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Playing the horses is one of the oldest ways to wager. Every May, that matches perfectly with the longest-running horse race in the world, the world-famous Kentucky Derby. Bovada hasn’t quite been around for the full 150 years that the Derby has, but every year we’re completely up to speed on horse racing’s biggest event. In our dedicated Horses section, we’ve got every Kentucky Derby bet you need. To get you even more hyped for the big event, check out this list of the 10 Fastest Kentucky Derby Times of all-time.


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Immortalized in movies, books, and history in general, Secretariat is still viewed as the GOAT of horses by many. It’s easy to understand why. Secretariat’s time remains the Derby track record to this day, while also securing the Triple Crown that year. Just one month after his historic Derby win, he dominated the Belmont Stakes, by an astonishing 31 lengths, achieving the largest margin of victory in history. 1:59.4 2001:
Monarchos joined Secretariat as the only horse to ever crack the 2-minute mark at the 2001 Kentucky Derby. Even more astounding is the fact that he was in 13th place at the half-mile mark, before coming from the outside in a blazing time. Monarchos is also one of only eight gray coat winners of the Derby in the race’s epic history.
1964Northern Dancer
As the first (and only) Canadian-Bred horse on our Fastest Kentucky Derby Times list, Northern Dancer put a chill on the rest of the field with the 3rd-fastest time ever. He had some great experience behind (or rather, on) him too; his jockey was Bill Hartack, who won the Derby two years earlier with another top-10 speedster, Decidedly.
1985Spend A Buck
Bettors who spent a buck or two on Spend A Buck to win the Kentucky Derby that year were likely very pleased. The second favorite going into the race, he won by a huge margin of 5 ¼ lengths, the largest margin of victory since 1946. Spend A Buck had a huge run of success that same year, winning five more races and setting three track records beyond Churchill Downs.
The oldest name on this list, Decidedly’s biggest moment in horse racing was the 1962 Derby by far. From what was then a new track record in the 1 ¼ mile at Churchill Downs, he never came close to glory again, not placing in the Preakness or Belmont that same year. He did, however, have a strong lineage, siring 19 stakes race champions. Jockey Hartack teamed up with trainer Horatio Luro for this win, which they would repeat just two years later with Northern Dancer. It was already Hartack’s third win at the Run for the Roses.
1967Proud Clarion
Not only did he post the 6th-fastest Kentucky Derby time ever (at the time, the second-fastest),. Proud Clarion also overcame major odds to take the title. He was a 30-1 longshot heading into the race. The heavy favorite is Damascus. Proud Clarion was such a long shot to win that his own trainer later stated that even he couldn’t have bet on the horse to win. His team officially entered Proud Clarion into the race on the morning of the race.
This year marked the first time ever that the Derby race was run in September. It didn’t stop Authentic from putting up one of the fastest Kentucky Derby times ever. The track was in great shape for setting the 5th-quickest time ever. He was also the first horse to go wire-to-wire at the Run for the Roses in 18 years. Authentic won five of his seven starts in 2020 and finished second in the other two races.
Retiring just five days after his win due to a knee injury, Grindstone beat out the favorite Unbridled’s Song. It was the 17th straight year that a favorite heading into Kentucky did not win. Grindstone only had five starts in his racing career ahead of this epic run. We would have to go back to 1933 to find a horse that was so lightly raced heading into the Derby.
Trained by legendary trainer Brad Cox, Mandaloun raced a blazing time but still finished second that year.The winner, Medina Spirit, does not appear on this list of the Fastest Kentucky Derby Times, however. He was disqualified after a positive drug test. The final ruling and declaration of Mandaloun as the winner only came in early 2024.
2000Fusaichi Pegasus
Talk about a good investment strategy. Fusaichi Pegasus was purchased for $4 million, became the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby since 1979, and was then sold to a breeder for $70 million. As a foal, Fusaichi Pegasus was nicknamed “Superman” because of his exceptional physique. His owners ultimately chose a name that was just as otherworldly, Pegasus, a winged horse in Greek mythology.

 The Kentucky Derby ranks in the top five regarding betting volume every-year for American sporting events, coming behind only the Super Bowl and NCAA’s March Madness. Consider these speedy times above, that’s a ton of action put into just two minutes!Over its history dating back to the 1800’s, the Kentucky Derby has accumulated several nicknames too, like the Run for the Roses.

But this list of the Fastest Kentucky Derby Times ever really lives up to its other aliases, The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports and The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports!