The 2023 Kentucky Derby is the most exciting betting race of the year, and it is coming up Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Churchill Downs! The race features 20 of the best three-year-olds in the United States going a mile and a quarter over the Churchill Downs dirt. The distance will be a new challenge for all of them, but the rewards are great: $3 million, and a place in horse racing history!
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Kentucky Derby Horses and Odds
This is the official field for the 2023 Kentucky Derby including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds:
- Hit Show (Brad Cox / Manny Franco) – 30/1
- Verifying (Brad Cox / Tyler Gaffalione) – 15/1
- Two Phil’s (Larry Rivelli / Jareth Loveberry) – 12/1
- Confidence Game (Keith Desormeaux / James Graham) – 20/1
- Tapit Trice (Todd Pletcher / Luis Saez) – 5/1
- Kingsbarns (Todd Pletcher / Jose Ortiz) – 12/1
- Reincarnate (Tim Yakteen / John Velazquez) – 50/1
- Mage (Gustavo Delgado / Javier Castellano) – 15/1
- Skinner (John Shirreffs / Juan Hernandez) – 20/1
- Practical Move (Tim Yakteen / Ramon Vazquez) – 10/1
- Disarm (Steve Asmussen / Joel Rosario) – 30/1
- Jace’s Road (Brad Cox / Florent Geroux) – 15/1
- Sun Thunder (Kenny McPeek / Brian Hernandez, Jr.) – 50/1
- Angel of Empire (Brad Cox / Flavien Prat) – 8/1
- Forte (Todd Pletcher / Irad Ortiz, Jr.) – 3/1
- Raise Cain (Ben Colebrook / Gerardo Corrales) – 50/1
- Derma Sotogake (Hidetaka Otonashi / Christophe Lemaire) – 10/1
- Rocket Can (Bill Mott / Junior Alvarado) – 30/1
- Lord Miles (Saffie Joseph, Jr. / Paco Lopez) – 30/1
- Continuar (Yosito Yahagi / Ryusei Sakai) – 50/1
- ALSO ELIGIBLE – Cyclone Mischief (Dale Romans / Joel Rosario) – 30/1
- ALSO ELIGIBLE – Mandarin Hero (Terunobu Fujita / Kazushi Kimura) – 20/1
- ALSO ELIGIBLE – King Russell (Ron Moquett / Rafael Bejarano) – 50/1
Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hero, and King Russell will only draw in, in that order of priority, if horses scratch from the main field before 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, when Kentucky Derby betting begins.
Keep in mind that these morning-line odds are just the racetrack’s best guess about the prices come post time. You are not guaranteed a price until the gates open. Your best bet is to bet the Kentucky Derby online through a trusted sportsbook, since you can get fixed odds on major races. That way, the price when you bet is the price you get when you win!
These are the odds on the leading 2023 Kentucky Derby contenders:
|Angel of Empire||+900||+1200||+900|
Free Kentucky Derby Picks
Now, it is time to get to know the top contenders in the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Based on historical trends in the race, narrowing down the right horses for exotics requires finding a balance between well-bet horses and long shots. Though some favorites usually run well, there is always a long shot or two to make the exotics truly exciting!
Kentucky Derby Best Bet
In a Kentucky Derby where there are good favorites but none that stands out so far as to make a short price appealing, the best value in the win pool comes from taking an improving horse who can get the right trip at the right price. Enter Mage.
Though he missed by a length to Forte in the Florida Derby, he was knocked off of his usual running style after a bad start, and closed from far off the pace to lead and then get caught. With a better start, Mage should get a more tactical trip. He has good stamina on both sides, enough to think he can improve at the Derby distance, and at 20-1 or better in pools a week out the price will surely be right.
Kentucky Derby Favorites
Forte will be the Kentucky Derby favorite; he is the two-year-old champion and impressed in two preps at Gulfstream this year. With less speed in this year’s Kentucky Derby than some others, he won’t get a perfect setup, but he has been able to rally home well even when the pace in front isn’t extra-hot, and favorites have not been out of the superfecta since the points era began.
Tapit Trice proved in the Blue Grass that he is going the right way. He was having some trouble at the start, but not only got away better but also maneuvered out from an inside gate in a large field out to a clear spot. That showed maturity. He is bred well for the step up in trip and should be a major factor at the end. He is the most interesting of the shorter-priced horses, and merits strong use in all tickets.
Practical Move has been the leading contender on the West Coast since last fall. He hasn’t laid a hoof wrong since stretching to 1 1/16 miles or longer and switching to Ramon Vazquez in the irons. He has tactical speed in a race where that should be a good running style, and even though sire Practical Joke was a miler, his dam’s side gives him a good shot to handle the final furlong.
Kentucky Derby Exotics Horses
If you’re a speed-figure player, Two Phil’s had the fastest final-prep figure on both Beyer and Brisnet, and the joint best (with Practical Move) on TimeformUS. That came on synthetic, so demand a price – but his previous form came on dirt. He was competitive against known-good Derby contenders in Louisiana, and he is already a graded-stakes winner on the Churchill dirt. Furthermore, he can sit closer to the pace than the real closers.
Derma Sotogake is another horse with serious claims. Though he has to buck a poor record of UAE Derby horses in the Kentucky Derby, in a Kentucky Derby with less pace than usual, he could be the best of the speed, especially since dirt speed from Japan is proving that it can hang with dirt speed from America. This means he could get a very good trip.
Kentucky Derby Free Picks
Here are your free Kentucky Derby expert picks for the 2023 Kentucky Derby:
- $20 win/place/show: #8 Mage
- $1 Exacta Key: #5 Tapit Trice with #17 Derma Sotogake, #8 Mage, and #3 Two Phil’s
- $1 Trifecta Key: #5 Tapit Trice with #17 Derma Sotogake, #15 Forte, #8 Mage, and #3 Two Phil’s
- $1 Superfecta Key: #5 Tapit Trice with #17 Derma Sotogake, #15 Forte, #10 Practical Move, #8 Mage, and #3 Two Phil’s
Kentucky Derby Day Handicapping
The Kentucky Derby is the feature race Saturday at Churchill. However, the entire day features top horses. There will be eight other stakes races on the card! Make sure to keep these horses in mind throughout the day; you can make a lot of money through the card by playing all the races, including an all-stakes Pick 6.
- $750,000 Derby City Distaff (G1): #2 Goodnight Olive
- $500,000 Distaff Turf Mile (G2): #5 Spendarella, #4 Wakanaka
- $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes: #6 Zozos, #12 Caddo River, #3 Baby Yoda
- $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2): #4 Big Invasion, #10 Arrest Me Red
- $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2): #3 Lugan Knight, #5 Echo Again, #9 General Jim
- $500,000 American Turf (G2): #4 Talk of the Nation, #1 Major Dude, #11 Carl Spackler
- $750,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1): #7 Cody’s Wish, #3 Here Mi Song
- $1 million Turf Classic (G1): #9 Spooky Channel, #4 Steady On, #10 Bye Bye Melvin