Kentucky Derby Best Bets

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On Saturday, May 1, we will witness the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The greatest spectacle in American horse racing is almost upon us, and with that, what we need to know is what are the Kentucky Derby best bets? We’re here to help you find out.

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kentucky derby best bets

How to Decide on Kentucky Derby Best Bets

Kentucky Derby online betting is extremely competitive. Online racebooks are all fighting for business and that is great for bettors.

With that, there will be Kentucky Derby betting promotions coming, but you need to take full advantage of them. If you are a handicapper to any degree, then there are tangible factors to take into account.

Form, breeding, the post-position draw (once we know it) and of course the likely odds are all important. Deciding on your Kentucky Derby best bets is about a lot more than just picking the horse you like.

Those near the top of the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard have earned their place there. By winning Grade I races, earning points and cash, these horses have put themselves in the frame to chase down some glory.

One thing to remember about form, though, is that it’s in the past. We have to determine who we believe will be at their best on the day, using their breeding alongside their form and trying to second guess who is likely to show improvement.

Betting horses whose sires have run well in the race is one way to settle on Kentucky Derby best bets. Another is to track race and workout times.

You are free to make your picks yourself of course, however, we’re here to help you. Our Kentucky Derby tips are based on years of knowledge and so we begin our guide on the best way to bet on the Kentucky Derby with 2020’s top contenders.

Main Kentucky Derby Contenders 2020

Although extreme outsiders can win, it remains rare. Especially in a race of this magnitude. So, a good Kentucky Derby betting strategy should start with separating the top competitors in the race. While we wait for the 2021 lineup, here are last year’s tips.

Tiz The Law

Number one on the list is the Belmont Stakes winner, therefore the only horse who could be Triple Crown champ.

Tiz The Law is definitely the best three-year-old around right now, there’s no doubting that. Plenty of Kentucky Derby betting tips will feature this guy, but he is fallible.

The brilliant Travers Stakes winner was beaten around Churchill downs as a juvenile, and so it remains possible that he is not at his best around that track.

Art Collector

A true form shout, this guy beat Swiss Skydiver in July and she has gone on to claim the Alabama Stakes (Grade I) easily since then.

Since that win, Art Collector has taken the Ellis Park Derby in the style of one who can improve again. Given his predicted odds, he has to be considered one of the Kentucky Derby best bets this year.


At crazy predicted odds of around 10/1, Bob Baffert’s real talent may be one of the critical Kentucky Derby horses.

A winner over NY Traffic in the TVG Haskell Stakes, this colt is serious and given his injury from the start of the year we must assume that he needed that run and will be a whole lot better come Derby day.

NY Traffic

On the balance of his form, NY Traffic is a little behind the other three mentioned. In getting close to Authentic, though, he has to make the shortlist of potential Kentucky Derby best bets.

We must always look for improvement, especially with sophomores. With that in mind, considering his latest run was easily his best we have to believe he is on an upward curve and that counts for plenty in the context of this race.

What Horses Suit What Wagers?

It should be simple right? You like a horse, so you wager on it. But not so. More than one horse can win this. We can’t be 100% confident about Kentucky Derby tips, so it’s about the value and finding which horse suits which bet.

Here is how to best play the four contenders mentioned above:

Tiz The Law in Boxed Bets

The Belmont Stakes winner is a beast. He really is. However, as we’ve discovered he is beatable on this track.

With that in mind, one of the better Kentucky Derby betting tips is to avoid Tiz The Law for the win as his odds are too short. There’s just no value there.

Use him in Quinellas. Meaning, if he runs great but is beaten, he can still get you a payout. The Quinella means picking two horses; they need to finish first and second in any order. You could also box more ambitious bets using more horses with this guy as your safety

Authentic and Art Collector for Win Bets

While they can also be used in the Quinella, the odds likely available on these two horses makes them viable wagering propositions on the nose.

Tiz The Law is keeping the odds on these two colts high. If you like them and they are good, then you could back them both to small stakes for the win. It wouldn’t be the worst Kentucky Derby betting strategy. Trifecta on all three anybody? Why not throw NY Traffic in for good measure, at least if you’re looking for a huge payday.

Authentic to Show

One of the best ways to bet the Kentucky Derby is to play safe on a horse that looks underestimated. Should Authentic’s odds remain high, betting him to show is a no-brainer. Show means he must finish in the first three, in any position, so even if he puts up a bold show and is beaten close to the wire we get paid out.

Kentucky Derby Wagering Conclusion

Picking your Kentucky Derby best bets cannot be done without knowledge. Use what we’ve told you, but in the end, it’s up to you.

Our Kentucky Derby betting tips are based on years of knowledge, but what we don’t know is what the post position draw will bring and how the horses will work in the days before September 5.

So, the key thing to remember is to get value for money. If you believe your horse has a one in three chance of landing the Kentucky Derby and yet he is 5/1, get on it!