Derby Guide

Derby Guide

Because the Kentucky Derby is as old as Churchill Downs itself, you can bet that some time-honored traditions have emerged as a result. The Kentucky Derby showcases far more than just Thoroughbred horses, it is a display of hats, dress, drinks and attitude. Check out the traditions of the Kentucky Derby.

Chruchill Downs Location

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Chruchill Downs Policies

Prohibited Items at Churchill Downs:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Briefcases, large bags, luggage and backpacks
  • Bottles, cans and any liquid containers
  • Coolers
  • Grills
  • Thermoses
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons
  • Wagons

Permitted Items at Churchill Downs:

  • Baby Bags
  • Binoculars, cameras and camcorders
  • Blankets
  • Cell phones
  • Chairs
  • Packed lunches in clear plastic bags
  • Purses
  • Strollers (one child per)
  • Small radios, TV’s, CD players (no large items)
  • Tarpaulins (for infield only)

Types of Bets Placed at the Derby

If you have never placed a bet at the Kentucky Derby, here are three bets that are easy for beginners to place:

1. Win Bet

A win bet is the simplest type of bet to place at the Kentucky Derby. To place a win bet, all you need to do is bet on which horse you think will win the race. So, if you think this year's favorite horse will take the roses, then go ahead and place your bet on him and collect your payout.

2. Place Bet

A place bet is another easy bet, and it even increases your chance of winning. To make a place bet, choose the horse that you think will come in first or second. Because your chances of winning are higher, the payout will be lower than a win bet.

3. Show Bet

A show bet is the easiest bet of the three to win, as you must choose the horse that will come in either first, second or third place. Again, because your chances of winning are higher, the payout will be lower than a win bet.

Steps for Betting

Follow these steps for betting and you will be making your first Kentucky Derby bet in no time:

1. Pick up a copy of the day's racing form. There will be copies in your local newspaper, at the track and online. This form will provide you with the appropriate schedule of events and the horses' numbers.

2. You probably want to purchase a guide to research the horses and their past performances. A guide will outline a horse's age, statistics and record. You should read about the horses in the race you would like to bet on.

3. Select the horse you think will win first, second or third place.

4. Place your bet at the window or computer kiosk. It is typically much quicker to place your bet at the computer to save time standing in line. Pay your money and receive your betting slip

5. Watch the race and your horse. Redeem your ticket at the betting window if your horse wins. Tickets are usually good for redemption for up to two months.