LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby’s purse will be raised to $3 million this May, an increase of $1 million and the first boost in 14 years.
Churchill Downs said Thursday the winner of the 145th running will receive $1.86 million. The runner-up will earn $600,000, with third place worth $300,000, fourth place $150,000 and fifth place $90,000.
The Derby purse had been $2 million since 2005 and $1 million from 1996-2004.
Track President Kevin Flanery attributes the increase to more bettors using historical racing machines – the electronic form of parimutuel betting – at a recently opened facility near the track.
The second and third legs of the Triple Crown offer total purses of $1.5 million in the Preakness and Belmont stakes.
The purse for the Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on May 3 was raised by $250,000 to $1.25 million. It had been worth $1 million since 2011 and was worth $500,000 from 1996-2010.
Churchill Downs also increased purses for some races on the Derby Day undercard on May 4.