How To Bet On The Kentucky Derby Legally & Get Yourself Pumped For That Possible Payout

One of the biggest sporting events of the year is coming up Saturday, and Churchill Downs is prepped for another Kentucky Derby with some really hot contenders in this year's race. But of course, that isn't the only thing that draws people to watch the Derby — it's also one of the biggest betting events of the year. If you want to bet on the ponies in the Kentucky Derby legally, you can do it through the official website.

The Kentucky Derby website recommends using Twinspires.com, the event's official betting site, which is owned by the same company that puts on the race. Make sure you create an account and put some money in it first so that you're all ready to go on Sunday when the race is starting. You can also check out the Derby's guide to betting for additional tips about how to place your bets. And if you'll be on the go on Saturday, you can download the official Kentucky Derby betting app to keep track.

Of course, make sure you're informed about your bet first. Most industry websites have picked Nyquist, the winner of the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, as the favorite to take this year's derby, but there are a few factors working against him. First, there's the concern that Nyquist might have peaked too early. Only one horse has ever won both the Breeders' Cup (which is for two-year-old horses) and the Kentucky Derby (which races three-year-old thoroughbreds). Second, Nyquist just won the Florida Derby, so he might not be at the top of his game for this race. And last but not least, trainer Doug O'Neill reportedly trains Nyquist in long gallops, which might not be the best strategy for this race.

If Nyquist does not emerge victorious, the odds say that the winner will either be Exaggerator, who won the Santa Anita Derby last month and has a solid 4-2-1 record, or Mohaymen, who was previously undefeated before going head-to-head with Nyquist at the Florida Derby in April. Obviously, Nyquist can beat Mohaymen and he's got the statistical advantage over Exaggerator, but the very specific race day conditions will be a huge factor in the outcome.

The Kentucky Derby, and horse racing itself, is a time-honored tradition that is fun, easy, and safe to participate in through betting. The winning horse has a guaranteed $2 million prize and lifetime prestige — and if you make the right bet, you might get lifetime prestige with your friends and family, plus a little cash on the side.