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How much does the Kentucky Derby winner get?

how much does the kentucky derby winner get
Photo: Getty Images

For most of us the Kentucky Derby is all about the experience — viewing parties and big hats, mingling and mint juleps — but for the jockeys and owners of the horses competing it’s all about that final second. They have a good reasons for being so laser-focused on the finish line. Have you ever asked yourself, how much does the Kentucky Derby winner get? We bet you are now.

You might have been vaguely aware that the winner of the Kentucky Derby gets money along with the pretty epic Garland of Roses, which consist of more than 400 red roses that always seem to be picked at peak blossom. But who can be sure after an afternoon in the sun with one too many of those mint juleps? That’s why we’re here. We’ll break it down below.

How much does the Kentucky Derby winner get?

The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million, and the owner of the horse that wins the roughly 2-minute-long race will be awarded roughly $1.24 million, according to Sporting News. Yes, racehorses earn way more in one race than a vast majority of us make in a full year of work. But then again they don’t get to enjoy the cocktails and big hats, do they?

how much does the kentucky derby winner get garland of roses

But it’s not as lucrative for everyone involved in the famous race. What about the jockeys who must get at least some of the glory from the big win? How much do they make?

How much does the jockey get for winning the Kentucky Derby?

Ride a racehorse to victory in the Kentucky Derby and you’ll take home roughly 10% of the winnings. How much does the Kentucky Derby winner get, again? $1.24 million. So that means the winning jockey will pocket roughly $124,000 this year.

Again, not bad for two minutes of work, but not exactly the windfall payday that the owner of the horse enjoys when the winner crosses the finish line. Who will take home that pretty purse this year? You’ll just have to wait until this weekend to find out.