The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. We are just a little over a week away from the big race.
For everything that you need to know about betting this race, check out my Kentucky Derby Betting Guide. I’ll also have my win/place/show picks posted shortly in my Kentucky Derby Predictions article.
Ever wonder how much money is bet on the Derby? You might be surprised by how much action this event brings in. Find out how much cash is wagered in my year-by-year betting totals article.
Look at the Vegas Odds to Win the 2019 Kentucky Derby
Before we get into the odds, I want take a second to just talk about how this race has been trending. For the longest time there was a huge amount of unpredictability in this race.
The betting favorite has won 18 of the last 52, which is a win rate of 34.6%. However, prior to 2013 the win rate was sitting at 26.1%. Going into the 2019 race, the betting favorite has won each of the last six Kentucky Derby’s.
Has the most famous horse racing event of the year lost its unpredictability? Maybe. The run of favorites dominating this race coincided with the change in how the field was determined.
Previously the 20 spots went to the horses who had the most winnings in graded stakes races. Starting in 2013, the field was based on a new points system, where points were awarded based on a horses performance in select races.
The theory is that the new points system does a much better job of getting the best horses in the field for the 1 1/4 mile track. Prior to the points system, horses who excelled at sprints (races less than 1 mile) were qualifying for the Derby.
These horses, who had zero chance of winning a race of this length, would go out and set ridiculous paces. Your top horses (betting favorites) would end up trying to keep up with these sprinters and would run out of gas, which allowed some of your long shots to win.
2019 Top Contenders
|Code of Honor||14/1|
|War of Will||16/1|
|By My Standards||18/1|
When we first looked at the odds for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (a little over a week ago), Game Winner and Roadster were tied for the best odds at 5/1. While both of those are still considered to be top contenders, they are no longer the horse(s) to beat.
The sharps have made Omaha Beach the odds on favorite at 3/1, which is right around the same odds as last year’s Derby winner Justify. For those wondering, Omaha Beach was listed with the 3rd best odds when we last checked at 6/1.
Getting back to the odds as of right now, Roadster has the second best odds at 9/2 (+450), just slightly ahead of Game Winner at 5/1, Improbable at 6/1, Tacitus at 8/1 and Maximum Security at 10/1.
You then have a little bit of a gap before we reach are last group of contenders. Starting with Code of Honor at 14/1, followed by War of Will at 16/1, By My Standards at 18/1 and Vekoma at 18/1.
I think this new points system clearly works at identifying the best horses. That’s not to say I would blindly bet the favorite. I just think that the winner of this race is going to come out of the table above.
Rest of the Field
|Win Win Win||20/1|
|Long Range Toddy||33/1|
|Plus Que Parfait||33/1|