2021 Kentucky Derby Facts - Including Date and Post Time, History
As we approach one of the more exciting weekends in sports, you will start to see more and more content related to the Kentucky Derby. I’ve already given you in-depth previews of the top-four contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby, and I intend on providing you with daily content as we move forward first Saturday in May. If you are new to horse racing or the Kentucky Derby, this article will help you understand what the Derby is, what it means to the horse racing industry and how you can go about getting some action on it.
The Five W’s: Last year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby was not exempt from the consequences that COVID brought forth to the world. It was moved from the first weekend in May to the beginning of September, and just about everything surrounding the race was different. This year, the “Run for the Roses” is back in its original time slot – the first weekend in May -- and will be run on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Churchill Downs. Post time for this race is usually around 6:30 p.m. EST. If you are a big horse racing fan, Derby weekend is a sight to behold as there is high-class racing all-day Friday, culminating with the Kentucky Oaks, and then all-day Saturday before the most exciting two minutes in sports – a moniker for the Derby – takes place.
The Who: The Kentucky Derby is a race designed specifically for three-year-old old colts that were bred in Kentucky. The way horses age is by year. All horses that are running in this year’s Derby were born in 2018. And to make things simpler, all thoroughbreds have the same birthday regardless of when they are actually born -- Jan. 1. So, a horse that was born on Dec. 30 would technically turn a year old when he had been alive for only two days.
How Many Horses Run in the Kentucky Derby? Unlike racing across the pond in England, the Derby is capped at 20 horses, who have all earned the right to be running in the race. However, it is not as common to see the entire 20 horse field leave the gate as there are usually scratches before the race gets going, or late scratches as the horses take their warm-up. If a horse is scratched before race day, an “also eligible” horse may have the opportunity to take his place in the starting gate.
Amount of Money Bet on Kentucky Derby Annually: The answer I want to write is a ****-ton. But I can’t swear so I will just say “a lot of money”. When Justify won this race back in 2018, bettors bet a whopping $149.9 million on the Kentucky Derby alone. That was $10 million more than the previous record, and the whopping $225.7 million bet on the entire card was eight percent better than the previous record. Those numbers are a bit misleading in a sense because that amount doesn't include any money bet on props or futures at sportsbooks or any money bet illegally on the race.
Triple Crown Winners List: The following is a list of Triple Crown Winners. Most of us, unless you’re a time traveler, will not have seen Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), or War Admiral (1937) win the Triple Crown. The records say it happened, so that’s what we will believe. From there, there were four Triple Crown winners in the 1940s: Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948). From there, Triple Crown success has been limited. Since Secretariat did the deed in 1973, there have been only four Triple Crown Winners; Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharaoh (2015), and Justify (2018). Will this year be the year? With how the Derby is shaping out, and the wide-open betting boards, I’d bet against it happening.
Who Has the Best Kentucky Derby Time? Unfortunately for me, I am far too young to have seen Secretariat run. However, from everything I’ve heard, seen, and read about on this one-of-a-kind horse, he was something special. In fact, many claim that he is the greatest racehorse of all time. And who am I to dispute that, especially when you realize he still owns the Kentucky Derby record for the fastest time at 1:59.40 in 1973,
Kentucky Derby Wagering Options: You can bet on this race in pretty much every way you can bet on any other race. The most basic bets are the win, place, and show -- picking the horse that will finish first, second and third, respectively. The win bet is harder to win than the show bet, so it obviously pays more. You can bet the exacta, which is picking the first- and second-place finishers in the correct order, or the quinella, which is the top two in any order. The trifecta is like the exacta, except you have to pick the top three in any order. The superfecta is the top four. And if you are feeling really wild and crazy, the Super High Five is the top five in the correct order. The Super High Five is about as tough to win as a lottery in this race, but you get paid for it if you are right -- a 50 cent bet last year paid $76,653.45. Finally, an option unique to this race is the Derby-Oaks double, which allows you to pick the winner of this race and of the Kentucky Oaks, the premier race for three-year-old fillies held on Friday afternoon.
Minimum Superfecta Bet on the Kentucky Derby: There are a million and one ways to bet on the Kentucky Derby. The simplest way to bet on a horse race is the Win/Place/Show option. Beyond that, there are exotics such as exacta, trifecta, and superfecta. The superfecta is “a bet in which the person betting forecasts the first four finishers in a specific race in the correct order”.
This means that you will not only be picking the winner of the race but the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers as well. A superfecta bet is one of the hardest bets to win at the races, but the potential payout is sometimes worth the risk – especially when the race is comprised of several long shot horses and a favorite of 5/2 odds or better. In a 20-horse field, there are 116,280 different four-horse combinations, and only one of them is correct.
The cost of a superfecta really depends on how many horses you include. The simplest form of the trifecta is a ticket that looks like this: 1 with 2 with 3 with 4. That means the order of finish has to be 1-2-3-4. That would cost one dollar. The more horses you add, the higher the cost because the more possible combinations you are covering.
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