The Kentucky Derby is coming up on Saturday, May 6 at Churchill Downs. It is the first jewel of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing: and if you plan on betting the Belmont Stakes in your home state in five weeks, you get a head start on the action when you play the Kentucky Derby!
And, on its own the Kentucky Derby is the most eagerly-awaited horse race in America. The race covers 1 ¼ miles on the dirt, and a field of 20 of the best three-year-olds in the country line up in the gate. No American horse race has such a huge field, which means no American horse race has such a huge chance for life-changing payouts.
To win the Kentucky Derby
These are the best horses to play in the Kentucky Derby, and the best places to play the Kentucky Derby online in New York.
Where to Bet the Kentucky Derby
Choosing the right place to play the Kentucky Derby online can be difficult because you have many options. Our experts are here to help. They have reviewed the best horse betting sites for New York players. All of the recommended sites feature trusted payouts, great user interfaces, and market-leading odds. No longer do you have to go to Vegas to get the best prices!
Our recommended sites also offer racebook bonus offers you’ll never find on track such as betting rebates, sign-up bonuses, and deposit bonuses. These can help you build your bankroll faster than ever, so choose the one that is right for your betting style and get ready to play!
Kentucky Derby Handicapping
These are the official entrants for the 2023 Kentucky Derby, along with their 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 you are not guaranteed the morning-line price if you wager at the track. The odds change all the way until post time. Instead, your best bet is to play the Kentucky Derby at a trusted online racebook. With fixed-odds wagering on major races, you lock in your price the moment you bet!
Kentucky Derby Best Bet
Mage is the best bet in the Kentucky Derby. Sitting at odds of 20-1 or better in major Kentucky Derby markets, he gives you a lot for that massive price. Even though he has only run three times before the Kentucky Derby, he showed a lot of maturity in the Florida Derby (G1). His slow break took him off his usual running style, but he rallied from last to first and finished second to Forte.
To win the Kentucky Derby
If Mage breaks better in the Kentucky Derby, even better: his more natural style has him forward and tracking in range, meaning he could get an excellent trip given the fact that there isn’t quite as much speed in this Kentucky Derby compared to other. His pedigree also appeals for the Classic Distance, as he is by Good Magic out of the stoutly-bred Big Brown mare Puca.
Kentucky Derby Favorites
The favorite has not missed the superfecta since the beginning of the points era, and it would be no surprise if Forte continues that trend. He has held his form as the distances have gotten longer, and even though his late-running style is a bit of a concern in a Derby less pace laden than some, he is able to find a good run even if the pace is not torrid in front of him.
However, the even more intriguing Kentucky Derby candidate is second-favorite Tapit Trice, who is a must-use on any Kentucky Derby wagers. He showed good maturity in winning the Blue Grass (G1): he broke better than he had been, got in the clear despite a rail draw in a big field, and ran on well to catch Verifying, who had an advantage being up on a modest pace.
Add to that Tapit Trice’s excellent distance pedigree, and he shapes like a serious Kentucky Derby contender who belongs on a lot of tickets.
Kentucky Derby Exotics
Even though Two Phil’s did his final prep on the Tapeta and not the dirt, a Grade 3 win at Churchill Downs and some placings in prep races in Louisiana show he can run well on dirt as well. He is getting good at the right time, and has shown he can sit ahead of the real closers and make a smart run in the lane even if the pace in front of him is not torrid.
Derma Sotogake is a wild card, never having run in the United States before. But, Japan-trained horses have been excellent in major races worldwide, and Japan-based dirt speed has been holding its own against American dirt speed, a new development in recent years. With tactical speed in a race that can be won by such a trip, he can put a better shine on horses from the UAE Derby.
Practical Move could also find a spot in the exotics. In a race where a stalking trip can be the right trip, that is exactly the sort of running style he has. Though he only won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) by a nose over Mandarin Hero, it is a positive that he showed the guts to stay engaged and keep fighting when the going got tough. It is also a positive that he has good stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree.
Kentucky Derby Day Wagering
On Kentucky Derby day you can wager on the same wagers you can play all across the country. You can choose straight wagers on a single horse: win bets, place bets, and show bets. These cash if your horse runs first, second, or third, and they are great if you have a strong opinion on a single horse.
Exotic wagers can offer higher payouts, but they are harder to cash. The exacta, trifecta, and superfecta require you to pick the first two, three, or four horses across the wire in the correct order. Boxing these wagers costs more, but ensures you have every order covered, so your horses can finish in any order. Keying can be a good compromise, building other horses around a single horse who has to finish in the top two, three, or four.
You can also play . A Daily Double requires you to pick the winners of two races in a row. A Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, and Pick 6 require you to pick winners of 3, 4, 5, or 6. races in a row. Keep an eye out for special Kentucky Derby day bets as well such as the Oaks/Derby double, the three-year-old Pick 3, and an all-dirt-stakes Pick 5.
Kentucky Derby Bets
Now that you are up to date on the horses, the wagers, and where to bet the race online, it’s time to play! Here are the best bets 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
To win the Kentucky Derby