How To Bet On The Kentucky Derby In Colorado

One of the most exciting sporting events of the year takes just about two minutes to complete. The Kentucky Derby brings horse racing into the spotlight for the nation as a whole, and the spectacle known as the Run for the Roses often lives up to its billing.

While there are plenty of die-hard racing aficionados who pay attention to the sport all year round, the Kentucky Derby is unique in that it captures the imagination of the masses. Folks across the US get in on the action in big league fashion.

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For round numbers, $79.4 million was wagered on the 2020 edition of the race. This was down from the $165.5 million in 2019, mainly due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Viewership numbers were also down in 2020 to 9.8 million people from the 16.5 million people across the nation that huddled around the tube to cheer on their choices the previous year.

The host track of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, attracted over 150,000 fans on the day of the race. The Derby is an absolutely massive event, and it also presents a fantastic starting point for those looking to get started with horse racing betting.

Betting on the races is lots of fun, potentially profitable and easy to get started with. We’ll cover everything you need to know right here, starting with a question that’s at the top of mind for Colorado residents.

Is it legal to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Colorado?

One of the cool things about horse racing betting is that the legality question has been sorted out across most of the United States. There are states that welcome the practice with open arms, and others that take a hardline stance and ban it outright.

Colorado is one of the states in the former category. It’s completely legal and safe to bet on horse racing here. Residents can place their bets in person at the state’s lone operating racetrack as well as at a number of legal off-track betting facilities.

Additionally, it’s perfectly legal for folks in Colorado to place their bets online or via mobile app. The Colorado Racing Commission is the overseeing body, and rules surrounding the horse racing industry can be found directly on the official state website.

If you’re looking to bet on horse racing in Colorado, there are no roadblocks standing in your way. However, be sure to stick with reputable operators for online and mobile wagering. We’ll cover our top choice to fill that need in a bit.

Odds on Kentucky Derby 2021

PostHorseOpening OddsJockeyTrainer
1Known Agenda6-1Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher
2Like the King50-1Drayden Van DykeWesley Ward
3Brooklyn Strong50-1Umberto RispoliDaniel Velazquez
4Keepmeinmind50-1David CohenRobertino Diodoro
5Sainthood50-1Corey LanerieTodd Pletcher
6O Besos20-1Marcellino PedrozaGreg Foley
7Mandaloun15-1Florent GerouxBrad Cox
8Medina Spirit15-1John VelazquezBob Baffert
9Hot Rod Charlie8-1Flavien PratDoug O'Neill
10Midnight Bourbon20-1Mike Smith Steve Asmussen
11Dynamic One20-1Jose OrtizTodd Pletcher
12Helium50-1Julien LeparouxMark Casse
13Hidden Stash50-1Rafael BejaranoVicki Oliver
14Essential Quality2-1Luis SaezBrad Cox
15Rock Your World5-1Joel RosarioJohn Sadler
16King Fury20-1Brian Hernandez, Jr.Kenny McPeek
17Highly Motivated10-1Javier CastellanoChad Brown
18Super Stock30-1Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steve Asmussen
19Soup and Sandwich30-1Tyler GaffalioneMark Casse
20Bourbonic30-1Kendrick CarmoucheTodd Pletcher

How to bet on horse racing

To place your bets on the Kentucky Derby and other races in Colorado, you’re going to need a place to go. While you have options on the in-person front, it’s tough to beat the convenience of betting anywhere you like.

Our top choice for that is TVG. Beyond being a great spot to place your wagers, TVG offers up round-the-clock coverage of horse racing.

TVG is also a network that can be found on a number of cable and streaming providers, and there’s also a direct app you can download to watch and wager on smart TVs.

On the betting front, you’ll be able to place all kinds of wagers on the races themselves, including the Kentucky Derby.

To get started, click on our exclusive links to begin creating your account. By taking that step, you’ll be entitled to a risk free first bet of up to $300. The code should be entered automatically. If not, just take the time to enter LSRTVG in the promo code box to take advantage.

Creating an account is quick and easy. You’ll just need to enter simple information such as name and email address. From there, just click on the “complete registration” button, and your account will be created right away.

Afterward, you can follow the instructions from the main website to download the app for your iOS device. Once you take care of that, just log in on mobile and you’ll be all set to bet on the go.

There’s no app for Android devices at this time. However, the site is fully optimized to work on mobile. Just visit TVG from your mobile web browser after your account is all set, and log in as normal to take advantage of all that the site has to offer.

Horse racing bet types

In its simplest form, horse racing betting revolves around picking the winner of a single race. However, there are a number of other bet types for you to consider. Some of them are simple and easy to understand, while others can take some getting used to. Let’s take a look.

  • Win: A bet on a horse to win the race.
  • Place: You can also bet on a horse to place, which means second place or better.
  • Show: A show bet is on a horse to finish the race in third place or better.
  • Exacta: This is a wager on the first two finishers in the race.
  • Trifecta: For a trifecta, the goal is to pick the top three finishers.
  • Superfecta: A superfecta bet is on the top four finishers in the race.

Win, place and show bets are considered to be the standard bets. You can place one of these bets on any horse in the race. In addition, you can also cover your individual choices by placing a bet on all three outcomes.

The other three bets on the list are considered to be exotic bets. You can choose the horses to finish in order, or you can also “box” your wager. That means that the horses you select can finish in any order and your bet will be a winner if they all come in.

Speaking of exotics, there are several other bet types that may be offered for certain races on the card.

  • Quinella: Similar to an exacta, but the two horses you choose can finish in any order.
  • Super High Five: A bet on the top five finishers in the race.
  • Pick 3: For these bets, you’re picking the winner of three straight races.
  • Pick 4: You need to pick the winner of four consecutive races.
  • Pick 5: This is a bet on five winning horses in a row.
  • Pick 6: You have to pick the winner of six straight races on the card.

Each of the bet types outlined up above will be offered at multiple price points. For example, you can place a win bet for as little as $1, but you can also drop $100 on the winner if you’re feeling frisky.

A straight superfecta bet can be placed for as little as $0.10 at some tracks, while a box of the same wager type costs $2.40 at that price point.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby

The field for the Kentucky Derby is filled with the best 2- and 3-year-old thoroughbred horses for the season. In order to make it to the Run for the Roses, the horses need to prove their mettle on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

It’s based off a points system that was implemented back in 2012. There are two separate phases for qualification: Kentucky Derby Prep Season and the Kentucky Derby Championship Series.

The former takes place from late September of the previous year and runs through February. Horses participate in various races, most of which award points to the top four finishers on a scale of 10-4-2-1.

Once we get to the latter, the stakes ramp up. For a series of Grade II stakes races, the top four finishers are awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 scale.

The final part of qualification revolves around what have come to be known as the Super Six races. The winners of these contests get 100 points for their troubles. These are the races in that category and the hosting tracks.

  • Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park
  • Blue Grass Stakes, Keeneland
  • Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park
  • Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds
  • Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Park
  • Wood Memorial Stakes, Aqueduct

By the time we get to the Derby, there’s little question as to who deserves to be in the field. All of the qualifiers have earned their spots, and those who have excelled in the Super Six races will be among the favorites to take down the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

History of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is run over one and a quarter miles on a dirt track at Churchill Downs. The field is set with 2- and 3-year-old thoroughbreds who have earned the most points during the qualifying phase, which is the aptly named Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The race traces its roots back to 1875 and has been held annually ever since. There have been a number of memorable performances at Churchill through the years, several of which we have witnessed over the past decade. Here are the last 10 winners of the Derby and their finishing times.

  • 2020: Authentic, 2:00:61
  • 2019: Country House, 2:03:93
  • 2018: Justify, 2:04:20
  • 2017: Always Dreaming, 2:03:59
  • 2016: Nyquist, 2:01:31
  • 2015: American Pharoah, 2:03:02
  • 2014: California Chrome, 2:03:66
  • 2013: Orb, 2:02:89
  • 2012: I’ll Have Another, 2:01:83
  • 2011: Animal Kingdom, 2:02:04

The 2019 edition of the Derby was not devoid of controversy. Maximum Security was initially declared the winner, but objections were filed by competing jockeys alleging that they were intentionally interfered with during the course of the race. One video review later, and the claims would be proven to have merit. Maximum Security was disqualified, and 30-1 longshot Country House was declared the winner.

Kentucky Derby betting tips

By the time the Derby rolls around, there will be a couple of clear cut favorites, as well as plenty of opinions on how the race will go down. You can just bet on the favorite or rely on the picks from a trusted source if you choose, but doing a little legwork of your own can be quite beneficial.

Beyond just choosing the winner of the race, you may want to partake in some exotic wagers. They can be quite lucrative on race days, but they are naturally tough to hit. For perspective, the payout on a $1 superfecta at the 2019 Derby was a whopping $51,400.10.

If you’re new to horse racing, you can keep it simple and hit on some major research points for good clues on which horses are for real and which ones aren’t. Here are three places to begin your search.

  • Speed ratings: While there’s more to horse racing than just speed, the name of the game is to cross the finish line first. The fastest overall horses have a better chance of doing so in comparison to their slower competitors. Examine the overall speed ratings for each horse in the field, and also take the time to look at average ratings for their last three races.
  • Record on Road to Derby: As mentioned, horses have to qualify for the Derby by competing in races for which they earn points based on how they finish. Spend some time studying how the horses performed during prep season, and make special note of finishes in the bigger races over that time frame.
  • Lifetime earnings: Horses that fare well in races earn money for their troubles. Therefore, taking a gander at which horses have racked up the most earnings can provide you with a really solid clue on their overall quality. You shouldn’t solely base decisions on this number, but it does make for an excellent tiebreaker.

Colorado horse racing

There’s just one operating racetrack in the state of Colorado. Here are the details.

  • Arapahoe Park
  • Mile High Racing & Entertainment
  • 26000 East Quincy Ave.
  • Aurora, CO 80016

The racing calendar at Arapahoe generally runs from around mid-May through August. In addition to live racing, the track also offers simulcasting of races from tracks across the nation.

Colorado is also home to a number of OTB facilities. The Colorado Department of Revenue Enforcement Division keeps an updated list of legal and regulated spots, which can be found here.

Kentucky Derby FAQ

What was the all-time fastest winning time at the Kentucky Derby?

The record for the fastest time in the one-and-a-quarter-mile Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is held by Secretariat. Back in 1973, the legendary horse completed the race in 1:59:40, breaking the previous record of two minutes flat by Northern Dancer in 1964. Since Secretariat’s victory, only Monarchos has posted a time under two minutes — 1:59:97 in 2001.

Which jockey has won the Kentucky Derby the most times?

There’s actually a tie for first place. Both Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are atop the list with five wins apiece at the Kentucky Derby. Arcaro’s last win came in 1952, while Hartack’s final victory was in 1969.

How many horse racing Triple Crown winners have there been?

The list currently stands at 13 for horses who have won all three legs of the Triple Crown: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

  • Justify — 2018
  • American Pharoah — 2015
  • Affirmed — 1978
  • Seattle Slew — 1977
  • Secretariat — 1973
  • Citation — 1948
  • Assault — 1946
  • Count Fleet — 1943
  • Whirlaway — 1941
  • War Admiral — 1937
  • Omaha — 1935
  • Gallant Fox — 1930
  • Sir Barton — 1919

What is the purse for the Kentucky Derby?

As time has moved along and interest in the Derby continues to grow, the purse has been rising. For 2019, the total purse was $3 million, which was distributed to the top five finishers as follows.

  1. $1,860,000
  2. $600,000
  3. $300,000
  4.  $150,000
  5. $90,000

How much can you win for a Kentucky Derby superfecta bet?

This will depend on which horses finish in the top four spots, their odds, and the total amount of money that is placed into the superfecta pool. For perspective, here are the payouts on $1 superfecta bets for the last five editions of the Derby.

  • 2020 — $7,925.80
  • 2019 — $51,400.10
  • 2018 — $19,618.20
  • 2017 — $75,974.50
  • 2016 — $542.10