2015 Kentucky Derby Top Prop Betting Picks

David Schwab

Monday, April 20, 2015 3:16 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 3:16 PM UTC

We are still almost two weeks away from the running of this year’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 2. The final field of 20 or so of the nation’s top three-year old thoroughbreds is still being assembled with standouts such as American Pharoah and Dortmund leading the way as the top two early favorites. 

There is still plenty of action for bettors right now with a number of prop betting odds surrounding the race as provided by various sportsbooks. The following are my picks for a couple of these props that offer the most value in the numbers.


2015 Kentucky Derby Winning Time
There is a reason why the Kentucky Derby is called the most exciting two minutes in sports, which is right around how long it takes the winning horse to complete the 1 ¼ mile run on Churchill Downs’ dirt track in this race. Arguably the greatest horse in Triple Crown racing was Secretariat and he posted a winning time of 1:59.40 in the 1973 Kentucky Derby on his way to winning all three jewels of this rare racing crown.

When it comes to this year’s race, the money line for a winning time of OVER 2:02.50 is set at +105, while the UNDER for this exact same time is set at -135. Looking back at the recent results for the winning time of the Kentucky Derby, the last two races went OVER this time while the two preceding winning times in 2012 and 2011 stayed UNDER.

Taking a quick look at this year’s field, both American Pharoah and Dortmund have dominated the Kentucky Derby prep races they have won and the Derby itself could easily turn into a two horse race with one pushing the other in a really fast pace. That being said, I will take the extra risk on the current money line with a play on the UNDER 2:02.50 in this race.

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2015 Kentucky Derby: Head to Head Matchup
Looking at the prop bet odds in a head-to-head matchup between the top two contending horses to win the Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah is listed at -140 and Dortmund is listed at +110. One of the ironic things surrounding this matchup is that both three-year old’s are trained by Bob Baffert in what could be the ultimate win-win situation.

You would have to give the early edge to American Pharoah as the overall top favorite to win this year’s Kentucky Derby, but given how well both of these horses has raced so far in their careers as both juveniles and three-year olds, I would go with Dortmund as my pick in this particular prop given the better value in the betting odds.


2015 Kentucky Derby: American Pharoah vs. The Field
Anytime you line-up 20 or more horses in a race the length of the Kentucky Derby anything can happen no matter how much one horse is favored to win. This is why the prop bet odds for American Pharoah are set at +325 verses the money line odds for the betting on the rest of the field at -375 for this matchup.

When picking a winner for this prop, you have to try and determine whether or not the betting odds on the favorite will go up or down by post time of this race on May 2? There are some solid competitors in this field so they are likely to actually creep up a bit, but I am not all that comfortable betting the field against this horse given just how dominant he has been so far; especially in light of these risky money line odds. I am going chalk all the way in this race with a play on American Pharoah to best the field with the outright victory.

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