Kentucky Derby: Mage is ready for his biggest challenge yet

Kentucky Derby: Mage is ready for his biggest challenge yet

Category : News - Tue 02/05/2023 - 09:24 EDT

The crown jewel of racing in Kentucky happens Saturday, May 6: the $3 million Kentucky Derby! The race has been run at Churchill Downs every year since 1875, and 20 of the best three-year-old horses prove their speed and stamina going the classic 1 ¼-mile distance over their dirt.

Mage To win the Kentucky Derby

Betting the Kentucky Derby is an event recreational and professional bettors alike cannot miss! After all, the huge field means that straight and exotic wagers can pay huge dividends. This is the place to find out the best places to bet the Kentucky Derby online, and to get expert insight on Forte and all of the other Kentucky Derby contenders!

Betting the Kentucky Derby Online

There is nothing like going to the Kentucky Derby to feel the best horses in the country go by as they fly down the stretch. However, not everyone can make it to Churchill Downs for the big race, even if you already live in Kentucky! The good news is, online horse betting sites can bring you to the action wherever you are. Even better, they offer bonuses and odds you’ll never find at the track!

All of our recommended sites have trusted payouts and market-leading odds. They also offer great racebook bonuses including horse racing rebates, deposit incentives, and sign-up bonuses. Take a few moments to read our reviews, compare your options, and choose the one that will help you build your bankroll the fastest based on how you like to play!

Kentucky Derby Contenders

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

  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.

Remember that the odds on Kentucky Derby horses are not the ones you are guaranteed to get at the track. Odds fluctuate all the way until post time if you bet in the on-track pools. Your best bet in the Kentucky Derby is to play the race at an online sportsbook, so you can lock in your odds the moment you bet!

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

Kentucky Derby Best Bet

With quite a few horses in the field with a strong chance to win, the best bet in the win pool is long shot Mage. Though he was beaten by a length in the Florida Derby (G1) by Forte, that was after Mage broke poorly and had to rally from far off the pace. His natural style is more tactical, which could get him a winning trip – though that adaptation in Florida shows he has the maturity to run well even when things don’t go his way.

Mage To win the Kentucky Derby

He also has an appealing pedigree for the stretch out to the Classic distance, being by Curlin son Good Magic (himself second in the Derby) out of stoutly-bred Big Brown daughter Puca (a half-sister to turf router Finnegans Wake). This is a pedigree that time and distance both bode well for, and he is a massive overlay in Kentucky Derby markets.

Kentucky Derby Favorites

Favorites do tend to do well in the Kentucky Derby: even though the favorite has been beaten the last four years, the favorite has not finished worse than fourth since the advent of the points system in 2013. Thus, it makes sense to consider likely favorites for exotic wagers in particular.

Forte will be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. The champion juvenile male of 2022, he has trained on well. He won the Fountain of Youth well within himself, and he reeled in Mage to win the Florida Derby despite that looking like an impossible task in upper stretch. He won’t have an extremely strong pace to chase but he should be a factor late no matter what.

Tapit Trice is the most interesting of the shorter-priced horses. He has an extremely good classic-distance pedigree. And, he showed a lot of maturity when winning the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland: he broke better than before, overcame a tough inside post, steered out to the clear in a timely fashion, and reeled in the pace-advantaged Verifying.

Practical Move also deserves a look. He has the tactical speed that should give him a good trip in the Derby, and his three-win streak at route trips proves his consistency. Though he only won by a nose in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) that showed grit which will serve him well in the Run for the Roses, and the stamina on his dam’s side pedigree may be enough to carry him despite his miler sire Practical Joke.

Kentucky Derby Exotics Horses

Two Phil’s took his final prep on Tapeta in the Jeff Ruby (G3), and blew the field out of the water. Even though that was not on dirt, he was competitive in dirt preps in Louisian and he is already a Grade 3 winner on the dirt at Churchill Downs. This bodes well for a price horse who should be able to chase ahead of the really deep closers and who is coming into his own at the right time.

Derma Sotogake has to reverse a poor record for runners coming out of the UAE Derby, but there is good reason he can do so. He has enough speed to be prominent from the outset, and based on the composition of the field a forward trip could be the right trip. He has been running like a horse who will love the extra half-furlong.

Furthermore, horses from Japan have been shining on the biggest world race days. Though both Derma Sotogake and Continuar are Japan-trained, Derma Sotogake has had several chances to prove that he is the superior horse.

Kentucky Derby Best Bets

Now that you have created your betting account and gotten to know the best contenders, it is time for the most fun part of all: making your wagers! The best bets for the 2023 Kentucky Derby are:

  • $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
Mage To win the Kentucky Derby
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