Kentucky Derby 2018: Best Way To Pick A Winning Horse On Race day

With the 2018 Kentucky Derby well in sight now, many of you will be thinking about which horses to back for the win.

Of course, the Kentucky Derby is no ordinary race and you will not have tons of race results and form guides to go through that you would with the majority of other races out there.

All racehorses have to be registered thoroughbreds that are three years old, no younger, no older.

As many of you will know, a horse is not fit to race until they are at least two-years-old, so that does not give them much time to gain experience and more importantly, allow us to study much in the way of form.

This means that we have to study other areas and also take more a gut feeling approach when it comes to choosing a horse to back at the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

You can read our guide to the Kentucky Derby 2018 here>>

And here is the Kentucky Derby 2018 Schedule for all the races>>

Many people will have their own ways of choosing which horse to bet on but one of the best ways is to follow our guide to seek out as much information about a horse as possible.

In this section:

Kentucky Derby race

What Does The Coat/Hair Of The Horse Tell Us?

It would be a little foolish to bet on a horse purely because you like the colour of their hair but you would be surprised at just how many people do this.

While the colour of the coat/hair of a horse will not make any kind of difference to the horse's performance in a race, the hair can at least tell you something.

The hair on a horse can indicate to us the healthiness of a horse. If its coat is nice and shiny, this tells us that the horse is in good condition. If it doesn’t look shiny, it might be best to avoid betting on it.

horse's coat

Is Body Language Of The Horse (Nerves) Important?

It certainly can be, horses have feelings much like we do and will sometimes have good days and bad days.

Sometimes it will pay to have a good look at the horses you are considering betting on when they are paraded around the paddock.

Obviously, this is easier if you are actually in the race but you should also be able to see the parade on television from the coverage of the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

You can usually tell if they look eager to race or otherwise.

If they are moping around there is a good chance that they are not really feeling it but if they are peppy and calm, they could be the one to pick.

Also avoid any horse that seems jittery as if they are rearing up or turning in circles, they are really not interested in racing and are just using up all their energy anyway.

You should also try to see if you can spot whether a horse is sweating if it is there is a very good chance that it is nervous.

A nervous horse is not a winning horse – most of the time anyway.

kentucky derby

 Do The Ears Of The Horse Really Tell Us Anything?

You can even pick things up by looking at the ears of a racehorse.

A horse that is in the right mood to race will have its ears perked up and his head looking high and confident.

This is a real sign that the horse is comfortable and in a confident mood.

Should the horse be looking down with his head hanging low and his ears just hanging loose, this is a sign that the horse is not really in the right frame of mind to perform well in the race.

It lacks interest in its surroundings and would obviously rather be somewhere else.

Do ears tell you anything

Does Muscle Mass Matter?

If you had the choice of betting on a man with a beer belly or a toned athlete to win a race, which would you go for?

You do not even have to answer that as we all know who the majority of us would choose.

This is the same with horses and while you will not find any with a beer belly in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, some will have better muscle definition than others.

You ideally want to go with a horse that has some serious muscle definition around the rib cage and chest, as these are the muscles that will provide most of their power when sprinting.

Muscle matter

 Is There Anything Else We Should Be Looking Out For?

As there is not much to go on through past race experience with the racehorses at the Kentucky Derby, we really only have the above to look at, a horses ancestry and their performance in the few races they might have had in their young careers.

There are some other things you can look out for however before making a decision on a horse.

You should check to see how the horse and trainer and the horse and rider get along.

If a horse shows strong trust with both and is completely calm around them, it would seem that they have a good relationship.

This will bode well for the race and will also show that the horse is happy, comfortable and therefore in a good frame of mind to race.

Do they get along

Which Bookmakers Offer Me The Best Betting Options And Odds?

Now that you have a few ideas of things you can look out for when choosing a horse to bet on in the Kentucky Derby, you are going to want a reputable online sportsbook that you can use to place these bets.

For what you need to know about betting on the Kentucky Derby 2018 see here>>

Here you can find our predictions on which horse is going to win the Kentucky Derby 2018>>

What you want to look out for when searching for an online sportsbook are the betting options they provide, a reputation for providing good odds and of course, a healthy and lucrative welcome bonus that will give you added value when you first sign up.

There are many good sportsbooks out there but if we had to narrow them down to three that we would recommend, they would have to be the following three:


If you have enjoyed online gambling for a number of years now, you may well have heard of a certain Bovada.

They offer a number of different ways for you to gamble online with an online casino, sportsbook and even a poker room.

The good news for our US-based readers is that Bovada accepts all players from the US and if you wanted even more anonymity, you can even use Bitcoin for your deposits and withdrawals.

Bovada is certainly a reputable name as well and we are pretty sure that most of you will have at least heard of them before.

Their sportsbook, in particular, is renowned for the odds it provides, the good betting options and the fact that it covers a wide range of different sports from all over the world.

Everything from outright bets or combination bets such as trifectas can be placed at Bovada and you can also enjoy some in-play live betting as well.

Most of you will probably just want to pick a few horses to spread your bets or simply pick one that you feel will be the winner and the good thing about Bovada is that you can do this as well with some of their more simple betting options.

Bovada is certainly one of the better sportsbooks out there and if you ever feel like trying out other types of online gambling, you can simply take advantage of the other options they provide such as their online casino and poker room.

As for the welcome bonus, they are very generous here with a 50% match deposit bonus of up to $500 on offer for all new players.

That is one great welcome bonus and we are sure you are going to love everything else that Bovada offers up as well – so go and take a look before signing up and placing those bets on your winning horse at the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

  • Great Odds on Offer
  • Good Welcome Bonus
  • Accepts US-Based Players

KEntucky Derby 2018 betting


LeoVegas is another sportsbook that has become a favourite of ours over the last couple of years.

Despite only adding this sportsbook to their online casino in 2016, it has quickly gone on to become very popular among punters online.

Their online casino is already recognized as one of the best out there and is a regular award winner, so it is no surprise that they are offering the same level of service with their sportsbook as well.

LeoVegas has always been a mobile-first focused operation and they have done exactly the same thing with their innovative sportsbook.

They might not offer as many betting options as Bovada above or William Hill below but they are the place you will want to go for quick and easy betting via your mobile device.

They do offer a good selection of betting options though and do provide in-play betting too.

They just concentrate more on the casual type of punter rather than those that are regular punters.

This is why they are ideal for the type of punter that is only interested when big events such as the 2018 Kentucky Derby come around.

Their interface has been designed with mobile users in mind and it is therefore extremely easy to navigate.

You will also notice the very same thing with their online casino and you can even download apps for both of them too.

As for the welcome bonus at LeoVegas, this might not be as lucrative as Bovada’s but you will be given a ‘double odds boost’ for the first two bets that you place at their sportsbook.

So let's say for argument's sake, that you laid $200 on a 10/1 shot and it wins, instead of winning $2,000, you are going to win $4,000 due to being given double odds.

Not bad we are sure you will agree?

So why not go and check them out and place some bets on the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

  • Award-Winning
  • Mobile Focused
  • In-Play Betting

William Hill

As with the other two online sportsbooks above, William Hill offers a number of different online gambling solutions.

They are more famed for their sportsbook as this is where their roots came from but they also offer an online casino and a poker site that you can enjoy as well.

They have been around since 1934 and are a massive brand that is not only well-known in the UK but also around the world.

They are famed for being one of the earliest bookmakers in Britain and still today, they are leading the industry.

As for what you can expect from the William Hill sportsbook, you will be pleased to hear that they offer up a number of good betting options across a wide range of sports and sporting events that they cover.

They are also renowned for offering some of the best odds around and they even stream many of the events live for their punters.

With the latter, you can even use this alongside the many in-play live betting options that William Hill offers.

This means you can bet on all of the action as it unfolds in front of you.

The odds change automatically as the action takes place and you can take the chance on a number of different bets.

Also, they offer a pretty good welcome bonus as well.

You can take advantage of £30 in free bets as soon as you place a first bet of £10 or more.

You will also notice they run a number of regular promotions that you can take advantage of as well.

If this all sounds great to you and you think that you are a good match for this sportsbook, go and register, deposit some funds and place the bets that you think will come out on top t this year's race.

  • Live Streaming
  • On-Play Betting
  • Good Odds and Betting Options

Kentucky Derby 2018 betting


Remember to keep all the points we mentioned in mind when betting on the day.

Avoind any nervous or disinterested horses, and keep an eye on the coat and body muscle.

We trust wholeheartedly the three bookmakers we mentioned above and each are great in their own right.

Keep up to date with the latest sports news and events on our website.


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