The Kentucky Derby is the most popular horse race around, and because of that there are plenty of wagering opportunities. There are, of course, your standard win, place and show bets, along with exactas, trifectas, superfectas and any other ectas the oddsmakers can come up with.
The Kentucky Derby also squeezes in other wagering options like head-to-head matchups and the ever popular prop bets. Among the props are the margin of victory, over/under time for the first quarter-mile and first half-mile, leader at the quarter pole and will the Kentucky Derby winner lead from wire to wire.
Before we breakdown some of the prop bet categories, let’s have a look at the current odds for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, 2019, with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET from Churchill Downs in Lexington. The race will air live on NBC.
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Odds to win 2019 Kentucky Derby
- Game Winner +521
- Roadster +625
- Tacitus +625
- Improbable +725
- Maximum Security +885
- War of Will +1616
- By My Standards +1616
- Code of Honor +1817
- Tax +2052
- Vekoma +2253
- Win Win Win +2253
- Spinoff +2554
- Haikal +3055
- Gray Magician +4550
- Cutting Humor +4550
- Long Range Toddy +4550
- Country House +5250
- Plus Que Parfait +6050
- Master Fencer +6550
With pre-race favorite Omaha Beach scratched with a breathing problem, the field opened up a bit. This figured to be one of the tighter races in recent history anyway with no horse distinguishing himself in the prep races. Despite that, someone had to take over at the top of the odds board and Game Winner emerged with odds of +521.
With five horses having odds of less than +900, the top of the field appears to be evenly-matched, so picking an outright winner isn’t going to be easy. One trend to look out for is the success of the favored horse over the past five races. The betting favorite has won each time in those outings giving Game Winner a leg up on the field.
Cutting Humor, listed as a +4550 longshot, established a track record at the Sunland Derby running the 1 1/8 mile distance in 1:46.94. And that brings us to another available prop bet at Churchill Downs.
Will Secretariat’s record of 1:59.4 be broken?
Considering Triple Crown winners American Pharaoh and Justify couldn’t do it, it’s highly unlikely any horse in this field can gallop the 1 1/4 mile distance in record time. Secretariat’s mark will survive another year and with such a steep price it would probably be wise to stay away from this wager. But stranger things have happened and records are made to be broken. If you have some extra change it wouldn’t hurt to back the yes with such an enormous payday.
Will the Kentucky Derby Winner Lead Wire to Wire?
None of the horses have raced this distance before and we can expect the jockey’s to implore some strategy. Getting out to an early lead and maintaining it for 1 1/4 miles is difficult to do and we don’t often see horses win the Derby from start to finish. But a field with no standout horses also offers opportunities, and those same riders understand what they’re up against.
Maximum Security is the fifth favorite at +885 and should probably be higher up the board. The colt knows when it’s time to race and he’s responded to what his rider has asked in every race. His easy win at the Florida Derby was evidence of that. With an aggressive rider like Luis Saenz and a favorable post position, Maximum Security has everything in his favor. Horses on either side lack consistent gate speed, giving him the opportunity for a fast start. Now, all he has to do is maintain it.
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