Justify won the 144th Kentucky Derby—here's how much money jockey Mike Smith earned

Jockey Mike Smith atop of Justify #7 after winning the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby
Sean M. Haffey | Getty Images

Pre-race favorite Justify won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths on Saturday, becoming the first horse in 136 years to win at Churchill Downs after not racing as a two-year-old.

The colt earns a sizable paycheck for his large ownership team: 62 percent of the $2 million purse, or $1.24 million.

The 52-year-old jockey, Mike Smith, also brings home a nice paycheck: The winning horse rider gets 10 percent of what the owners collect, meaning that Smith, who is the second-oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, got a check for $124,000. That number will get shaved down to about $100,000 after paying his agent and valet, the person who gets the jockey's gear in place.

And that's before taxes. Still, it's a nice payday for two minutes of work.

Justify (7), ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

The second and third place jockeys get 5 percent of their owner's take ($400,000 and $200,000), meaning Jose Ortiz, who rode second place finisher Good Magic, earned $20,000 and Javier Castellano, who rode third place finisher Audible, earned $10,000.

After fees, they'll take home closer to $14,000 and $7,000.

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

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!

Don't miss: Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby—here's how much the owners get paid

How to shop for a Kentucky Derby hat like the super rich
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us