The fees go beyond buying a horse or breeding a horse capable of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.
- The nomination fee an owner pays to make a horse eligible for the Kentucky Derby is $600 per horse — if you register during the “early period,” which runs through late January. After that, the fee goes up to $6,000 through late March. Last-minute entries will pay a supplemental fee of $200,000.
- The entry fee for the Kentucky Derby is another $25,000. Another $25,000 is paid if the horse enters the starting gate. By now, the owner has also paid entry fees at a number of other races through the winter and spring as the trainers prepare the horses in “prep” races.