The Kentucky Derby Was Quite Lucrative for Some

Thomas Kelley /
Thomas Kelley /

Most people think of the Kentucky Derby as an event where you drink Mint Juleps and wear ridiculously oversized hats. However, for some, it’s truly about the horses – and the betting that happens on the different horses.

Mage was the winning horse in the 2023 Kentucky Derby this past Saturday, with Javier Castellano riding to the finish line.

Finishing second was Two Phil’s and third was Angel of Empire.

Betting on any of these three horses was going to bring you some money.

Mage had 16-1 odds, so it was almost entirely based on luck if you decided to bet on this horse. Those who only placed a $2 bet walked away with $32.42 for a win – so think about what you could have won if you bet $100 or more.

And if you managed to get all three horses on your ticket, in the winning order, it could have paid out over $15,000 to you on a $1 bet.

The 2023 Derby payouts were among some of the highest ever. The top five payouts to winners included $1.86 million to the winner, $600,000 to second place, and $300,000 to third place.

So, whether you were an owner of one of the horses or you happened to have a few bucks on the races, you could have ended up leaving Kentucky with quite a bit more in your pocket.

Of course, if you didn’t choose any of these three horses, you still likely had a good time. Even if you didn’t have a Mint Julep, hopefully, you enjoyed some Oysters Rockefeller or some Pimiento Cheese on crackers.

Next year, remember that even a few dollars on the right horse could have a lucrative payout.