Kentucky Derby: Here's How Much Money the Winning Jockey Will Earn - NBC10 Boston
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Kentucky Derby: Here's How Much Money the Winning Jockey Will Earn

A record $3 million is up for grabs this year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The 145th Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs. Post time is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET.

    All eyes are on two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert, who has three horses competing: Roadster, Game Winner and Improbable. Baffert trained last year’s Derby winner, Justify, who went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the 13th horse ever to capture the Triple Crown.

    And there’s serious prize money on the line.

    A record $3 million is up for grabs this year. The Derby has awarded $2 million in total prize money since 2005 and $1 million from 1996 to 2004.

    The total will be divided among the top five finishers. The winning horse’s owner takes home 62%, or $1.86 million. The winning jockey gets 10% of that, or $186,000.

    That number will get shaved down even more, by about 30%, since he must pay his agent and and his valet, who gets the jockey’s gear in place. Plus, he’ll have to pay taxes on this income.

    It’s a bigger payout than last year, though: Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith collected $124,000 (before fees and taxes) for his 2018 win with Justify. Smith will be riding Cutting Humor on Saturday night.

    The second and third place jockeys get 5% of their owner’s take ($600,000 and $300,000), meaning the second place jockey will get a check for $30,000, and the third place jockey will get one for $15,000, before fees and taxes.

    As for the 17 other jockeys, they won’t make out nearly as well. Their ride is only worth “a couple hundred dollars apiece,” jockey agent Ron Anderson told CNBC in 2010.

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