bogged down by the order of finish, there’s boxed exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, which relieves some of the risk and odds.

The quinella is one of my personal favorites, where you pick two horses to finish 1-2 and won’t be penalized which order as long as each horse finishes either win or place. A quinella is different from an exacta, where players must correctly pick both the horses and the order of finish in the race.

Honestly, the best Kentucky Derby bets are the ones you love most, so play around with apps and sites and pick a winner.

Live Betting on Kentucky Derby

Live betting is when you place a bet after the race has already started. The odds are updated in real-time and you can bet as the race goes on.

Live betting horse racing is a whirlwind, so if you’re a novice maybe monitor what happens before jumping in with both feet. However, it is a great opportunity to get enhanced odds if the favorite has short odds and struggles out of the gate.

Or, it could be an opportunity to pick a longshot at shorter odds than it was going off but still could return a hefty profit if it wins.

Betting Site Offers to Keep in Mind

Check out each of the different types of welcome bonuses below.

No Deposit Bonus

No Deposit Bonuses or free bets are when you receive some bet credits from a sportsbook without having to deposit any funds. This is usually between $5-$20, intended to give you a chance to explore the sportsbook.

Users are often given free bets as a loyalty reward for consistently using a site’s service.

First-Deposit Bonus

First-deposit bonuses are when a sportsbook will match your first deposit in bet credits up to a certain amount, which can vary between $100-$1,000. This is a great opportunity to build up your bankroll, so be sure to take advantage.

Second-Chance Bet

Risk-free bets are when sportsbooks will reimburse your first bet if it loses, up to a maximum, usually between $100-15,000.

This is useful because you can take a shot on a longer-odds horse you love and get reimbursed if it doesn’t win, place or show.

Bet & Get

Bet & Get is a bonus where users will receive rewards if they bet on a certain market, usually on a marquee event. Bet-and-gets are especially popular at sportsbooks online but aren’t widely available at horse-race websites.

Where Can I Legally Bet on Kentucky Derby Online?

You can bet on the Kentucky Derby, and horse racing in general, online in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Why You Should Avoid Illegal Betting Sites

It’s important to avoid illegal betting sites for the following reasons:

  • Illegal betting sites have unreliable customer support, making it difficult to resolve any potential issues.
  • They don’t provide you with the same promotions, such as odds boosts or welcome bonuses.
  • The deposit and withdrawal methods can also be slow and hard to trust.
  • When you deposit funds from an illegal betting site, it will show up as a different name on your bank statement.
  • Odds are not as good as betting markets in legal sites, as illegal sites often inflate their odds.

Choose More Than One Kentucky Derby Betting Site

It’s important to choose more than one Kentucky Derby betting site. You can take advantage of multiple welcome bonuses, giving you a chance to build your bankroll.

Remember that these are one-time offers, so it’s a good idea to max out the welcome bonuses.

Odds shopping is important too. For instance, if one site has the favorite at 1-2, but a different one has it boosted to even odds, that would be a substantial enough difference to make it worth your while.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Bleacher Report, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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