Gear up for the 2016 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s vaunted Triple Crown. Last year, American Pharoah took home the title in the Triple Crown. Here’s a look at the upcoming event, horses to watch and history’s biggest payouts.
Kentucky Derby Time, Date, TV Schedule and Prize Money
The Kentucky Derby falls on the first Saturday in May. In 2016, the Kentucky Derby will be on May 7. Racing fans from around the world will don their best hats and pack Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., for the 142nd Run for the Roses.
The Derby starts at approximately 6:34 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on NBC starting at 4 p.m. Prior to the event, NBC Sports Network will broadcast four hours of Derby undercard races. The network will also cover five and a half hours of Kentucky Oaks coverage on Friday, May 6.
The 2016 Kentucky Derby has a $2 million purse. The winner will take home not just a gold trophy but a cool $1.24 million payday. The runner-up will go home with $400,000; $200,000 will go to third place; $100,000 to fourth; and $60,000 to fifth.
Kentucky Derby 2016: Horses to Watch
Twenty horses are looking to be Kentucky Derby winners in 2016, with six alternates ready to race should any drop out, get injured or be disqualified.
Nyquist is unbeaten in his last seven starts, including wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall and the Florida Derby the first weekend in April. He has odds of +350, 130 total points and is ranked second in the leaderboard. Owned by Reddam Racing LLC, Nyquist has won nearly $3.29 million in non-restricted stakes earnings.
Although Mohaymen finished fourth in the Florida Derby, his first Grade 1 Stakes race, he was unbeaten in the five previous starts. His odds are +700, he has 80 total points and is ranked ninth on the leaderboard. Mohaymen was purchased in 2014 for $2.2 million and has won $807,850 in non-restricted stakes earnings.
Although he was favored to win the Wood Memorial, Shagaf had a dismal showing. His Derby odds dropped from 30/1 to 17/1 and now stand at +4500. He has 50 total points and is ranked No. 14 on the leaderboard. Owned by Shadwell Stable, Shagaf has won $240,000 in non-restricted stakes earnings.
2015 Kentucky Derby Horses: Winners and Losers
In the 2015 Kentucky Derby results, Firing Line finished just one length behind American Pharoah, winning $400,000. American Pharoah won $1.24 million.
Third-place Dortmund finished three lengths behind and earned $200,000. Frosted came in fourth at 3 1/4 lengths behind, earning $100,000. Rounding out the top five was Danzig Moon, who finished 6 1/2 lengths back, earning $60,000.
Upstart came in dead last — 18th place — a full 60 1/2 lengths behind.
Superfecta: Biggest Derby Payouts in History
The Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875, but betting changed dramatically more than a century later in 1996. In order to win the superfecta bet, a gambler must accurately predict the first four winning horses in the correct order. Since the Kentucky Derby allows up to 20 horses to enter, it is considerably more difficult to win a superfecta at Churchill Downs than it would be at a normal race, which caps out at 12 entrants.
As with all bets that are incredibly difficult to win, superfecta payouts are enormous. Here are the biggest payouts from Kentucky Derby history, as reported by Examiner.com:
- The fourth- and fifth-highest payouts were in 2002 and 2001, which paid $91,764.50 and $62,986.90, respectively
- 2005 saw the highest superfecta payout ever, with $864,243.50 earned on a $1 bet
- In 2009, a $1 bet earned $278,503.20
- In 2010, a $1 bet landed a $101,284.60 superfecta prize
The 2016 Kentucky Derby is riding a wave of interest and excitement stoked by 2015’s historic Triple Crown. The winner stands to earn seven figures in prize money, and then much more for pedigree breeding after the race. Churchill Downs also stands to profit handsomely, as do makers of bourbon, the main ingredient in the Derby’s trademark mint julep.