Kentucky Derby 2023: Talented Mage is ready for the spotlight

Kentucky Derby 2023: Talented Mage is ready for the spotlight

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is coming up Saturday, May 6! Whether you bet Churchill Downs all year long or Derby day is your first time playing the Louisville track, the Kentucky Derby is the best betting race because it features the biggest field in American racing. 20 of the top three-year-olds in the country go 1 ¼ miles on the dirt for a share of a $3 million purse, the blanket of roses, and the most iconic place in horse racing history.

Mage To win the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Online Betting

Though going to the Kentucky Derby is a thrill, you don’t have to be anywhere near Louisville to enjoy the best of the Run for the Roses. Thanks to online sports betting, you can play the Kentucky Derby online from your tablet, smartphone, or computer from anywhere with an internet connection.

Even better, online sportsbooks offer things the racetrack doesn’t. You can get fixed-odds wagering when you bet online, and online sportsbooks offer incentives like sign-up bonuses, deposit bonuses, and rebates that help you get the most for your betting dollars!

Kentucky Derby 2023 Field

This is the official field for the 2023 Kentucky Derby including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. Hit Show (Brad Cox / Manny Franco) - 30/1
  2. Verifying (Brad Cox / Tyler Gaffalione) - 15/1
  3. Two Phil’s (Larry Rivelli / Jareth Loveberry) - 12/1
  4. Confidence Game (Keith Desormeaux / James Graham) - 20/1
  5. Tapit Trice (Todd Pletcher / Luis Saez) - 5/1
  6. Kingsbarns (Todd Pletcher / Jose Ortiz) - 12/1
  7. Reincarnate (Tim Yakteen / John Velazquez) - 50/1
  8. Mage (Gustavo Delgado / Javier Castellano) - 15/1
  9. Skinner (John Shirreffs / Juan Hernandez) - 20/1
  10. Practical Move (Tim Yakteen / Ramon Vazquez) - 10/1
  11. Disarm (Steve Asmussen / Joel Rosario) - 30/1
  12. Jace’s Road (Brad Cox / Florent Geroux) - 15/1
  13. Sun Thunder (Kenny McPeek / Brian Hernandez, Jr.) - 50/1
  14. Angel of Empire (Brad Cox / Flavien Prat) - 8/1
  15. Forte (Todd Pletcher / Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 3/1
  16. Raise Cain (Ben Colebrook / Gerardo Corrales) - 50/1
  17. Derma Sotogake (Hidetaka Otonashi / Christophe Lemaire) - 10/1
  18. Rocket Can (Bill Mott / Junior Alvarado) - 30/1
  19. Lord Miles (Saffie Joseph, Jr. / Paco Lopez) - 30/1
  20. Continuar (Yosito Yahagi / Ryusei Sakai) - 50/1
  21. ALSO ELIGIBLE - Cyclone Mischief (Dale Romans / Joel Rosario) - 30/1
  22. ALSO ELIGIBLE - Mandarin Hero (Terunobu Fujita / Kazushi Kimura) - 20/1
  23. 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.

These are the odds for the top Kentucky Derby contenders at a few of the best online sportsbooks. Make sure to follow them, since they will change closer to the race. Remember, you can lock in your best Kentucky Derby overlay just by making a bet!

Tapit Trice+600+650+600
Angel of Empire+900+1200+900
Practical Move+1000+1200+1100
Two Phil's+1200+1600+1300

Best Picks for the Kentucky Derby

When handicapping the Kentucky Derby, you need to get to know strengths and weaknesses of the contenders. In general, good things to keep in mind include the horse’s record coming into the race, the trainer and jockey records in the Kentucky Derby, and the odds on the tote board.

Remember that favorites often run well: they won the first six years that the Kentucky Derby used the qualification points system, and even though the favorite has been defeated in the four years since, the favorites have not finished worse than fourth. All ten winners since the beginning of the points system have finished first, second, or third in their final prep race.

Kentucky Derby Best Bet

In a Derby with so many competitive horses, it does not make sense to accept a short price. Some of the favorites have places in exotic tickets, but when betting to win? There is a litany of reasons why Mage makes sense.

Mage To win the Kentucky Derby

Mage is lightly-raced but improving, and he got a lot of seasoning out of the Florida Derby. Though he closed from far out of it after a poor start, that showed he can adapt when things go wrong. But, his previous races show a horse with tactical, natural speed, meaning he should get a good trip if he starts well. And, his pedigree is replete with stamina top and bottom.

Kentucky Derby Favorites

The Kentucky Derby market leader all year has been Forte, and he should be a heavy race-day favorite. The favorite has not been out of the superfecta since the advent of the points system, and Forte can continue that trend. Though late-runners won’t get a real pace advantage in this year’s Derby, he finishes well enough even when the pace in front of him isn’t too hot, so he could still turn in a good effort.

The most appealing of the shorter-priced horses in the field is Tapit Trice. In the Blue Grass (G1) he started better than he had been previously. He got out in the clear relatively quickly despite a rail draw in a big field, which showed good maturity, and ran on well to catch the pace-advantaged Verifying. Finally, his pedigree screams classic stamina top and bottom.

The leader among west-coast Kentucky Derby prospects is Practical Move, and there is a good argument for him to find the frame. He has good tactical speed, and even though he only won his last by a nose he did so against a well-meant shipper from Japan in Mandarin Hero and he showed the grit that helps in the Derby. And, even though he is sired by a miler, Into Mischief progeny can stretch out with dam-side stamina so perhaps Practical Joke’s can, too.

Kentucky Derby Price Horses

Two Phil’s took his final prep in the Jeff Ruby (G3) on Tapeta, and not only did he win it visually impressively but also he came back with the best final-prep figure no matter whether you read Beyer, Brisnet, or TimeformUS speed figures. Before that he was competitive in Derby preps on dirt and he is a Grade 3 winner at Churchill, meaning he has a good chance to hold his form on the new surface at a big price.

Without a lot of early pace in the Kentucky Derby, Derma Sotogake has enough early speed to snap the streak of disappointment from horses coming out of the UAE Derby. Dirt speed from Japan has been keeping up with dirt speed from the US, he has the stamina in his pedigree to love the extra half-furlong, and he should get a comfortable frontrunning trip.

Kentucky Derby 2023 Picks

Free Kentucky Derby picks are here:

With Mage likely to be a legitimate price horse, bet him to win, or even bet him across the board (win-place-show) since he will be enough of a long shot to make his place and show payouts profitable as well.

  • $20 win/place/show: #8 Mage
Mage To win the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby 2023 Exotic Bets

Since the longshots often do find the exotics, this is a great place to start playing around with them and try to cash a life-changing ticket in the Kentucky Derby!

The exacta is an easy bet to make. Though a straight exacta requires the horses to finish in order, you can box it and cash a ticket if they finish in any order:

  • $1 Exacta Box: #3 Two Phils, #5 Tapit Trice, #8 Mage

You can also key the bet, playing a few horses around one you really like and allowing for a bit more spread in the other spots:

  • $1 Exacta Key: #5 Tapit Trice with #17 Derma Sotogake, #8 Mage, and #3 Two Phil’s,

The trifecta and superfecta in the Kentucky Derby can also pay huge! It is a good idea to play these using a key horse, and playing a group of other horses around them to finish in the top three or four.

  • $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 Exotic Wagering Opportunities

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, it is worth looking at the races at Churchill Downs all week long. On Derby Day specifically, there will be a Kentucky Derby Pick 6. The bet, which requires you to pick six winners in a row, is traditionally an all-stakes Pick 6 that features the Kentucky Derby and five other stakes races on Kentucky Derby Day, with a $0.20 minimum.

The Kentucky Derby Day card at Churchill Downs will feature eight stakes races other than the Derby: the $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes, the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1), the $750,000 Derby City Distaff (G1), the $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), the $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2), the $500,000 American Turf (G2), the $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2), and the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1).

In addition to the Pick 6 wagers, Kentucky Derby Day also features four Pick 5 wagers, four Pick 4 wagers, and rolling Daily Double and Pick 3 wagers throughout the day. In addition to these conventional multi-race wagers, there will be an all-stakes, all-dirt Pick 5 and an all-three-year-old Pick 3. There will also be a Super High Five (pick the first five finishers) in the Kentucky Derby, and win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagering all day long.

You can also play the Oaks-Derby Double on Friday. That wager, which you place on Friday, pays out if you pick the winners of both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.