2023 Kentucky Derby Prize Money Breakdown: How Much Will The Kentucky Derby Winner Earn?

kentucky derby winner
kentucky derby winner

The 2023 Kentucky Derby prize money breakdown will see the Churchill Downs horses running for a purse of $3m, with the winning horse banking a cool $1.86m of that. We take a look at the Kentucky Derby prize money in more detail below, plus also highlight what the winning jockey and trainers will earn.

Kentucky Derby Betting Offers For 2023 Churchill Downs Race

2023 Kentucky Derby Prize Money Breakdown: What Will the Winning Horse Get?

On May 6, US horse racing fans will witness the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby as a maximum field of 20 runners will look to cement their place in US horse racing folklore.

However, not only will the winning horse, owner, trainer and jockey have their name etched in the Kentucky Derby hall of fame, but there is also a lucrative cash prize for the winning connections.

There is a $3m purse on the table for the best horses, with the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner set to get $1.86m of that – which equates to a massive 62% of the total Kentucky Derby prize money.

You can see below the split on what the other best-placed finishers will earn – with the second banking $600,000 and the fifth $90,000.

But, that’s it! Only the top five Kentucky Derby runners will get a share of the purse. Meaning 15 horses will leave Churchill Downs with nothing but the experience.

Despite this monster first prize, the Kentucky Derby is still dwarfed by the richest horse race in the world – the Saudi Cup, with a $20m purse and $10m to the winner.

What Is the Kentucky Derby Purse?

  • 1st: $1.86 million (62%)
  • 2nd: $600,000 (20%)
  • 3rd: $300,000 (10%)
  • 4th: $150,000 (5%)
  • 5th: $90,000 (3%)

When is the Kentucky Derby 2023?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday May 6 at Churchill Downs racetrack.

📅Time/Date: 6:57pm, Saturday May 6, 2023
🏇Racecourse: Churchill Downs
💰 Purse/Winner: $3m / £1,860,000
📺 TV: NBC and Peacock
🎲 Kentucky Derby Odds: Forte 3/1 | Tapit Trice 5/1 | Angel Of Empire 8/1

What Does The Winning Kentucky Derby Trainer and Owner Earn?

This can vary slightly, depending on if there is a private retainer deal in place between the owner and the trainers.

However, in general, the winning Kentucky Derby owner will get 80% of the prize month, with the jockey and the trainer getting the other 10% each.

So, based on the $1.86m for winning the 2023 Kentucky Derby, the winning owner would pocket $1.488m (before any taxes), with the jockey and trainer getting $186,000 each.

Not bad for just 2 minutes work!

Of course, in addition to the cash, the winning horse will also get the Run for the Roses, draped over them. Plus, the winning owner will receive a gold trophy (pictured below) and the trainers, jockey and even the horse’s breeder will pick up smaller silver trophies each to remember the day.

kentucky derby trophy
Kentucky Derby Trophy

RELATED: 2023 Kentucky Derby Trends: Churchill Down Stats To Help Find The Kentucky Derby Winner

How Much Did the First Kentucky Derby Winner Get?

The current Kentucky Derby prize pot might be standing at a cool $3m, but how much did the first winners of the Run for the Roses earn?

You have to go back to 1875 to find the first running of the Kentucky Derby and that year the winner – Aristides – won $2,850, with the runner-up just $200. Okay, in 1875, that would have still be a heck of a lot of money, but since then the race prize money has come a long way.

In 1946, the purse was at $100k and over the next 50 years rose to break the $1m mark in 1996, when the Jerry Bailey-ridden Grindstone won the race.

In 2005, there was another $1m added to take the purse to $2, which the John Shirreffs-trained Giacomo won the bulk of. Then in 2019 was the latest increase to $3m, which is where the Kentucky Derby prize fund sits today.

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