Your Betting Options in the 2023 Kentucky Derby

Your Betting Options in the 2023 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sports event in the US. The first Run for the Roses happened on May 17, 1875. This 2023 Kentucky Derby will be the 149th season of the race since its inception. Through these years, the race has amassed millions of fans across the US and the rest of the world.

Its patrons worldwide would go to Churchill Downs yearly on every first Saturday of May to witness the toughest three-year-old thoroughbreds on track. Besides watching the race in person, millions of fans would also bet on the Run for the Roses. There are plenty of betting options to choose from, which we will explore in this article.

Standard Wagers

When betting on Kentucky Derby, newbie bettors would always opt for the basic types of wagers. They are called “standard wagers.” Wagerers must pick just one horse to secure specific position/s in the final order of finish of the Kentucky Derby, which will be proclaimed on race day. These types of bets are straightforward and require less time to learn and master. Let’s discuss each of its types in our Derby betting guide.


To place a “win” bet, a bettor must pick a thoroughbred to finish the Kentucky Derby as the champion.


A “place” bet requires bettors to pick a horse to place either second or third in the race’s outcome.


Show wagers mean betting on a horse to place first, second, or third in the race’s outcome.

Across the Board

This is similar to a parlay bet in other sports where you claim payouts for win, place, or show bets. If your horse finishes first in the race, you are entitled to the payout for win, place, and show. If your horse places second, you can claim both place and show payouts. If your horse places third, you are only entitled to the prize money for the show bet. Therefore, if you know your horse has the edge in winning the Kentucky Derby but aren’t sure what place the horse could secure, the “across the board” bet may be the best for you.

Exotic Wagers

If you want to bet on multiple horses in the race, exotic wagers are for you. You can supplement your standard bets with exotics or place multiple exotic bets on the same race. They are way more difficult to hit than the standard wagers, but many bettors would opt for these bets because of their handsome payouts.


Exacta is an upgraded version of the win, place, show bet. The catch is that bettors should pick two horses to secure the first two places in the final outcome, in the exact order.


This is more complicated than exacta and the standard wagers mentioned above. A trifecta bet might be best for bettors seeking a more challenging but easily learnable bet. With trifecta, a bettor must pick three thoroughbreds to secure the top three order of finish in the Kentucky Derby, in exact order. It’s quite challenging to hit, but the generous payout makes it an attractive option to committed bettors.


This almost works the same with a trifecta bet. The catch is bettors must pick four horses to place first, second, third, and fourth in the Kentucky Derby, still in exact order.

Super High Five

A “super high five” bet is the most challenging to win among the exotic bets mentioned here. With this type of wager, a bettor must pick five horses to secure the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth positions in the final order of finish. As you’ve already guessed, bettors must select the horses in exact order. While challenging to hit, a lucrative jackpot prize awaits bettors.


This type of bet is sometimes not available on some tracks. This works pretty much the same with an “exacta” bet, only that bettors can pick two horses to place either of the first two positions in the Kentucky Derby’s final order of finish. Either outcome yields the same amount of payouts.

Multi-Race Exotics

If you’re a bettor wanting to stay on the track to predict results for multiple races, multi-race exotics are the best for you. Bettors of these wagers must pick one horse per race to win each. You can pick as many races as you want. The more races you bet on, the greater your payout will be.


Double bet means picking two horses from two consecutive races to win each competition. You can only claim the prize if both horses win the races.

Pick 3

You have to pick three horses to place top three in three consecutive races.

Pick 4

Bettors must pick four thoroughbreds per race to win four consecutive races in the Derby.

Pick 5

For a hefty jackpot prize, bettors must pick five horses to win five different races in a day.

Pick 6

Bettors must select six thoroughbreds to win six races on the same day. Like Pick 5, a jackpot prize awaits the lucky bettor with the winning ticket.


Equestrian sports like horseracing are quick and unpredictable. Many can say that betting on such sports demands bettors to show close attention to race details. Aside from knowing the different types of bets, a good bettor must develop their own strategy for winning bets by exploring their options in big races like the Kentucky Derby.