Horse Racing

2023 Kentucky Derby Preview: All You Need to Know About the Race

The first of three enormous races in North America is upon us – the 2023 Kentucky Derby. But who could win, who should you be backing, and what is this race all about? I’ve got the answers for you within the information contained below. Of course, I won’t just be talking about the horses who are competing or what the main Kentucky Derby betting tips are. As noted, I want to provide a complete Kentucky Derby preview for you to have as a reference as this race approaches.

Kentucky Derby Preview 2023

So if you love horse racing and you want to place a wager on any Kentucky Derby horses this year, make sure you read on before you do.

Kentucky Derby Preview – 2023 Rundown

There will be some of you who know exactly what this race stands for. However, there will also be some of you who haven’t looked much beyond UK and Irish horse racing before. At the same time, if you are new to horse racing, all of this will be completely fresh information. Anyway, regardless of your previous interactions with the world of horse racing, this Kentucky Derby preview is here to address the key points you need to know.

So for the 2023 rundown, like all years, there are a few important details you should note down. 

Kentucky Derby Race Format

Before I address anything about the participants and who could win, let’s start with the race overview. The Kentucky Derby is a thoroughbred race that is open for 3-year-old horses only. Therefore, a horse can only compete in the Kentucky Derby once in its entire career, which makes the race special. Not only that but the Kentucky Derby is classed as a Grade 1 Stakes event, which is as big as it can get for horse racing.

The race itself is run on dirt over a distance of 2km at the Churchill Downs Racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky. And this relatively short course length has produced the popular description of this race being the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports’. Adding to that, the Kentucky Derby is the very first leg of what’s known as the Triple Crown. This relates to three Grade 1 events held in North America. The other two include the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. 

So if a horse can win the Kentucky Derby, this is the best possible introduction to the Triple Crown.

History of the Kentucky Derby

Shifting our gaze back in time now, not only is the Kentucky Derby one of the most exciting races in North America, it’s also one of the oldest. Amazingly, this race was inaugurated back in May 1875 – 147 years ago. Therefore, there is a fair bit of history behind this Kentucky Derby preview. And since the race extends so far back, all of the Kentucky Derby horses who take part are walking in the footsteps of some true legends of the sport. 

Prize Money for the Kentucky Derby

Although this is a Grade 1 event, as others in North America are, the Kentucky Derby is still tied as the largest event alongside the Whitney Handicap. Because of this, as expected, there is some serious money involved in this race. For the 2023 Kentucky Derby, the total prize purse is $3 million, which is just huge. Of course, this is the total prize fund that is shared between the participants in the race. However, for the winner of the race, they get to take home a rather cool $1.86 million. 

Needless to say, that’s not a bad chunk of money for a race that is usually wrapped up within a couple of minutes!

Kentucky Derby Live Streaming Options

If you are hoping to watch the Kentucky Derby today (Saturday, May 6th), you’ll need access to Sky Sports Racing. This is part of the total Sky Sports package, but since this is a paid package, you don’t technically have a free streaming option. So if you do wish to watch the event later today, you will need to set up Sky Sports Racing before everything begins. Don’t worry, after you’ve made the payment, you’ll have instant access. 

Therefore, you’ve still got time to get things rolling in order to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby. And if you are located in other nations such as Australia, North America, Canada, or elsewhere – I’d suggest checking out our full list of Kentucky Derby streaming options when you can.

Kentucky Derby Date and Time

Now that you have an idea of where to watch the race, let’s address another critical factor. After all, if you don’t know when the race is taking place, you’ll struggle to tune in at the right time! So on that note, I can confirm that the Kentucky Derby will kick off at approximately 11:45 PM UK time. This is around 6:45 PM ET in the USA, so you can plan around these times if you are hoping to watch the race. 

Of course, the race will be held today – Saturday, May 6th 2023, just to confirm.

Kentucky Derby Horses – Who Should You Be Backing?

Like all previous years in the Kentucky Derby, the 2023 event consists of a 20-horse field. This means you have 20 possible Kentucky Derby horses to consider backing. Of course, you won’t be backing all of them, which is why you need to know which horses are the favourites and who you could potentially wager on. Let me give you the top five favourites before discussing who has the best chances:

  • Tapit Trice – 4/1 (5.00)
  • Forte – 4/1 (5.00)
  • Angel of Empire – 6/1 (7.00)
  • Derma Sotogake – 7/1 (8.00)
  • Kingsbarns – 10/1 (11.00)

Naturally, the top five favourites are not a bad shout if you wish to pick an outright winner. However, I believe that Derma Sotogake shows the most value as an outside pick at 10/1. This horse recently dismantled the field at Meydan (UAE Derby), taking down the rest by 5+ lengths. So for me, he is the main pick of the top five favourites.

With that said, any of the top five favourites could make a solid each-way play. Yet if you do go down this route, just remember that the odds won’t be fantastic as these are the main favourites to win the Kentucky Derby.

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