Winning Kentucky Derby Trifectas Paid These Gamblers Very Well

Image credit: Bill Brine

Always Dreaming wasn’t the only winner at last weekend’s 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. With the winning trifecta paying a generous $8,297.20 on a $1 bet, we know of several gamblers who made out like bandits on the back of Always Dreaming’s perfect outing on Saturday.

Always Dreaming, Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway thundered home to a 1-2-3 finish and anyone with those three picks on their trifecta tickets made a return of more than 8,000 times their original bet.

With Always Dreaming coming in as one of the betting favorites this year at pre-race odds of 5-1, that was the “easiest” pick of the trifecta. But the greatest rewards were reserved for those faithful fans who picked Lookin at Lee at 20-1 and Battle of Midway at 30-1 to complete the trifecta.

Winning Kentucky Derby Tickets Posted Online

William Hill US Tweeted a copy of one winning ticket that included $20 worth of trifecta permutations, including one that had the magic finishing post positions: 5, 1 and 11. That portion of the ticket resulted in that customer taking home an extra $8,297.20. This ticket perfectly exemplifies just why certain horseplayers make those big combination bets; all it takes is one winning combination to pay off the full ticket price and then some.

Online betting site Bovada also shared two other players’ good news on Facebook just this morning:

You can see that this particular Facebook post wasn’t met with quite as much enthusiasm as one might expect. As the commenters correctly note, the winning ticket at Bovada didn’t quite pay what it would have had that same bet been placed at the track. At those odds, a $10 2017 Kentucky Derby trifecta should have paid $82,972 but we can clearly see the winner only won $50,000.

So what gives?

Well, Bovada is an offshore betting site and it does not tie into local racing pools. This means Bovada sets the payout odds manually as opposed to actually participating in the racing pool. Bovada did actually offer the correct odds on the winning trifecta, but there was just one catch; Bovada imposes a $50,000 cap on Kentucky Derby winnings.

You can see the term for yourself in their help section here. Whoever made that wager made one critical mistake: he forgot to read the terms and conditions. Or perhaps he did, but didn’t have any other options and figured he could settle with $50,000 should his trifecta actually come through.

Lesson one: always read the terms and conditions before you bet online! This is a perfect example of why I’m always harping about the importance of knowing what you’re getting into before you bet.

Bovada is a great betting site overall, but their horse racing betting product simply cannot compete with the likes of BetAmerica and TwinSpires. You see, BetAmerica and TwinSpires are actually located on US soil, hold real money betting licenses and are allowed to participate in the track pools.

Whenever you bet online at licensed horse racing sites in the US, your money is pooled with the wagers taken at the track and your payouts are therefore never capped. Betting at a licensed horse racing site is exactly the same as betting in person as far as odds and payouts go. In fact, online betting contributes a significant amount to the total betting handle of major races held in the USA.

Lesson two: If you live in the USA, do your racing betting at one of our recommended licensed racebooks. Bovada is an excellent option for regular sports betting and casino games, but the licensed racebooks are far better for betting on horses online if they are active in your state.

Although this particular wager ran up against the Bovada winnings cap, this player will be paid and probably still won’t mind the $50,000 windfall too much. But still… that’s nearly $33,000 that got left on the table because he or she didn’t place that same exact bet at one of the licensed options.

Again, this isn’t a dig at Bovada. I actually think Bovada is the best overall sports betting site for people located in the United States and we have trusted them for years. Their horse racing options aren’t perfect, but they aren’t completely terrible as long as you don’t bump into the winnings cap. Just keep that in mind if you live in one of the few states where the other racing betting sites are not available.