What does it cost to enter a horse in the Kentucky Derby?
This is a pretty common question in my email around this time of year, so instead of answering it there I will just put it up for all to see. We all know it costs a lot just to buy the horse and train him up to the Triple Crown, but what exactly are the costs to nominate, enter, and run?
First off, you have three different times you can nominate and, of course, the earlier you do it the cheaper it is. For 2009, if you nominated by January 24th it was only $600 to nominate a horse and make him/her eligible for all three Triple Crown races. That is why you see big name trainers with several nominees, to people at that level of the game $600 is pocket change. From January 25th to March 28th, it is $6000 to nominate and be eligible for all three races, still not too expensive if you have a talented late bloomer in your barn. After March 28th the nominations are closed and in the past that meant you couldn't get in the races no matter what. A few years ago they changed that to allow for supplementary nominations but the price is a hefty one. Until the Kentucky Derby it costs $200,000 to supplement and be eligible for all three races. If you wait until after the Derby, that goes down to $100,000 which will make you eligible for the Preakness and the Belmont or just the Belmont if you wait until after the Preakness has run. So there is no break in price if all you want is the Belmont, but at least the supplemental entry fees are added to the purse money. These supplementary fees are non-refundable except in the case of the Derby where it will be refunded if the race is over subscribed (more than 20 entered) and your horse doesn't get in the race. All horses nominated before the March 28 deadline get preference over supplements, regardless of earnings, when the field for the Derby is selected.
The fees don't stop with the nomination. For the Kentucky Derby it costs $25,000 to enter and another $25,000 to start with a minimum $500 jockey mount fee for starters that finish beyond 3rd place. That means the cheapest you can get into the Derby (excluding normal costs like training, vet, transportation, etc.) is $51,100 if you nominate early. If you go in the Preakness or Belmont, it is $10,000 to enter and another $10,000 to start for each of those races.
The reward for these races, in addition to the prestige and impact on future stud fees, is pretty high but mostly just for the winner. Only the Derby adds all of the entry, starter, and supplement fees to the purse, and any amount above $900,000 goes to the winner only. Here are the purse money breakdowns for the individual races:
$2,000,000 minimum gross purse
$1,240,000 plus all fees in excess of $900,000
In addition to this, each owner entering a horse will get a big gift pack with jackets, hats, shirts, pins, and probably a bunch of other stuff related to the local area. At the Derby they also get free use of a car with a big Derby sign on the side, not sure if the other tracks do that one too. They will also get invited to tons of parties and other schmooze fests plus get the really good third floor clubhouse seats for the Derby. For many I guess these perks plus being able to say you had a horse run in the Kentucky Derby are enough to spend the $51,100+ it takes to get there.
Oxbow upsets in the Preakness - Oxbow led the entire way in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico with Itsmyluckyday second and Mylute third. Heavy favorite Orb made a mild move to finish fourth. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Preakness undercard stakes results - There were 7 other stakes on the card, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Skyring and the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) won by Summer Applause. Get the results, charts, and photos for 6 of the races here.
Fiftyshadesofhay wins the Black-Eyed Susan - Fiftyshadesofhay just got up to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on Friday at Pimlico by a neck over Marathon Lady with favorite Emollient 6th. On the undercard, Last Gunfighter won the Pimlico Special (G3). Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2013 - My annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. The big surprise is that Kentucky Derby winner Orb is not in the top group!
Orb wins the Kentucky Derby - Orb was far back early but took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 1/2 lengths over longshot Golden Soul and Revolutionary. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
More Kentucky Derby Photos - More photos from the day including more of Orb, the trophy, the roses, Martina McBride, and lots of mud.
Kentucky Derby undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Derby day including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) won by Aubby K. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Princess of Sylmar upsets in the Kentucky Oaks - She rallied from far back to win the Kentucky Oaks by a half length over Beholder and Unlimited Budget, while favorite Dreaming of Julia was fourth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Oaks day including the La Troienne Stakes (G2) won by Authenticity and the Alysheba Stakes (G3) won by Take Charge Indy. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Kentucky Oaks Entries - A field of 11 fillies will go, with Gulfstream Oaks winner Dreaming of Julia favorite at 3-1 from post 8. Get the post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.