With the 2023 Kentucky Derby on the horizon, horse racing bettors in Massachusetts can gear up for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
In just a couple of weeks, the best horses in the world will gather at Churchill Downs for a chance to win a $3 million prize. And if you’re a Massachusetts gambler, you’ve got a chance to win payouts of your own.
Even with the recent addition of legal sports betting, horse race betting in Massachusetts is alive and well.
Here’s what to know if you’re wanting to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Massachusetts this year.
When is the Kentucky Derby?
The 2023 Kentucky Derby takes place on May 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Coverage of the event starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The race itself starts at 7:30 p.m. Fans can also stream the race using Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
When placing wagers, horse racing fans in Massachusetts have plenty of options.
If you’re looking for simulcast wagering, Massachusetts’ three horserace betting venues — Suffolk Downs, Raynham Park, and Plainridge Park Casino — have you covered.
For those heading to Suffolk Downs, bettors can watch and wager through the site’s advance deposit wagering partners. Partners include TVG, FanDuel Racing, Twinspires, 1/st Racing and NYRA Bets.
Suffolk Downs opened its doors back in 1935 — the same year Massachusetts legalized pari-mutuel wagering. According to the track’s website, some of the industry’s most historic horses like Seabiscuit and Skip Away ran on site.
Raynham Park boasts a long history in Massachusetts as well. The track opened in 1940, not as a horse racing venue, but a greyhound racetrack. Massachusetts outlawed greyhound racing in 2009, and since then the facility has offered simulcast-only wagering.
It’s worth noting that Raynham Park will look a bit different in the near future. This spring, the park will unveil its new Caesars Sportsbook.
Massachusetts’ third and final location to offer pari-mutuel, the Plainridge Racecourse, is located in Plainville.
Plainridge is the lone track within the state that offers live thoroughbred racing. The track is connected to the Plainridge Park Casino.
In addition to in-person horse wagering, bettors can also bet online through operators such as TVG and FanDuel Racing. TVG offers a 24-hour broadcast network, which is now a part of FanDuel TV.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently approved DK Horse as an online option for residents. DK Horse, owned by DraftKings, will operate in partnership with Suffolk Downs.
Different Kentucky Derby bets
There are a number of ways you can wager on the first leg of the Triple Crown this year.
Simply put, you can bet on a specific horse to win. You can wager on a specific horse to place, too, which means it needs to finish first or second.
Additionally, you can place a bet on a horse to show, meaning if it places first, second or third, you’ll win.
You can bet on multiple horses within the same wager, too. But it’s a bit more complex. Bets include:
- Exacta – Betting two horses, with one to win and one to place second in a specific order
- Quinella – Betting on two horses, with one to win and one to finish second, but the order does not matter
- Trifecta – Wagering on three horses to win, place and show in the correct order
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A look at the 2023 Kentucky Derby field
Following the Kentucky Derby draw on May 1, and the four late scratches, here is the official 19-horse field and their post position and current odds:
- Hit Show (33-1)
- Verifying (19-1)
- Two Phil’s (8-1)
- Confidence Game (20-1)
- Tapit Trice (6-1)
- Kingsbarns (12-1)
- Reincarnate (15-1)
- Mage (20-1)
- Skinner (SCRATCHED)
- Practical Move (SCRATCHED)
- Disarm (27-1)
- Jace’s Road (39-1)
- Sun Thunder (37-1)
- Angel Of Empire (6-1)
- Forte (4-1)
- Raise Cain (50-1)
- Derma Sotogake (8-1)
- Rocket Can (37-1)
- Lord Miles (SCRATCHED)
- Continuar (SCRATCHED)
- Cyclone Mischief (38-1)
- Mandarin Hero (26-1)
- King Russell (39-1)
Will we see a Triple Crown winner this year? Over the last 40 years, just two horses accomplished the feat. Justify was the most recent, winning in 2018.
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, takes place on Saturday, May 20. The third leg, the Belmont Stakes, runs on Saturday, June 10.
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7