Sports Betting

A $100K Bet Has Been Placed On Kentucky Derby Favorite Fierceness

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
A $100K Bet Has Been Placed On Kentucky Derby Betting Favorite Fierceness

A $100,000 bet has already been wagered ahead of this Saturday’s 150th Kentucky Derby — and it’s on Fierceness, the betting favorite — according to Horse Racing Nation’s Ed Derosa, via Vegas Insider’s Patrick Everson.

An unnamed bettor is wagering $100,000 on Kentucky Derby betting favorite Fierceness, who has 5/2 odds of winning the race

Fierceness has 5/2 odds (about +250) of winning the Run for the Roses at FanDuel Sportsbook. The three-year-old colt began racing in 2023. He was sired by City of Light out of the Stay Thirsty mare Nonna Bella. 

Furthermore, Fierceness was trained by Todd A. Pletcher and has raced for Repole Stable, and was bred in Kentucky by Repole Stable, Inc., per Horse Racing Nation. 

Fierceness has raced at Belmont at Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, and Saratoga. His stakes wins include wins in the 2024 Florida Derby (G1) and the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Horse racing betting differs from sports betting, in that, it is based on pari-mutuel wagering. All bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool. Dividends are awarded based on the number of bets taken.  

“This means that the odds are based on how the public is wagering,” FanDuel said on the subject. “If bettors on the whole put more money on a horse, the horse is a favorite and the odds are lower. If bettors put less money on a horse, that horse is a long shot, and the odds will be higher.”

Although Fierceness has the best odds, only 40 horses since 1908 have won as the betting favorite. That’s a 27% hit rate for the betting favorite during the race’s history.

The last time a favorite won the Kentucky Derby was in 2018, when Justify won the race with 5-2 odds. It was the first time in 136 years that a colt who didn’t race as a two-year-old won the Derby, breaking the Curse of Apollo.

150th Run of the Roses will feature a record purse of $5 million, the first-place winner will win the $3.1 million prize

In 2022, Rich Strike won the 148th Derby as an 80-1 long shot. He won with the second-largest payoff since 1908. Rich Strike paid $163.60. Only Donerail in 1913 had a higher payout, at $184.90.

As for this year’s Run for the Roses, Pletcher has already won at Churchill Downs twice, with wins by Super Saver and Always Dreaming.

Rags to Riches, Palace Malice, Tapwrit and Mo Donegal all won the Belmont Stakes and were each trained by Pletcher.

Additionally, the 150th Kentucky Derby will feature a record purse of $5 million, the largest since the Grade I stakes race first began in 1875. 

The first-place winner will receive $3.1 million. Second place will win $1 million while third, fourth, and fifth net $500,000, $250,000, and $150,000, respectively. 

“These record purse increases are a symbol of the health of horse racing in Kentucky,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., said in a statement earlier this week.

“Churchill Downs Inc.’s over $1 billion investment into live and historical horse racing in Kentucky over the last five years has meaningfully strengthened the entire Kentucky Derby Week and year-round racing program. 

“It’s important to acknowledge the state legislature for its commitment to working closely with private enterprise in a truly collaborative partnership to support the continued growth of Kentucky’s signature industry.”

Last year’s Derby saw a record all-sources handle of $288.7 million last year. That’s roughly $14.9 million more than the former mark of $273.8 million — set on the previous first Saturday in May.

The 150th Kentucky Derby is the 12th race of the day. The official post time for the main event is 6:57 p.m. ET this Saturday. Coverage on NBC and Peacock starts at 2:30 p.m. ET.