How Much Can A Kentucky Derby Winner Make?

    There are few more important races to take place in the United States than the Kentucky Derby.


    The race brings the entire country to a standstill, as everyone in the country looks to make a wager on the race in the hope of finding the Kentucky Derby winner.


    For example, Justify, the horse that won the Triple Crown for the last time in 2018, earned his trainer, owner, and jockey a staggering prize of $3,798,000! You can learn more about Justify horse here.


    This year’s race produced one of the most shocking outcomes that we have ever seen in the history of the Kentucky Derby, as Rich Strike became the second-biggest long shot in the history of the race to claim victory.


    So, how much did his connections win following his run, and who are some of the most profitable Kentucky Derby winners in the history of the great race?


    Kentucky Derby 2022 Breakdown


    The Kentucky Derby is often the race that trainers look to target at the beginning of every season, as it is one of the most profitable of the campaign. This year’s Triple Crown opener saw a prize fund of $3 million available, with the winning horse getting the majority of the fund that was allotted. Rich Strike’s victory would have been a popular one for punters too, as bettors that selected the unlikely winner could have been paid out at odds of 81/1.


    The winning connections of the race this year received just over $1.8 million in prize money, meaning that it was an extremely profitable success for Rich Strike’s owners, RED TR-Racing LLC. The victory also put both Eric Reed and Sonny Leon on the map, as it was their first every Grade 1 victory. However, horses that finished in the top five also were able to pick up considerable returns from the race.


    Epicenter finished second, which was worth $600,000, while Zandon and Simplification, who finished third and fourth earned their connections $300,000 and $150,000, respectively. Fifth-placed Mo Donegal also picked up $90,000 in returns for his strong effort from the rail. But, his biggest return would come in the final leg of the Triple Crown, as he claimed success in the Belmont Stakes.


    Most Profitable Kentucky Derby Winners


    There have been some extremely lucrative winners of the Kentucky Derby since 2010. However, few have amassed the total career earnings that are boasted by California Chrome. The legendary horse won 16 of his 27 career starts, which included victory in the Preakness Stakes as well as the Kentucky Derby. However, his most lucrative victory came in the Dubai World Cup.


    He attempted to improve on his career winnings of over $14 million on his final start, but couldn’t capture success in the Pegasus World Cup. Since being retired to stud, he hasn’t yet achieved a notable victory. His first offspring claimed victory in Russia, as Sunkar Time won, while his first North American victory came in August, as Cilla claimed a win at Delaware Park.


    The only other Kentucky Derby winner to have amassed more than $10 million in 2022 dollars is the Triple Crown hero American Pharoah. When he was three, he achieved something that no other horse has managed, as he won all three Triple Crown races, before later adding the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He won nearly $9 million on track during his career, and was retired to stud at the conclusion of the 2015 season.


    He now stands for stud, and has achieved a number of victories through his offspring. His first success came at Naas with Monarch of Egypt. However, six horses have already claimed notable stakes victories. Those include Forbidden Kingdom, who claimed stakes wins in both the San Vicente Stakes and San Felipe Stakes earlier this year.


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