Analyzing Ten Years of Kentucky Derby Payoffs

Analyzing Ten Years of Kentucky Derby Payoffs

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Anyone that has ever handicapped the Kentucky Derby knows how challenging it can be to pick the winner. With as many as 20 talented three-year-olds vying for victory while trying ten furlongs for the first time, the race is a recipe for longshots and upsets.

Given how hard it can be to pick the winner, it’s easy to imagine how hard it can be to pick the top two, three, four, or five finishers. Yet every year, handicappers across the country tackle the Kentucky Derby “exotics” to try and make a big score in the exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and super high five, and if they can successfully decipher the race and identify the top finishers, they can be handsomely rewarded.

Over the last ten years, the payoffs in the Kentucky Derby exotics have been very impressive. The $1 payoffs for the exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and super high fives have been as follows:

$1 Exacta
2006 – $293.50
2007 – $50.90
2008 – $70.80
2009 – $1,037.40
2010 – $76.20
2011 – $164.90
2012 – $153.30
2013 – $490.80
2014 – $170.00
2015 – $36.30

$1 Trifecta
2006 – $5,709.20
2007 – $220.00
2008 – $1,722.80
2009 – $20,750.30
2010 – $1,168.70
2011 – $1,976.20
2012 – $1,532.80
2013 – $3,462.80
2014 – $1,712.30
2015 – $101.00

$1 Superfecta
2006 – $42,430.20 and $29,919.50 (there was a dead-heat for fourth place)
2007 – $14,523.20
2008 – $29,368.90
2009 – $278,503.20
2010 – $101,284.60
2011 – $24,063.00
2012 – $48,046.40
2013 – $28,542.00
2014 – $7,691.90
2015 – $634.10

$1 Super High Five
2006 – Bet not offered
2007 – Bet not offered
2008 – No winning tickets
2009 – No winning tickets
2010 – No winning tickets
2011 – No winning tickets
2012 – No winning tickets
2013 – No winning tickets
2014 – $149,764.70
2015 – $6,658.30

A glance at these payoffs gives you an idea of how lucrative the Kentucky Derby exotics can be! Take the $1 trifecta–with the exceptions of 2007 and 2015, when three of the top four choices in the Derby wagering combined to sweep the top three finishing positions, the trifecta has never paid less than $1,500 over the last ten years.

The superfecta is much harder to hit, but with the exception of 2015–a very predictable year in which four of the top five wagering choices finished in the top four–it has never paid less than $7,691.90 for a $1 ticket, and has routinely featured a five- or six-digit payoff.

The super high five has been the hardest of all to hit, and in fact, no one was able to find the winning combination in the first six years that it was offered. It was finally hit in 2014 for a massive $149,764.70, and in 2015–despite the predictable results–it still paid a respectable $6,658.30.

Of course, hitting these wagers is much easier said than done, but it’s always a fun challenge, and one that can be very rewarding! Good luck with your handicapping!

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin’s quest to become North America’s richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the Bloodhorse.com blog Unlocking Winners.

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