Mountain State horse racing bettors have substantial choices regarding the Kentucky Derby. West Virginia horse racing fans will enjoy the most exciting two minutes around the track this weekend.
Saturday’s race, the 147th running, occurs at 6:57 p.m. EST. That coincides perfectly with gamblers attending the live card at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, which starts at 7 p.m.
Numerous online betting options also exist, and the convenience of wagering on one’s phone, tablet or computer is extraordinary.
Here’s a look at the field for this $3 million race, the first jewel in thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes follows May 15, and the Belmont is run June 5.
Kentucky Derby betting in WV
About 45,000 spectators will be allowed at Churchill Downs, roughly double from the 2020 race, which had to be pushed to September because of the pandemic.
The attendance record of 170,513 for the 2015 Derby may not be threatened yet, but crowds of that size will likely return soon.
Secretariat holds the record of 1:59.40 for this 1 1/4-mile event. None of the horses have gone that exact distance yet, which adds to the intrigue.
Here is the field with initial odds, which will change.
2021 Kentucky Derby post positions
- Known Agenda
- Like The King
- Brooklyn Strong
- O Besos
- Medina Spirit
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Midnight Bourbon
- Dynamic One
- Hidden Stash
- Essential Quality
- Rock Your World
- King Fury
- Highly Motivated
- Super Stock
- Soup And Sandwich
Essential Quality, the 2-1 favorite, is five-for-five in his career.
Rock Your World, 5-1, won the Santa Anita Derby impressively.
Hot Rod Charlie, 8-1, won the Louisiana Derby, the longest prep race at 1 3/16 miles.
Highly Motivated, 10-1, was nipped at the wire by Essential Quality in the Blue Grass and will be played.
Known Agenda, 6-1, captured the Florida Derby but must contend with the undesirable rail.
Long shots gaining respect include O Besos and Midnight Bourbon, who finished necks apart just behind Hot Rod Charlie in the Louisiana Derby. They opened at 20-1.
King Fury, 20-1, impressively won the Lexington Stakes.
Bourbonic, 30-1, was dead, dead last in New York’s Wood Memorial most of the way. And then he launched a rally that looked like it started in West Virginia. He went from last to first in the homestretch, at 72-1.
Kentucky Derby wagering observations
The 2020 Derby provided a blueprint for stalking a big payday. Tiz the Law, the 3-5 favorite, ran second to Authentic, 8-1. Mr. Big News, 46-1, ran third, and Honor A.P., 6-1, was fourth.
The $1 trifecta returned $1,311, and the $1 superfecta paid $7,925. It paid well because a long shot beat the favorite and another long shot ran third.
A key entry was one route to that payday.
For $6, you can bet a $1 trifecta key with your favorite horse in the first position and three others, in any order, running second and third. For $6 more, place the same horse in the second spot with the others filling the first and third positions.
Superfecta options cost more, covering more horses, but the concept is the same.
Last year, Tiz the Law was a popular key, and the right long shots came in around him.
Other types of bets:
- Win – Horse to hit the finish line first.
- Place – Second or first, with smaller payout.
- Show – Third or higher, with even smaller payout.
- Exacta – The top two finishers, in exact order. Best to box them, e.g., a 2-4 box cashes whether the winning order is 2-4 or 4-2.
- Trifecta – The top three finishers, in exact order. A $1 trifecta box costs $6, and if you have the top three finishers, they are covered in any order.