On a wet, muddy, sloppy track, Justify did what the previous five Kentucky Derby favorites have done and beat the field.
Justify also broke a 136-year drought by winning the Derby despite never once racing as a two-year-old.
That key bit of information won one lucky bettor a bundle.
A justified futures wager
First, one bettor put $500 on Justify at 300-1 in February at the Wynn. The bet was made by a respected horseman, and he was able to get the odds mostly because Justify hadn’t raced as a two year-old. The win produced a massive $150,000 haul.
Striking it rich in Texas
Second and even more impressive, a woman from Austin placed an $18 Pick-5 at Retama Park in Texas that yielded a $1.2M score.
The lucky lady correctly predicted the winners of Churchill Downs Races 8-12, including a 40-1 long shot in race #10.
Despite the rain, a downpour of wagers
This year’s Derby was one of the wettest on record, yet 157,813 people still attended the race. Maybe to get in from the rain, or maybe because betting on the Derby is just fun, wagers this year were at all-time levels. From Churchill Downs directly:
Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $225.7 million, an 8% increase over the 2017 total and previous record of $209.2 million. Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby race increased 8% to $149.9 million from the previous record of $139.2 million set last year.
When there’s a viable Triple Crown threat, wager volume tends to trend upward. We’ll track if that’s the case, as Justify is certainly viewed as a contender to do so. As of Monday, he’s listed at 3/2 to complete the Triple Crown.