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Welcome to our guide to Kentucky Derby superfecta picks. We’re going to explain how this type of bet works, the different variants and give you some advice as to how to be successful with this wager at the Kentucky Derby. Read on to find out more about a simple bet that gives you the chance to win big.

What is a Kentucky Derby Superfecta?

Kentucky Derby superfecta picks

A superfecta is type of bet in which the player must pick out the first four finishers in a race, in the correct sequence. It’s a tough bet to get right, especially for a race as competitive as this one, but the Kentucky Derby payouts can be huge if you pull it off.

There are some different types and variants of the superfecta wager, which we’re now going to explain to you so you understand them.

Superfecta Variants

As it is extremely difficult to pick the first four horses in the right order with a single bet, there are some versions that give you more of a chance of being successful.

They can be more expensive than just placing a single bet, but with small staking options available and the large size of any Kentucky Derby superfecta payout, they remain a great option. We discuss each of the following variants of this exotic wager below:

  • Superfecta Box
  • Superfecta Key
  • Superfecta Wheel

Superfecta Box

A superfecta box is where you pick four horses and cover every possible combination of them finishing in the top four. So every permutation of these four horses finishing in the top four is covered. They can finish in any order, as long as they’re in the top four.

If you pick four horses and cover every permutation of them finishing in the top four, there will be 24 bets in total. So, you could place a $1 bet per line and it would come to $24 in total. It’s obviously more expensive than picking out just one or two combinations, but massively increases your chances of winning.

Superfecta Key

With a superfecta key you pick one key horse that you think will win the race and then three additional horses, that you expect to finish in any order, in second, third and fourth positions.

So. with one key horse as your winner and the other Kentucky Derby picks finishing in any other combination, there are at least six  possible permutations. A superfecta key of this type would cost you $6 if you bet $1 per line.

You can also pick more than three horses to finish in the place positions. So, if you perm four horses to place alongside your key winner, it results in 24 bets. Five horses in the place positions increases it to 60 bets and six selections results in 120 bets.

Superfecta Wheel

A superfecta wheel gives you even greater options when it comes to perming the runners in the Kentucky Derby. With a superfecta full wheel you pick one horse as your key winner and then perm every other horse in the race, to finish in the remaining second, third and fourth places.

As you can imagine, this creates a lot of bets, so is perhaps not the best choice for a race like the Kentucky Derby, where there are lots of runners. Then there is a part wheel.

This is where you can be more selective regarding your wheel choices. So you might pick two horses to finish in the first place key, two to finish in the second place key, five in the third place key and six in the fourth place key, with every permutation covered.

Our Experts’ Kentucky Derby Superfecta Picks

Here is a rundown of four fancied horses in the Kentucky Derby this year that our experts expect to finish in the top four spots:


Fierceness silks KD The mighty impressive Florida Derby hero Fierceness (17) is the pick to win the race. If he reproduces his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victory or that latest run from Gulfstream Park, there’ll be no stopping him.

Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez have multiple wins in this race. A wide draw from an unlucky post position was the only drawback. That was until the scratching of Encino and he now effectively breaks from gate 16.

Sierra Leone silks Sierra Leone (2) bids to become the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby from the second gate since Affirmed, who went on Triple Crown glory back in 1978. The clear pick of the Chad Brown barn’s pair in the race this year, he won the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland as his final prep.

Although Sierra Leone should go close, his trial run didn’t have the X-factor of the Florida Derby from Fierceness. He can still finish placed, however, if that low draw doesn’t cause too many traffic problems.

Just Steel silks Next, a relative longshot in Just Steel (6). Hall of Fame trainer D Wayne Lukas last won the Kentucky Derby a quarter of a century ago, but has the Arkansas Derby second primed for this.

Just Steel chased home Muth, who cannot run at Churchill Downs per the track’s ban for Bob Baffert horse. If building on that placed effort, however, Just Steel can make the show.

Stronghold silks Santa Anita Derby winner Stronghold (18) completes the superfecta picks. He beat another Baffert barn inmate to watch out for in other Triple Crown races in Imagination the last day.

Stronghold prevailed by a neck and learned plenty about battling to the wire. His Grade I win for Philip D’Amato should toughen him up for Churchill Downs and a top four finish is certainly possible. Stronghold now moves down one post position to gate 17 because of a scratching.

What Factors All Kentucky Derby Superfecta Predictions Consider

When handicappers access horses for their Kentucky Derby superfecta picks, there are a number of factors that they consider. Here are some of the main aspects that will impact their choices:

  • Speed Figures – This measures how fast entrants ran in Kentucky Derby prep races. Past winners have often earned triple-digit speed ratings when warming up. Handicappers will study these closely.
  • Form in Prep Races – A series of high quality prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby give tipsters an idea of how horses may run at Churchill Downs. There are many of these from the previous fall to spring, so there are plenty of opportunities for horses to impress in such events.
  • Qualifying Points – Horses have to qualify for the Kentucky Derby through their performances in aforementioned prep races. Points are awarded for top four finishers in these, so the entrants with the most points will tend to be fancied.
  • Post positions – The horses in the Kentucky Derby are drawn into gates, which can impact their chances. No runner coming out of gate 17 has ever won the race, while gate 10 has proved the be the most successful, with nine champions jumping from there.
  • Trainer Record – Any expert looking to make Kentucky Derby superfecta picks will consider the record of trainers. Some handlers have great records at this event, so this history must be taken into account. For example, Bob Baffert horses have won a record six Kentucky Derbies but he’s banned from having runners at Churchill Downs now.
  • Pedigrees & Breeding – Another aspect to take into account is the pedigree. A horse’s family tree is important. Do the sire (father) and/or dam (mother) have a record of producing quality foals? Or do they even have their own impressive history in the Kentucky Derby and other big races?

Why Do a Kentucky Derby Superfecta?

If you look through the Kentucky Derby superfecta payouts history, you’ll find that this is a bet that can bring you big rewards. The payout will at least be in the hundreds and can be as big as six-figures, depending on if it’s the favorites that are finishing in the top four places, or outsiders.

Whether it’s just a single superfecta bet for a little fun, or you take it more seriously and increase your chances, this is a worthwhile bet that can make your Derby day experience, extra special. Why not select your Kentucky Derby superfecta picks now?


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