Kentucky Derby increases purse to $5M, with $3.1M to winner

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be the richest in history as the purse for the first jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown has been raised 67% to a record $5 million guaranteed, Churchill Downs said Wednesday.

The winner of the 1¼-mile race on May 4 will receive a $3.1 million payday. In addition, $1 million will be awarded to the runner-up, with $500,000 to third, $250,000 to fourth and $150,000 to fifth.

The Kentucky Derby purse had been worth $3 million since 2019, $2 million from 2005 to 2018, and it was $1 million from 1996 to 2004.

Mage, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, won last year's Kentucky Derby, earning a $1.86 million prize for the colt's owners.

The Preakness Stakes, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown, is May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, followed by the relocated Belmont Stakes three weeks later at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York.