One benefit of no long betting lines at Churchill Downs for this year’s Kentucky Derby is the new 10-cent minimum superfecta wager track officials instituted for this year’s Derby.

Giacomo Big Superfecta
At 50/1, Giacomo (left) fended off 71/1 Closing Argument to win the 2005 Kentucky Derby. This battle of moon-shots produced a $432,127 winning superfecta ticket. (Image: James Crisp/AP)

Previous, the minimum superfecta wager – one requiring bettors to pick the first four horses in order – was $1. When you play host to more than 150,000 people on one day, you seek all ways to keep betting lines moving.

That won’t be an issue this year. Churchill Downs officials announced Tuesday a maximum of 23,000 fans will be allowed inside for this year’s Derby. America’s most storied race was postponed from May 5 to Sept. 5 due to the coronavirus.

Minimums for other bets are equally bankroll-friendly. Trifectas, Pick-3, Pick-4, and Pick-5 bets start at 50 cents. The “Single-6” pick-6 sports a 20-cent minimum. Daily Doubles and Super High-5, where bettors pick the first five places, carry a $1 minimum. The basic exacta remains $2, although exacta boxes and wheels are $1.

Super-Sized Superfecta Payouts

But it’s the superfecta minimum drawing the most attention. That’s because hitting a Derby superfecta can be the difference between a nice day at the track and a life-changing one. Led by the $432,127 payout for 50/1 Giacomo’s win in 2005 and 2009’s $278,503 windfall for 50/1 Mine that Bird’s victory, this century featured some of the most eye-popping Derby superfecta payouts.

You don’t have to go back that far to find three of them. Last year’s Derby superfecta – headlined by 65/1 Country House’s elevation to the top spot – paid bettors $51,400. Two years ago illustrated the kind of difference a superfecta can make. Justify’s victory headlined a $142 trifecta. But when 90/1 Instilled Regard sneaked into fourth, superfecta bettors cashed tickets for $19,619.

Top 21st Century Kentucky Derby Superfecta Payouts

Year Winner Superfecta Payout
2005 Giacomo $432,127
2009 Mine That Bird $278,503
2010 Super Saver $101,285
2002 War Emblem $91,765
2017 Animal Kingdom $75,975
2001 Monarchos $62,987
2019 Country House $51,400
2012 I’ll Have Another $48,046
2006 Barbaro $42,430

In 2017, 33/1 Lookin at Lee followed 9/2 winner Animal Kingdom across the finish line. Battle of Midway finished third – at 40/1. Even with 4/1 favorite Classic Empire finishing fourth, that combo set the table for a $75,975 superfecta.

Highlighted by a $101,285 payout in 2010, Derby superfectas paid at least five figures seven times in the last decade. Only twice did superfecta winners cash tickets for less than $1,000: American Pharoah’s victory in 2015 ($634) and Nyquist’s the following year ($542).