The 2017 Kentucky Derby will make its 143rd running at the iconic Churchill Downs on Saturday, 6 May. Already anticipation is building for some of this year’s biggest hopes, with Classic Empire and Always Dreaming looking like particularly strong contenders.
Both horses are in top form and come from excellent pedigrees, but competition is stiff and we have yet to see the order of runners. The post position drawing on 3 May will give us the final list of runners and their positions. In the meantime, the oddsmakers have released the early Kentucky Derby betting odds and are gearing up with another round of promotions designed to entice and reward horseplayers around the world.
You can watch the Kentucky Derby from the US on NBC with the race itself set to go off at 6:34 PM ET. Betting on the Kentucky Derby has already begun outside the US courtesy of early odds offered by international bookmakers, but fans inside the United States will need to wait just a few more days to actually place their bets. That being said, now would be a good time to set up your online betting account and fund it so you’re ready to go on race day.
Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites
Kentucky Derby Betting Odds
The early Kentucky Derby odds have been released by the major international betting sites with plenty of time to spare. The actual prices will be released much closer to the race, but right now we have the ante-post odds which you can take now and potentially get a bigger payout due to the remaining uncertainty in the final horse racing lineup.
After the post position draw on May 3rd, we’ll start seeing the actual fixed-odds prices coming in and many horses’ prices will actually drop once there is less competition. In the meantime, these are the prices you can get today on all Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
|Irish War Cry||15/2||8/1||15/2|
|State of Honor||25/1||25/1||25/1|
|Battle of Midway||25/1||25/1||25/1|
|Lookin At Lee||N/A||25/1||25/1|
|J Boys Echo||33/1||28/1||33/1|
|Fast and Accurate||66/1||66/1||66/1|
Note to US readers: All US-legal horse racing sites will publish their prices later. The above charts are for international customers only and do not accept US customers. However, you may find these odds useful as a general guide to which horses are being given the highest expectations.
How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby Online
The Kentucky Derby is a very betting-friendly sports event whether you live in the United States or abroad. In fact, the Kentucky Derby itself supports and even encourages betting on the race due to the money it raises for the good of the industry and the horses. This is one of the few US-based sports events that does not actively campaign against betting.
If you live in the United States
The Kentucky Derby supports online betting both inside the US and abroad. In the United States, you can place real money wagers that are pooled with the wagers taken at the track and be paid at the same odds as anyone placing their bets in-person. TwinSpires is the official betting site of the Kentucky Derby, but you can also place your bets online at BetAmerica.com.
One other thing that separates Kentucky Derby betting from wagering on other sports is the main racing sportsbooks are actually headquartered and licensed in the United States. Horse racing is one of the only forms of online betting that are completely, undoubtedly, no-questions-asked legal.
Although TwinSpires is owned by Churchill Downs, we lean slightly towards BetAmerica.com as our number one pick for horseplayers in the United States. The reasons being that BetAmerica has a better signup bonus and simpler interface but still offers the same exact variety of wagers that are on offer at the track. Both sites are safe and legal, but our opinion is that BetAmerica is just a tad better.
The biggest advantage BetAmerica has for betting on the Kentucky Derby online is a much greater selection of promotions. It’s crazy to me that even though TwinSpires is the official Kentucky Derby betting site, BetAmerica actually has the greater variety of promotions. For that reason alone, BetAmerica is going to be your best bet if you’re looking for a place to wager online.
You can visit BetAmerica at: www.betamerica.com
If you live outside the United States
All the major betting sites licensed in the UK, Europe and elsewhere are covering the 2017 Kentucky Derby and have already posted early antepost (futures) odds. You can book your early bets starting today or wait until a little closer to race day to get the fixed-odds prices once the final starting lineup has been selected.
Tote betting is not available online outside the United States and all Kentucky Derby bets you place will be of the fixed-odds nature. This means that instead of your bet being mingled with wagers taken at the track, you will be betting directly with your betting site.
Typically, a lack of pools betting would be a disadvantage, but almost every major betting site now offers a best odds guarantee which states that if you take the fixed odds price but your horse goes off at a higher starting price, you get paid at the higher price. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the best odds guarantees only apply to pre-race fixed odds bet and not the antepost markets.
Now, as far as choosing a betting site goes, we have three main recommendations: Racebets.com, ComeOn.com and Bet365.com. All three sites are excellent places to bet on horses, but Racebets.com is our favourite this year. The reasons being that Racebets.com is dedicated entirely to horse racing, offers the best horse racing odds on average and tends to release the greatest variety of promotions for major racing events.
You can visit Racebets at: www.racebets.com
Best Kentucky Derby Promotions in the United States
Both of our top-rated Kentucky Derby betting sites are hosting promotions designed to encourage new customers and bring old customers back into the fold. BetAmerica definitely has the better offers of the two, but we’ll cover what’s on offer at both sites below.
BetAmerica is back this year with a whole new set of promotions that you can use to make the most of your 2017 Kentucky Derby wagers.
200% Welcome Bonus
First of all, al new customers qualify for a 200% signup bonus added to their first deposit. If you sign up for a new account at BetAmerica, they will triple your first deposit for up to $400. This means that if you deposit $100, you will receive an additional $200 in bonus cash. No bonus code is necessary; just make a deposit and the bonus is yours.
After you make your first deposit, BetAmerica will credit the bonus to your “pending” account balance. The bonus money is then released to your real money account at a rate equal to 10% of every bet you place. You have one year from the date of your deposit to release the entire bonus.
Win, Place and Show Bonuses
BetAmerica will also be adding bonuses to your account for every win, place and show bet you place throughout the 2017 Kentucky Derby. The longer you’ve been a member of BetAmerica, the bigger your bonus.
- If you opened your account in 2017: 5% bonus earned for every wager
- If you opened your account in 2016: 10% bonus earned for every wager
- If you opened your account in 2015: 15% bonus earned for every wager
- If you opened your account in 2014 or earlier: 20% bonus earned for every wager
All bets placed on Churchill Downs races on Friday or Saturday the weekend of the Kentucky Derby automatically qualify for exacta insurance. If you place an exacta on any race during that time and the race is won by less than one length, BetAmerica will refund your losing bet for up to $25 back.
Mobile Betting Odds Boost
If you have the BetAmerica mobile app, you can get boosted odds on one horse in each race the evening before the race. All you need to do is get the app and then check back in with BetAmerica before each day of the Kentucky Derby to see which horses have had their odds boosted.
BetAmerica is offering inquiry relief for all Churchill Downs races throughout the Kentucky Derby. If you back a horse that crosses the finish line first but loses after an inquiry, BetAmerica will stay pay your full winnings on that bet.
Free Past Performances for the Kentucky Derby
BetAmerica will refund all Equibase Premium Past Performance Programs that you purchase on any day of Churchill Downs whenever you place at least one wager that day. You’ll find your refund in your account the following day.
TwinSpires may release additional promotions closer to the first day of the Kentucky Derby, but for right now the only offer they have that works in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby is a standard $100 welcome bonus for all new customers.
You can claim this bonus by signing up for an account, making a deposit of any size and betting on races. For every $100 you wager at TwinSpires, you will get a $20 bonus for up to $100 in total bonus money. The welcome bonus is not tied to how much you deposit; the only thing that counts is placing bets. Even if your first deposit is small, you can still earn up to $100 in bonus money by placing real money bets.
Best Promotions for Everyone Outside the United States
The Kentucky Derby may be an American event first, but international bookmakers still cover this event in great detail. The Kentucky Derby remains one of the largest, most prestigious horse racing meets anywhere in the world today. You will suffer no lack of Kentucky Derby promotions no matter where you live.
Racebets.com tends to reveal its event-specific promotions closer to race day, but we do have a couple of early offers to keep in mind. You may want to check back with Racebets.com closer to the day of the race for promotions specific to the Kentucky Derby. Here’s what they have on offer in the meantime.
100% Welcome Bonus up to £/€ 50
Whether or not you plan to bet on the Kentucky Derby, Racebets.com has a welcome bonus you can claim with your first deposit. If you deposit £/€ 10 or more, they will match that deposit with up to £/€ 50 in bonus funds.
5% USA Races Bonus
Racebets.com offers a 5% USA races bonus on select races ran in the United States each night. If you bet on one of those races, you’ll get a 5% bonus added to all stake amounts. You can see which races qualify for the betting bonus each night at the top of the Racebets.com offers page.
ComeOn can be a little light on the promotions sometimes, but I’ve noticed a lot of times their oddsmakers come to completely different conclusions than most of the industry. This means sometimes there is significant value to be found at ComeOn. This reason alone makes it worth the few seconds it takes to see what ComeOn is paying for any particular horse.
£10 Free Bet
The welcome bonus at ComeOn.com is simple. After you sign up for an account and place your first bet of at least £10, they will give you an additional £10 free bet that you can use to bet on the Kentucky Derby or for any other sports market.
Bet365 does not yet have anything specific to the Kentucky Derby, but they do have some nice horse racing promotions in general that could prove quite useful.
100% Welcome Bonus up to £200
Bet365 has increased its welcome bonus up to a maximum of £/€ 200 for all new customers. You can get this bonus by signing up for an account and making your first deposit of £/€ 10 or more.
Best Odds Guarantee
The Bet365 best odds guarantee applies to every race every day except for Australasian races. If you take the fixed odds price published on the Bet365 website and your horse goes off at a higher starting price, Bet365 will pay your bet at the higher odds. This promotion is automatically active at all times; you do not have to do anything special to qualify other than place your Kentucky Derby bets at Bet365.