Kentucky Derby 2021 Payout: Dissecting Prize Money Purse and Final Race Results

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMay 2, 2021

John Velazquez riding Medina Spirit leads Florent Geroux on Mandaloun and Flavien Prat riding Hot Rod Charlie to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Never count out a Bob Baffert-trained horse in the Kentucky Derby. And if you were a bettor who followed that advice Saturday, then things worked out in your favor.

Medina Spirit raced to victory in the 2021 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, giving Baffert his seventh career win in the race, breaking the record he shared with Ben Jones. Medina Spirit wasn't one of the favorites but had solid odds at 12-1.

Not only was it a second straight Kentucky Derby win for Baffert, but it was also the second in a row for jockey John Velazquez, who also rode Baffert's Authentic to victory in 2020. It was Velazquez's fourth career Derby victory, as he also won with Animal Kingdom (2011) and Always Dreaming (2017).

Here are the payouts, prize money and complete results for this year's Kentucky Derby.


2021 Kentucky Derby Payouts

1. Medina Spirit ($26.20, $12.00, $7.60)

2. Mandaloun (-, $23.00, $13.40)

3. Hot Rod Charlie (-, -, $5.20)

*Based on $2 bet

$2 Exacta (8-7): $503.60

$1 Trifecta (8-7-9): $1,696.90

$1 Superfecta (8-7-9-14): $9,456.40


2021 Kentucky Derby Prize Money, Results

1. Medina Spirit ($1.86 million)

2. Mandaloun ($600,000)

3. Hot Rod Charlie ($300,000)

4. Essential Quality ($150,000)

5. O Besos ($90,000)

6. Midnight Bourbon 

7. Keepmeinmind 

8. Helium 

9. Known Agenda 

10. Highly Motivated 

11. Sainthood 

12. Like The King 

13. Bourbonic 

14. Hidden Stash 

15. Brooklyn Strong 

16. Super Stock 

17. Rock Your World

18. Dynamic One

19. Soup and Sandwich 

King Fury (scratched)


Essential Quality was a popular pick to win the Kentucky Derby heading into the race, but the 2-1 favorite ended up outside of the top three in fourth. Instead, it was trainer Brad H. Cox's other horse in the Derby field that ended up winning bettors money.

Mandaloun, who had 26-1 odds entering the race, finished second, coming just short down the homestretch. So although Cox couldn't become the first Louisville-born trainer to win the Derby, he had an impressive showing in his first time entering a horse in the race, with two among the top four.

"They both were ready to run and showed up," Cox said, per David Grening of Daily Racing Form. "I was proud of both horses."

Although Mandaloun had won three of his first four races of his career, he was coming off a sixth-place finish at the Louisiana Derby in March, coming behind several horses that also went on to race the Kentucky Derby. However, he fared much better Saturday and nearly came away with a victory.

Medina Spirit was too strong for Mandaloun to overtake, though, as he notched his first win since January. While Medina Spirit was coming off a second-place finish at the Santa Anita Derby, he had never finished worse than second in a race.

But Baffert may not have been expecting Medina Spirit to win the Derby. The longtime trainer has entered some dominant horses in the race over the years, and Medina Spirit didn't seem like he was going to fare as well as some of those in the past.

Yet Medina Spirit emerged as the best horse in the field and made history for Baffert.

"I cannot believe he won this race," Baffert said, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press. "That little horse. That was him, all guts. He's always shown that he's been an overachiever. His heart is bigger than his body."

The third and final horse that finished in the money was Hot Rod Charlie, who was 5-1 to win. Hot Rod Charlie was coming off a win at the Louisiana Derby, and he's now finished in the top three in five consecutive races.

It was an exciting race, and for bettors who backed one of the top three horses, it was a profitable one.