2015 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

The most important information to know when betting the Kentucky Derby is clearly the odds on the race.  While there won’t be any ‘official’ 2015 Kentucky Derby betting odds posted at Churchill Downs until immediately after the post position draw on the Wednesday before the race there are futures betting odds available at race and sports books around the world well before the track odds are posted.


These are the only 2015 Kentucky Derby odds that are available until the week before the race when the track odds are posted.  Race and sports books will post betting odds on a listed of selected three year old horses that appear to be prospects to make the Kentucky Derby.  There are advantages and disadvantages to betting a race like the Kentucky Derby on the futures market.   For the astute handicapper a significant upside is that the earlier a horse is bet the higher the price—and early in the year its possible to find odds in excess of 100/1 on horses that will eventually be top contenders in the race.  Additionally, futures odds aren’t part of the parimutuel pool meaning that the price on the ticket is the price you’re paid.  The most significant downside is that betting futures odds can be a guessing game.  If you bet on a horse that doesn’t make it to the Kentucky Derby, you lose your wager.   The Wynn Las Vegas has the most significant futures odds market—they post odds to win next year’s Kentucky Derby following the running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race and update it throughout the prep campaign.


The first ‘official track odds’ for the Kentucky Derby will be set by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia and  released to the public shortly after the post position draw on the Wednesday before the race.  These odds will change as bettors move the market with their wagers at the track and at simulcast locations around the country.


After the Kentucky Derby odds are opened for betting they will move in accordance with the money bet on the individual horses.  A popular horse will attract more money from the general public while lower profile horses won’t move as quickly—or will see their odds move in the opposite direction.  Given the amount of recreational money in the pool for a big event like the Kentucky Derby its important to not overreact to big movements in betting odds and particularly on the favorite.  With so many ‘casual’ bettors looking to get down on the Kentucky Derby much of the betting market movement for the race is a ‘popularity contest’.   In the past twenty five years or so the favorite hasn’t fared particularly well in the Kentucky Derby so don’t be fooled in betting a horse just because everyone else is.  The movement to keep an eye on are the horses below the favorite—a significant move on a higher priced horse is more likely to be generated by ‘sharp money’ as professional horse bettors zero in on a Kentucky Derby contender that might be training well, peaking at the right time or otherwise ‘under the radar’ of the casual fans and mainstream media.  Since there’s no shortage of mainstream media coverage of the Kentucky Derby another good way to find ‘public’ horses to avoid is to look for ‘human interest stories’ behind some of the horses.  The more coverage a story like this gets the more likely a horse is to be overbet and the better opportunity there is for a value price on some of his competitors that might not have as compelling a backstory.