Skip to main content

How Much The Jockey Gets For Winning The Kentucky Derby

147th Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 01: Medina Spirit #8, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, leads the field around the first during the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 01, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

A first-place finish at the Kentucky Derby doesn't just mean a shiny gold trophy and some roses. 

It's also a nice little payday for the jockey of the winning horse, but maybe not quite what some fans would imagine.

When it comes to this year's running of the Kentucky Derby, the winner takes home $1.86 million of the race's $3 million pot. With the rider earning roughly 10 percent of the winnings.

$186,000 isn't bad for a days work. 

However, agent fees, valet and taxes dwindle those earnings down to about $50,000 in take-home pay. Which obviously isn't terrible in everyday life, but isn't nearly as much as one might think given how lucrative other sports figures are.

"The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports," also sees jockey purses disappear the fastest. Especially when you consider a top five finish could see a rider walk away with less than $10,000.

And this is before the Kentucky Derby raised its winnings $1 million from 2019's figure of $2 million.