Kentucky Derby

How Much Does the Kentucky Derby Winner Earn?

With this year’s Kentucky Derby swiftly approaching, here’s a look at the cash purse for the race and how the prize is distributed amongst the finishers

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One of the most important races for everyone who follows equestrian sports is upon us: the Kentucky Derby, which has been held on the first Saturday of May ever since 1875, is back.

Winning the Derby is a prestigious achievement and a huge achievement within the sport. It is also a career-defining moment for the owners and trainers of Kentucky Derby starters, but the icing on the cake is the large $3 million purse that is awarded to the top five horses and their riders.

The Derby, which kicks off the Triple Crown Series, is the first event in the series with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes to follow in subsequent weeks. A total of 35 horses will make their way across the track at Churchill Downs, but only the top 20 finishers will earn a spot in the event. 

With the highly-anticipated race just days away, here's a look at the $3 million purse and how it's distributed amongst the winners:

Who gets a part of the Kentucky Derby purse in 2023?

Twenty equines compete in the one-and-a-quarter-mile event, but only the top five finishers in the race will share the cash prize. 

How much is the Kentucky Derby purse in 2023?

This two-minute race is one of the most watched in the United States, with the total purse ringing in at $3 million. 

How much money does the Kentucky Derby winner take home?

The first-place winner will get $1.86 million, while the jockey will take home $186,000. 

The second-place finisher will take home $600,000, with the jockey taking home $30,000. For third place, the finisher will be awarded $300,000, with the jockey earning $15,000. The rider earns $4,500 for being in fourth place, and the owner receives $150,000. The jockey in fifth place wins $2,500 and the owner receives $90,000.

How does the Kentucky Derby purse compare to other Triple Crown races?

The Kentucky Derby, which brings in a $3 million purse, is the highest purse of the Triple Crown races. The Belmont Stakes comes closely behind with a $1.5 million purse. The Preakness Stakes is the lowest of the three, with a $990,000 purse.

A few fun facts for fans heading into the Kentucky Derby.
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