5 Ways To Bet $10 On The Kentucky Derby

Written By Brian Cross on May 5, 2023 - Last Updated on June 7, 2024
Kentucky Derby Betting Ohio

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is upon us. By Saturday at 7 p.m. or so, the reigning horse will be making his way to the winner’s circle, and the lucky bettors among us will be celebrating our own wins. Even more of us will be kicking ourselves because the horse that won was the horse we almost picked.

But you can’t win if you don’t play, as they say. And it’s easier than ever to get in on the Ohio horse betting action, now that new betting apps have hit the market since the launch of legal sports betting in Ohio. A new promo from FanDuel Racing might ease the pain if your horse doesn’t finish.

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How to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Ohio

Derby Day at Churchill Downs features races all day long starting at 10:30 a.m. The actual Kentucky Derby is Race 12, with a post time of approximately 6:57 p.m.

By now, you might be familiar with the field, or you’ve heard the names of the favorites. Forte, Tapit Trice, Angel of Empire — the race is packed with top-notch runners. With 20 horses running, you might have more than one favorite.

Luckily there are ways to incorporate more than one horse into your bets. There are also ways to double down on your No. 1 choice. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be. Let’s take a look at five ways to bet on the Derby.

Straight Win bet

One horse for all the glory. It’s a simple bet with a good potential for profit. If you put $10 to Win on the favorite, Forte, with the current odds of 9/2, you’d cash out a total of $55 if he wins. Pick a longshot, like Rocket Can (35/1), and you could end up with $350 in winnings. But there’s a reason it’s called a longshot.

Place or Show

In the Derby, the favorite almost always finishes in the top four. Place and Show bets give your horse some wiggle room, in case he doesn’t pull off an outright win. Picking a horse to Place means your bet wins if the horse comes in first or second. A Show bet wins if your runner comes in first, second or third.

With the increased chance to win, you’re giving up some profit. These bets don’t pay as much as a Win bet, because the payout is split between the two (or three) horses.

Across the Board

This is a good option if you lack confidence, but not if you lack cash. Betting a horse across the board is actually three bets: One to Win, one to Place and one to Show. If your horse wins, you get all three payouts. If he places, well, you get the drift. If the horse finishes third, at least you get some money back, and maybe some profit.

This strategy is best used on horses with medium to long odds, not favorites. So it’s a good insurance policy on a horse like 15th-ranked Mage. A horse with short odds won’t pay much if it comes in third, and you might end up losing money anyway.


An exacta bet requires you to pick the top two finishers in the race, in the correct order. If you’re indecisive, or want to expand your winning possibilities, you can “box” your two horses for double the price. That means they can come in first and second in either order. This is sometimes called a Quinella.

You can also add more than two horses to your boxed Exacta, allowing for even more combinations. However, the price increases exponentially to cover each possible combination of horses. A $1 Exacta bet with three horses costs $6. Add a fourth horse, and it’s $12.

To save on your ticket cost, you can Key in your favorite horse at the No. 1 position, and add other runners for the No. 2 spot. But your Key horse has to win. If it finishes second, your bet is dead.

Trifecta and Superfecta

These two bets are like an Exacta on steroids. In a Trifecta, you pick the top three finishers. A Superfecta is for the top four. The minimum bet for these types are lower than for Straight bets and Exactas, so they don’t have to be expensive. Some tracks have a $0.10 minimum bet on Superfectas, meaning you could play 10 combinations for $1.00.

They’re super hard to win, but the payouts can be crazy. Last year the winning Kentucky Derby Superfecta paid $321,500.10 on a $1 wager. Of course, the payout was boosted by the long-shot winner Rich Strike with his 80-1 odds.

Take advantage of Ohio online racebook promos

DraftKings and FanDuel have both launched new racing apps, allowing Ohio bettors to place bets from anywhere (within state lines).

Ohio users of the FanDuel Sportsbook app don’t even need to download a new app to bet on the Kentucky Derby. And FanDuel Racing has a Derby promo that shouldn’t be missed. The $20 No Sweat Bet is eligible to be used on your first single straight Win bet on the Derby. If your horse doesn’t win, you get up to $20 back as a bonus bet to use later.

You can even watch the race right on your mobile device with FanDuel Racing, DraftKings Racing or Twin Spires.

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Brian Cross

Brian Cross contributes sports betting, casino and lottery coverage to PlayOhio and PlayPennsylvania. Brian studied Professional Writing and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati and has been a contributing writer at Cincinnati’s alt-weekly for over 10 years.

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