One of the oldest traditions in North American sports will continue on Saturday, May 4 with the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. Often referred to as the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the American Thoroughbred Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

The annual rite of spring provides an excellent opportunity for both seasoned and novice sports bettors to try their hand at betting on horse racing, including wagering on who will win the Triple Crown. With the countdown continuing towards post time for the 145th edition of the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs, it remains a tight three-way race atop the Kentucky Derby odds.

With Omaha Beach a scratch due to an injury that could impair his breathing (an entrapped epiglottis), three of horses trained by the legendary Bob Baffert currently leads the way on the futures odds to win the Kentucky Derby: Game Winner and Roadster at +350 followed by Improbable at +500.

Unlike a bet you may place at the track on race day, with futures betting you can place a wager on which horse will win the Kentucky Derby days, or even weeks, ahead of the race. For a futures bet to be a winner, the horse wagered on must finish first, with your payout determined by moneyline odds.

In the case of the current Kentucky Derby betting favorites, which each sport +500 odds, a successful $100 bet on the winning horse will win you $500. If you already know how Kentucky Derby Betting works and want some info on the specific ponies, head to our Kentucky Derby Preview for more. If you're looking to learn about Kentucky Derby wagering. Keep reading!

Win/Place/Show Betting

Kentucky Derby betting on race day is just as simple, with plenty of opportunities to bet on the top three finishers in the most popular event in American horse racing through Win, Place, Show betting. Commonly referred to as "straight wagers", a Win bet is a wager on a horse to win a race, a Place bet enables you to bet on which horse will finish second, and a Show bet allows you to wager on a third-place finish.

While similar to futures bets in their simplicity, there are notable differences between futures bets and Win Place Show betting. Unlike futures betting, where the payout is determined by moneyline odds, in Win, Place, Show betting you are essentially betting against other horse race bettors laying wagers on the race, with the payout divided among bettors who have wagered on the horses finishing in the top three.

In the case of a Win bet, you cash in when the horse you have bet on finishes first. With a Place bet, you receive a payout if your horse finishes first or second, while a Show bet is a winner if your horse finishes first, second, or third. However, Place and Show bets will typically produce smaller payouts than a Win bet, even if your horse finishes first.

Across the Board betting is a popular variation on Win, Place, Show betting. With an Across the Board bet, you can wager on a single horse to Win, Place, and Show, guaranteeing a payout if the horse finishes top three.

This is an attractive option for novices wagering on the ponies for the first time, and can produce a handsome payout, particularly when a longshot finishes in the money.

Kentucky Derby Prop Betting

Another great way to bet on the Kentucky Derby for hte first time is Kentucky Derby Prop Betting. Prop betting enjoys rapidly growing popularity in other North American sports, most notably the Super Bowl and March Madness. And Kentucky Derby prop bets allow you to wager on aspects of the race other than which horse will win.

You no longer have to settle simply for the winner of the race or whether they'll Win, Place or Show. Examples of Kentucky Derby prop bets include margin of victory, with the odds of this year's Kentucky Derby winner claiming victory by OVER 1.5 lengths pegged at -160. Other featured prop bets include wagering on whether any horse will win the Triple Crown. If you don't think a horse will win all three, you can bet on whether they'll win 2 out of 3. Bet on crowd attendance at Churchill Downs, bet on the winning time at the Kentucky Derby, as well as whether this year's winner will smash Secretariat's winning time of 1:59:40, set in 1973.

The prop bets go all the way down to whether there will be an inquiry into the Derby. Kentucky Derby props are the best way to bet on the game within the game - or the race within the race - at the 145th Kentucky Derby.

Exotic Betting on the Kentucky Derby

The eyes of the North American sports world will turn to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 4 for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. In addition to representing the first leg of the prestigious American thoroughbred Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby also provides a golden opportunity for both novice and experienced sports bettors to try their hand at playing the ponies.

Among the most popular way to get in on the Kentucky Derby betting action is through straight wagering and futures betting. Also known as Win, Place, Show betting, straight wagers enable you to wager on a horse finishing first, second, or third in a race, while futures enable you to bet on the race winner, well ahead of post time, with the payout determined by moneyline odds.

With just over a week remaining until race day, Game Winner and Roadster remain deadlocked as Kentucky Derby favorites, each sporting +350 odds to win the 145th Kentucky Derby.

However, there are no shortage of other opportunities to take advantage of the Kentucky Derby odds, with a wide variety of exotic bets and prop bets available on the Fastest two Minutes in Sports.

The most popular exotic bets include exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta, and boxed wagers. With an exacta wager, you can bet on which horses will finish first and second, but the horses must finish in their exact order for your bet to be a winner. A quinella bet also allows you to wager on the top two finishers in a race, regardless of order. However, the payout will be less than on a winning exacta.

Kentucky Derby Trifecta, Superfeca Odds

Trifectas and superfectas will appeal to the more daring bettor, who has also done their homework. With a trifecta bet, you can wager on the exact order of finish of the top three horses in a race, while a superfecta enables you to bet on the top four, or more, also in exact order.

Given their daunting nature, not to mention the long odds they potentially pay out on, a boxed bet is worth considering when making trifecta and superfecta bets. With a boxed bet, you can take the guesswork out of Kentucky Derby exotic wagering by making multiple exotic bets on the same horse.

For example, boxing an exacta bet on Game Winner and Roadster is the equivalent of making two separate exacta bets with a different horse picked to finish first on each bet. The same principle applies to boxing a trifecta bet, which is equal to making six individual trifecta wagers.

Wheel bets add an additional layer of complexity, enabling you to bet on a single horse to finish first, and then a group of horses to finish second, third, and fourth, while Daily Double betting allows you to wager on the winners in consecutive races.

*Odds as of May 3, 2019