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2023 Kentucky Derby: Prize Money, Ponies, and Plenty of Parties

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Part horse racing and other parts Met Gala, Churchill Downs is a whole vibe. Boardroom has all the details on the payouts, horses, and happenings at the 149th Kentucky Derby.

Twenty horses and jockeys, a stable full of celebrities, and a 1 1/4-mile dash at perhaps the most iconic race track in the world.

Horse racing season is indeed heating up.

As the first jewel in the Triple Crown, the 149th “Run for the Roses” represents the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports and it’s all going down Saturday, May 6 at 6:57 p.m. ET.

So, be sure to set your alarm (again, it’s a two-minute race), get your picks in, and mix up your mint juleps — it’s almost derby time.

But first, let’s see what the finishers can expect in Kentucky Derby prize money payouts, not to mention look at the latest betting lines and behind-the-scenes brouhaha of the annual affair.

Kentucky Derby Prize Money 2023

The first-ever prize purse for the Kentucky Derby in 1875 was roughly $1,000, which would be roughly $27,439.64 today when accounting for inflation.

Now, nearly 150 years later, the total winnings have multiplied to $3 million — a roughly 3,000% increase over time.

With no apparent updates to the current prize structure, which hasn’t changed since 2019, the first-place finisher can expect $1.86 million, while the runner-up will still swing six figures.

Here’s a look at the 2023 Kentucky Derby payouts for the top five finishers at Churchill Downs:

  • First Place: $1.86 million (10% or $186,000 of which goes to the jockey)
  • Second Place: $600,000 (5% or $30,000 of which goes to the jockey)
  • Third Place: $300,000 (5% or $15,000 of which goes to the jockey)
  • Fourth Place: $150,000 ($4,500 of which goes to the jockey)
  • Fifth Place: $90,000 ($2,500 of which goes to the jockey)

Of course, winning the historic horse race hasn’t always been as prosperous for the ponies and their jockeys.

From 2005-18, the total prize purse was about $2 million — with about $1.24 million going to the winner, followed by $400,000 to the runner-up and $200,000 to the third-place finisher.

Between 1996 and 2004, the total prize pool was $1 million, and before that, from 1991-95, the total purse was $500,000.

And no, winning is not just about the money. The successful steed and its ownership group will claim a gold trophy, a garland of roses, and can take aim at the Triple Crown — not to mention a celebrity status for the remaining races — at The Belmont Stakes and The Preakness.

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2023 Kentucky Derby Favorites

Could Tapit Trice be the one? What about Derma Sotogake? And you can’t count out Angel of Empire.

While oddsmakers had Forte and famed-jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. as the odds-on favorite to win the Derby (opening odds of 3-1), the horse was deemed a late scratch only hours before the race.

Rounding out the field is Tapit Trice (5-1) and Angel of Empire (6-1), the only other horses to open with better than 10-1 odds.

Let’s have a look at the entire slate of opening odds, as well as poll positions and jockeys.

NOTE: As of Friday, May 5 five horses were scratched from the field — Practical Move, Lord Miles, Skinner, Continuar, and Forte.

Kentucky Derby Odds 2023

Numbers via FanDuel Sportsbook reflect the official line for the 2023 Kentucky Derby as of May 5, 2023.

1Hit ShowManny Franco30-1
2VerifyingTyler Gaffalione15-1
3Two Phil’s Jareth Loveberry12-1
4Confidence GameJames Graham20-1
5Tapit TriceLuis Sáez5-1
6KingsbarnsJosé Ortiz12-1
7ReincarnateJohn Velázquez50-1
8MageJavier Castellano15-1
9SkinnerJuan HernándezSCR
10Practical MoveRamón VázquezSCR
11DisarmJoel Rosario30-1
12Jace’s RoadFlorent Géroux50-1
13Sun ThunderBrian Hernandez Jr.50-1
14Angel of EmpireFlavien Prat8-1
15ForteIrad Ortiz Jr.SCR
16Raise CainGerardo Corrales50-1
17Derma SotogakeChristophe Lemaire10-1
18Rocket CanJúnior Alvarado30-1
19Lord MilesPaco LópezSCR
20ContinuarRyusei SakaiSCR
21 (AE)Cyclone MischiefJoel Rosario30-1
22(AE)Mandarin HeroKazushi Kimura20-1
23 (AE)King RussellRafael Bejarano50-1

Behind the Scenes at Churchill Downs

FanDuel TV host (and former Miss Kentucky) Maria Montgomery has all the details of what’s going on at Churchill Downs outside of the race itself.

“Even if you aren’t a die-hard horse racing fan, there’s something for everyone to come and enjoy the glitz and glamor and the southern hospitality at Churchill Downs,” she told Boardroom.

From charities and fundraisers to parties and more, Montgomery said the Derby is loaded with things to do for fans and curious spectators alike. And you can’t forget about the fashion, which Montgomery said can be likened to the Met Gala, only with a more southern spin and loaded with bright colors, fun prints, and all sorts of amazing hats.

“There are no rules,” Montgomery said. “The Derby represents one time to step outside of the box and do something crazy.”

Aside from the Derby, Montgomery said the celebrity-packed Barnstable Brown Gala is a can’t-miss event, calling it “one of the best and most exclusive parties over the years.” This year’s event has a stacked confirmed guest list, including Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and hometown hero, Jack Harlow.

Catch Montgomery and others during all of FanDuel TV’s coverage of Derby week free on FanDuel TV +, available on Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV-connected devices.

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