The economic and equine stars are aligned for a 2018 Kentucky Derby pari-mutuel blowout.  Here’s why:

  • North American and U. S. pari-mutuel handle increased slightly in every year from 2014 through 2017 and the upward trend has continued in 2018.  Moreover, Keeneland closed out its spring meet with near-record handle, recovering from a bettors’ boycott in 2017.
  • The U. S. economy is strong with the unemployment rate at 4.1% (near full employment), jobless claims the lowest in 42 years, wage growth the best in a decade, and the recent federal tax cuts for individuals and corporations are just starting to make a difference.  This scenario encourages consumers and provides extra disposable income to spend on entertainment like betting on horse racing.
  • The Kentucky Derby field is very competitive with seven colts in the 20-horse field that are currently at 7 ½-to 1 odds or less and several live longshots that could close late in the stretch and boost payouts on exotic bets.
  • The presence of the royally-bred colt from Ireland Mendelssohn, currently at 9/2 odds, will attract lots of betting from the British Isles.  The colt destroyed the field in the UAE Derby in March and is owned and trained, respectively, by the formidable Coolmore Stud and Aidan O’Brien.
  • The weather forecast for Derby Day is for 79 degrees and partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain.  That should put bettors in the mood to open their wallets.

Copyright © 2018 Horse Racing Business


  1. Bill Shanklin says

    The new IRS rules on withholding could boost betting as well. This is the first year the rules will be operative for the Kentucky Derby.