Stir your mint juleps and don your floppy hats, folks! The 2023 Kentucky Derby takes place May 6 at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville. The must-watch event is the culmination of a long season of hotly contested races.
Even if you can’t make it to Churchill Downs to catch the race live, there are plenty of options for Virginia horse betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks. Here are a few places you can catch the Kentucky Derby.
Colonial Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs, Inc. purchased Colonial Downs in 2022, bringing the VA racetrack under the same umbrella as the Kentucky Derby. That makes it a top choice for Virginia bettors eager to catch the race.
You can expect the Derby to be simulcast on the property. As of this writing, Colonial Downs doesn’t list any special Derby-related events happening on the day of the race. When contacted, a representative said there might be drink discounts or similar specials on offer, but that’s not a guarantee.
On the evening of the Derby, top 40 cover band InsideOut is playing at 8 p.m. Anyone 21 or older is allowed to attend. This is a great option if you’re looking to celebrate a winning bet (or recover from a brutal Derby loss).
Derby Day at the Cavalier
The Cavalier Resort in Virginia Beach is hosting a ticketed event: Derby Day at the Cavalier. Tickets are $113 apiece (that includes fees). The event takes place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll get a Tarnished Truth mint julep on entry, and the party will feature live entertainment and photo ops with — I quote — “live horses.” There’s a cash bar and food, too.
The Cavalier offers views and ambiance; it’s not a betting location. You can bet on horse races online while you’re there, however — best of both worlds!
After a troubled phone call (I couldn’t get through to the sportsbook, and the casino representative didn’t know of any events) and a scouring of the website, I couldn’t confirm whether Rivers has any special Kentucky Derby events on the calendar. However, it’s possible the race will be simulcast at the sportsbook located at the Virginia casino. I recommend giving them a call beforehand to confirm; hopefully, you’ll have better luck than I did.
How to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Virginia
If all else fails, or if you simply prefer to catch the race with some friends at home or a local bar, you can just bet online. Virginia has two great online horse race wagering options: DK Horse and FanDuel Racing. Both are expected to offer odds and bets on the Kentucky Derby for anyone 18 or older and physically located in Virginia.
Either racebook allows you to place bets on the Kentucky Derby. Need a quick primer to get started? Here’s how you can bet on the Kentucky Derby in Virginia.
Kentucky Derby live broadcast
NBC will broadcast the Kentucky Derby live starting at 5 p.m. ET. Post time is 6:45 p.m. ET.