The Kentucky Derby, arguably the most famous horserace in the world, will take place for the 143rd time this Saturday. As of publication 20 horses are still contenders, and the final lineup will be announced on Wednesday. But from 20 there will only be one winner, and what does that winner get aside from glory?
Well that depends on whether you're the owner of the horse or the jockey. The owner of the horse is the one who earns bank, while the jockey earns significantly less. The purse prize, as it's called, is not a fixed amount and depends upon the number of entries. But for reference, the winner of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, American Pharaoh, was said to take home an estimated $1.24 million. The majority of that went to the owner, while the jockey made roughly 10%.
The purse for the race is split between the top five horses, so you don't have to be number 1 to take home some cash. It is also worth mentioning that the Kentucky Derby is a part of the Triple Crown alongside Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Horses and jockeys enter all of those together and pay a fee for entry. The Kentucky Derby is the race with the biggest purse prize, which could arguably be why it's the most popular.
Just like watching an actual horse race, figuring out the finances behind them are mighty confusing. SparkNotes is, racing horses can earn you bank. Not so much if you're the jockey, but certainly if you're the owner. Anyone want to buy a thoroughbred?