2023 Kentucky Derby Complete Race Guide – The Bet Club


When is the 2023 Kentucky Derby Race?The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.


2023 Kentucky Derby Post

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, attracting top-class thoroughbreds from around the globe. The 2023 edition will take place on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. The race has a purse of $3 million, with the winner set to take home $1.8 million.

The current favorite to win the Kentucky Derby is Forte, trained by Todd Pletcher, at 5/1. However, not far behind is his stablemate Tapit Trice at 6/1, along with Angel of Empire for Brad Cox at the same price. FanDuel provides the following list of each horse running in the Kentucky Derby and their odds:

  • Forte 5/1
  • Tapit Trice 6/1
  • Angel Of Empire 6/1
  • Two Phil’s 7/1
  • Derma Sotogake 7/1
  • Kingsbarns 10/1
  • Verifying 14/1
  • Reincarnate 16/1
  • Mage 19/1
  • Confidence Game 21/1
  • Disarm 21/1
  • Mandarin Hero 28/1
  • Hit Show 37/1
  • Sun Thunder 38/1
  • Rocket Can 38/1
  • Raise Cain 40/1
  • Jace’s Road 43/1
  • Cyclone Mischief 46/1
  • King Russell 46/1

19 horses were declared to run in the Kentucky Derby, but four have already scratched. Below is a quick guide to each of the horses running in the race and how they might perform, provided by a horse racing expert:

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Hit Show

Both starts this year have come in lesser Graded races over 1m1f at Aqueduct, winning the Withers and a nose 2nd in the Wood Memorial latest. Plenty more is needed to win a Derby.


Verifying is by Triple Crown winner Justify and a half-brother to champion mare Midnight Bisou. He is progressive, most recently running a neck 2nd to Tapit Trice in the 1m1f Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. He unseated his rider and got loose on the track on Thursday.

Two Phil’s

Won a Grade 3 on this track (sloppy) as a 2-year-old and most recently improved to win a 1m1f AW Grade 3 at Turfway Park. He needs to translate that form back to dirt and others are more appealing.

Confidence Game

A big horse out of a half-sister to champion mare Zenyatta, he can be highly strung. He has 2 minor wins at Churchill Downs and improved to win the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn latest, although that was over 8.5 furlongs on a sloppy track. This trip may suit him but he’s been off for more than 2 months and has a light work tab, albeit he has posted some fast workouts.

Tapit Trice

An improving off-the-pace runner who has won his last 4 starts, notably the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby and the 1m1f Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. He is likely to be suited by this stamina test, but lacks early speed.


Has won all 3 of his races, most recently the 9.5f Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, but set a slow pace and the time was modest. This will ask much more of


Previously trained by Bob Baffert, Reincarnate has struggled in his last two Graded races at Oaklawn, running behind some of the other contenders in this race. He will need to improve significantly to be competitive.


Although he has only run three races, Mage has caught the eye with his performances in his last two Graded races at Gulfstream, despite having difficult trips. He has shown impressive speed, especially in the 1m1f Grade 1 Florida Derby where he overcame a poor start and made a huge move from last to take the lead. Although he was ultimately passed by Forte, Mage has the potential to win if he puts together a complete performance.


After finishing second in the 9.5f Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and third in the 8.5f Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland, Disarm doesn’t appear to be good enough to contend in this race. However, he may be better suited to this distance than some of his rivals.

Jace’s Road

Jace’s Road finished behind two of his rivals in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at FairGrounds in his most recent start, and he will need to improve significantly to be competitive.

Sun Thunder

Sun Thunder has finished behind some of the other contenders in recent Graded races, including a fourth-place finish in the 1m1f Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. He will need to improve with the application of blinkers.

Angel Of Empire

Angel of Empire has won his last two 1m1f Graded races, including the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. With a record of 4-5 on dirt, he appears well-suited to this test and should be a top contender.


Despite winning his last five Graded races, including four Grade 1s, Forte has had some fortunate trips and did not impress in the 1m1f Grade 1 Florida Derby. He was slow out of the gate and appeared to be held for most of the race until he rallied to pass Mage, who had made a premature move. Given his recent form and performance, Forte may not be the favorite to win.

Mandarin Hero

Has shown steady improvement in Graded races this year, culminating in a close 3rd in the 1m1f Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland. He has a chance of hitting the board with another forward step.

Cyclone Mischief

Has won 2 of his last 3 starts, including a victory in a 1m1f Grade 3 at Turfway Park, but was well beaten in his only try at Grade 2 level. He’s a longshot here.

Rocket Can

Has been off the board in his last 2 starts, finishing behind some of these rivals in Graded races at Oaklawn and Keeneland. Others look stronger.

King Russell

Won the 1m1f Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on Tapeta at Turfway Park, but was well beaten in the BlueGrass at Keeneland latest. He’s not fancied to trouble the principals.

Kentucky Derby Odds – Who is Favorite to Win the KY Derby in 2023?

According to KasinoBets.com, Forte trained by Todd Pletcher is the current favorite to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby with odds of 5/1. However, Tapit Trice, another horse trained by Pletcher, is not far behind at 6/1, along with Angel of Empire for Brad Cox, also priced at 6/1. Below is a comprehensive list of all the horses competing in the Kentucky Derby and their respective odds.

Our Best Bets for Kentucky Derby 2023

The two remaining Japanese contenders, Derma Sotogake and MANDARIN HERO, catch the eye as the most intriguing picks for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. In recent years, Japan has enjoyed significant success on the international stage, including two victories at the 2021 Breeders’ Cup and a combined 15 winners across the last two Saudi Cup and Dubai World Cup meetings, including both headline races on dirt this year. Their entries are bred with US dirt speed influences and Japanese stamina influences on the female line, making for a promising combination.

Derma Sotogake, who led all the way to win the UAE Derby, could be the main speed in the race, and given that horses from the UAE Derby set the quickest-ever Kentucky Derby pace last year, he could be a significant factor. Meanwhile, Mandarin Hero finished second in the Santa Anita Derby and has already demonstrated his ability at this level. While Derma Sotogake had the advantage of Gate 1 in Dubai, where speed is often favored, there are concerns about whether he can replicate that form in this race. As for the home team, Mage and Angel of Empire appear to be the most appealing choices, in that order.

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