LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Derby's purse will be raised to US$3 million this May, an increase of US$1 million and the first boost in 14 years.
Churchill Downs said Thursday the winner of the 145th running will receive US$1.86 million. The runner-up will earnUS $600,000, with third place worth US$300,000, fourth place US$150,000 and fifth place $90,000.
The Derby purse had beenUS$2 million since 2005 andUS $1 million from 1996-2004.
Track President Kevin Flanery attributes the increase to more bettors using historical racing machines — the electronic form of pari-mutuel betting — at a recently opened facility near the track.
The second and third legs of the Triple Crown offer total purses of US$1.5 million in the Preakness and Belmont stakes.
The purse for the Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on May 3 was raised by US$250,000 to US$1.25 million. It had been worth US$1 million since 2011 and was worth US$500,000 from 1996-2010.
Churchill Downs also increased purses for some races on the Derby Day undercard on May 4.