Kentucky Derby Kernels (April 25): Betting Options Galore

We’ve been through this exercise many times when it comes to betting on Kentucky Derby Day – the options are endless.

But away we go as Churchill Downs tells us to gear up for “massive pools” and a “wide variety of wagering opportunities,” starting on opening night (Aoril 27) — the night of Derby draw and a week before the May 4 Run for the Roses.

Honor Marie puts in speedy workout; Lukas planning for 2025 Derby

Derby Day features 14 races, seven stakes including the 150th Kentucky Derby. The betting menu includes five Pick 5s, five Pick 4s, and a mandatory payout on the 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot.

Last year, the Pick 5 that ended with the Derby handled $5.2 million and paid $17,538; the Pick 4 handled $3.3 million and returned $1,318; the Derby City 6 Jackpot handled $2.4 million and two winning tickets paid nearly $1.1 million each.

Kentucky Oaks Day on May 3 features five Pick 5s and four Pick 4s. Several two-day wagers also start: the 50-cent Oaks/Turf Classic/Derby Pick 3 and the $1 two-day Pick 6 with six Grade 1s – the La Troienne and Oaks on Friday and the Turf Classic, the Churchill Downs, the Derby City Distaff, and the Derby.

There’s also the Oaks/Derby Double, the 50-cent All Dirt Pick 5 on Derby Day, and the $3 All 3-Year-Old Pick 3 on Derby Day. (2023 handle $297,451).

Betting opens Tuesday on the Derby and Oaks, along with the Oaks/Derby Double.

Superfecta wagers will be a $1 minimum on Derby and Oaks days but will be a 10-cent minimum on all other days.

Got all that?

Best of luck, fellow gamblers.

Honor Marie’s connection happy after colt’s workout

Everybody was smiling when I got back to the barn, and a lot of times that doesn’t happen.’’

D. Wayne Lukas – Photo Courtesy of

Those were the words of jockey Ben Curtis after he returned from breezing Honor Marie 5 furlongs in 59.20 seconds in company with stablemate Agoo at Churchill Downs on Thursday. The time was the fastest of 11 at the distance.

Trainer Whit Beckman said, “We can take one breath now that the work is over. He came back to the barn, and everything was great. The work was great. It reminded me a lot of his work leading up to the Kentucky Jockey Club, except that work was over at (Churchill Downs’) Trackside.”

Lukas, at 88, looking ahead to 2025 Derby

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will send out Just Steel in the Derby and Lemon Muffin in the Oaks next weekend, but he wants us to know he’s planning more than a year ahead.

“We’re very fortunate to have some solid horses in the barn this year and in both the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, but I’ve got a great 2-year-old class getting ready to come in the barn,” Lukas said. “Derby 150 is special, but we always have to keep thinking forward.”

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