Legal Kentucky Derby Betting Guide For 2018

USA Friendly FlagThe 2018 Kentucky Derby is the 144th running of “The Greatest 2 Minutes In Sports.” Arguably the most important North American thoroughbred horse race, the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs kicks off the first leg of the US Triple Crown. Justify, Mendelssohn and Audible are all closely slated to contend for the title. This year provides an interesting narrative because there is no heavy favorite, meaning it is anyone’s race to win. This page is dedicated to the 2018 Kentucky Derby and has all the information you will need regarding betting on the historic race.

Payouts For 2018 Derby


Is Betting On The Kentucky Derby Legal In The US?

Law Book

The Kentucky Derby is probably the single most identifiable and popular thoroughbred horse race in the world. But is it legal to bet on the Kentucky Derby in the US? YES - Betting on horse racing is 100% legal in the United States! The Interstate Horse racing Act of 1978 makes wagering on horses 100% legal. And when the UIGEA bill was introduced in 2006, the horse betting industry was not affected due to special carve outs that were made. It essentially left it up to the states as to whether or not they wanted to legalize horse betting. If you reside in one of the states that offer it, you have a few more options than most people.

However even if you don't live in a state that has legalized horse racing and betting, there are still many other legal options available to you including playing at an offshore site. Betting at these offshore sites is 100% legal, because they are located outside the US borders and are not subject to US law. In addition, the offshore racebooks that we recommend are all extremely reputable. As a matter of fact these companies have been doing business for decades now and have much deeper pockets that any of the state regulated sites, so your money is perfectly safe. Not to mention that you will find much better bonuses, faster same day payouts, easier ways to deposit and a host of other benefits you won't find elsewhere. Even the vast majority of smart money players in Las Vegas choose to play at the offshore sites because of the inherent perks and benefits the sites offer to players.

Below we review most reputable and secure online Kentucky Derby betting sites that accept all USA players. Every site has been carefully vetted by our team of professionals and are proven to be the most trusted names in the industry. You won't find any shady sites listed on, I guarantee it.

Top Rated Horse Betting Site
For The 144th Kentucky Derby In 2018

Best Online Racebooks To Bet The Kentucky Derby

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Details Of The 144th Running Of The Kentucky Derby

Date: May 5th, 2018

Time: 6:34 PM

Channel: NBC - coverage begins at 2:30

The 143rd Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 6, at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. 20 horses will be racing for victory in the first installment of the Triple Crown series. Pole positions were announced on the morning of May 3rd, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that the pole positions can impact multiple aspects of the race.  We will likely see a shifting in the odds before the race due to these positions.  Some sportsbooks wait until pole positions are announced to put any of their odds up. 

There are several horses expected to make a significant impact in this year’s race. Sitting atop the leaderboards going into the race is Girvin, followed by Classic Empire, Gormley, Irap and Irish War Cry. Mark E. Cassa, the trainer for Classic Empire is vying for an inside spot in an effort to follow the same path that 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh did.  There is a $2 million purse at stake with the winner claiming $1,425,000. The winner will hope to take that momentum onto the Preakness Stakes in the quest for the Triple Crown.

The pole positions and betting odds for the 2018 Kentucky Derby are as follows:

1) Frenzie Fire (50/1)
2) Free Drop Billy (30/1)
3) Promises Fulfilled (30/1)
4) Flameaway (30/1)
5) Audible (8/1)
6) Good Magic (12/1)
7) Justify (3/1)
8) Lone Sailor (50/1)
9) Hofburg (20/1)
10) My Boy Jack (30/1)
11) Bolt D'Oro (8/1)
12) Enticed (30/1)
13) Bravazo (50/1)
14) Mendelssohn (5/1)
15) Instilled Regard (50/1)
16) Magnum Moon (6/1)
17) Solomini (30/1)
18) Vino Rosso (12/1)
19) Noble Indy (30/1)
20) Combatant (50/1)

What Is The Kentucky Derby?

It is widely regarded as the most prestigious thoroughbred horse racing event in the world, and one of the most popular for legal online horse betting. Currently, online Kentucky Derby betting legality dictates that U.S. players either place a wager online through their state's licensed and regulated horse track websites, or a physical track. There are also some legal poker rooms throughout the United States which offer pari-mutuel gambling on horse races, but the most readily available and popular Internet Kentucky Derby gambling option is through an offshore sportsbook. If the word "offshore" scares you, that is a good thing. There are no doubt some less than reputable companies operating offshore which offer close to a no-win situation to even the seasoned and veteran sports gambler.

That is why you will find us continually throughout this website preaching a thorough review process for any an all legal online gambling sites you consider bringing your business to. Just because a particular site claims to offer legal Kentucky Derby betting, as well as gambling on other events and sports, this does not mean it is reputable or safe. On our home page you can see the exact review process we use before we open an account with any online sportsbook, and we highly recommend that you either spend some time conducting your own extensive reviews, or take advantage of our years in the online gambling industry by checking out our recommendations. The good news is there are a few big-name players which understand that betting on Kentucky Derby legally is often undertaken by even the casual sports fan. By offering a safe and secure experience, they know this single sporting event can bring them new customers.

As far as a betting strategy for this famous horse race, check the Kentucky Derby lineup as soon as it is released every year. The more reputable online sportsbooks post a listing of the Kentucky Derby entrants as soon as it is available, along with the early opening odds. We recommend opening accounts at multiple online sportsbooks, and we also suggest checking those sites for Kentucky Derby odds as early as March or April every year. We also watch the major races leading up to the Derby which are held around the United States and in Europe each year. This gives the intelligent gambler an excellent shot at predicting the next winner of The Run for the Roses, and holding open accounts at multiple sportsbooks means getting the best possible odds for your money.

Betting The Kentucky Derby

Legal online Kentucky Derby betting gives the veteran gambler a chance to place a wager on one of the oldest and most storied sporting contests found anywhere in the world. Held every year since 1875, The Run for the Roses is held on the first Saturday in May in the United States each year. The famous Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky is the horse track where the first leg of the vaunted Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing is run, and the total purse is usually north of $2 million. The 2018 Kentucky Derby date is May 5th, and exactly 5 weeks later at the Belmont Stakes the Kentucky Derby winner may very well have inked its name in the Triple Crown record book alongside 11 other famous horses such as Affirmed, Seattle Slew and Secretariat.

If you live in Kentucky or go to the actual track itself, you can place legal wagers through sites operated by Churchill Downs. Kentucky is a state where horse race betting is legal. For those US citizens outside of Kentucky, you can find legal Kentucky Derby betting options through licensed offshore sportsbooks. Sports betting is limited due to several federal gambling laws, however licensed offshore sportsbooks are technically legal options and outside US jurisdiction. As long as the sportsbook is licensed and regulated by a respected government, US citizens face no legal penalties by wagering with these sites. Fans also enjoy legal Triple Crown betting using the same resources.

Licensed offshore sportsbooks present a multitude of perks such as bonuses, prop bets, mobile and live wagering and much more. The ones we recommend also offer a racebook for horse betting. Be sure to verify that the sportsbook or racebook you are using is both licensed and regulated, thus ensuring a safe and legal online betting experience. There are several racebooks found through highly-regarded offshore sportsbooks catering to US residents. Each of which hosts betting lines on the Kentucky Derby. You will find the racebooks listed above all fall into this category.

2017 Derby Results

1st: Always Dreaming

2nd: Lookin At Lee

3rd: Battle of Midway

4th: Classic Empire

Other Past Winners

2016 - Nyquist

2015 - American Pharoah

2014 - California Chrome

2013 - ORB

2012 - I'll Have Another

2011 - Animal Kingdom

2010 - Super Saver

List Of States That Have Legalized Horse Betting

The following states have passed laws that make it 100% legal to bet on horse races. Keep in mind that even if you don't reside in one of these states, you can still legally wager at one of the offshore sites we recommend above. The current US gambling laws don't make the act of betting illegal but instead make the act of offering betting illegal. So the person who bets with his local bookie isn't breaking any laws, but the actual bookie accepting the bets is. However this doesn't apply to the offshore sites because they are not located within the United States borders. Check out our state gambling directory for laws and information about a specific state. Or you can check out our legal Kentucky online gambling guide if you live in the state.

Alabama Illinois Nebraska South Dakota
Alaska Indiana Nevada South Carolina
Arkansas Kansas New Hampshire Tennessee
Arizona Kentucky New Jersey Texas
California Louisiana New Mexico Utah
Colorado Maine New York Vermont 
Connecticut Maryland North Dakota Virginia 
Delaware Massachusetts North Carolina Washington 
Florida Michigan Ohio  West Virginia
Georgia Minnesota Oklahoma Wisconsin
Hawaii Mississippi Oregon  Wyoming 
Idaho Missouri Pennsylvania   
Iowa Montana Rhode Island  

Derby Resources And Helpful Links

Official Kentucky Derby Website: - This site does not offer betting but is a fantastic resource if you want to read up on the latest news, entries, race results ect..

Additional Legal Sportsbook Betting Options:

Legal NFL Betting Sites: Find information on high quality and respected sports betting sites that offer a wide range of NFL betting lines and wagering options, as well as player and team stats and additional helpful resources.

Legal NBA Betting Sites: NBA fans can visit this section to gain access to our most trusted and secure sportsbooks that cover NBA basketball events closely, including the pre and post season action.

Legal MLB Betting Sites: Our guide to betting on MLB baseball games will provide you with access to online sportsbooks which have already been vetted by our team, and were found to be secure, legal, and offer an overall distinguished sports betting experience.

Other Legal Online Gambling Platforms To Consider:

Legal Online Casinos: Get information on the industry's most trusted and secure online casino options that have been personally vetted by our team of online gambling professionals and found to be completely legitimate and safe.

Legal Online Poker Sites: Finding safe and secure online poker gaming opportunities may not be quite as easy as a simple Google search. You'll want to ensure that each poker room you consider is licensed, certified, users high quality software, and offers a high end security profile. Our team of professionals has done this for you and created this guide to assist you.

Legal Online Bingo Sites: Online bingo has been gaining momentum in the last few years and has become the new trendy social outlet for online gamblers who enjoy mixing it up. Our guide will lead you to the safest and most trusted brands in the online bingo industry.