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2023 Kentucky Derby Odds – Who Are the Main Favourites to Win

As the 2023 Kentucky Derby countdown begins, the event’s anticipation grows daily. Horse racing enthusiasts, casual fans, and bettors eagerly await the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” 

As you read further, we’ll look at the current Kentucky Derby odds, the Kentucky Derby favourites for the prestigious title, and the factors that could influence the race’s outcome.

Kentucky Derby Odds
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Assessing the Kentucky Derby Odds

Regarding the Kentucky Derby, it’s important to keep an eye on the odds as they provide valuable insight into each contender’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. 

Oddsmakers and experts analyze past performances, training, pedigree, and jockey/trainer combinations to determine the odds for each horse.

While favorites have historically had a solid track record at the Derby, longshots can and do upset the odds, making the race even more exciting and unpredictable.

Identifying the Kentucky Derby Favourites

As the 2023 Kentucky Derby approaches, several horses have emerged as potential favorites. While the list of contenders is likely to evolve as we get closer to the event, some of the early Kentucky Derby favorites include:

Tapit Trice @ 5/1 (+500) 

With an impressive racing pedigree and a string of recent victories, this Tapit Trice has caught the attention of oddsmakers and horse racing fans alike. His speed, stamina, and agility make him a strong contender for the top spot.

Tapit Trice is eyeing to become the first gray horse to clinch the Kentucky Derby title since Giacomo in 2005, and his chances seem promising. The steed is under the expert guidance of renowned trainer Todd Pletcher, who has dispatched 62 horses to the Kentucky Derby, including three in 2023, and boasts four wins out of five career starts.

Known for his late surge strategy, Tapit Trice tends to hang back early, only to make a powerful finish using his impressive speed. While it’s unlikely to see this horse in the lead early on, his strength and endurance make him a strong contender. 

Veteran jockey Luis Saez, who previously rode Maximum Security to a Kentucky Derby victory in 2019 but was later disqualified, should prevent such an outcome.

Angel of Empire @ 8/1 (+800)

Angel of Empire is another steed with a history of success. This colt has claimed victory in four of his six races and secured second place in one of his losses. His triumphs include the Arkansas Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race previously won by other Kentucky Derby champions like American Pharoah and Curlin.

In his victories, Angel of Empire has showcased exceptional closing speed. This should set him up for a powerful finish in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, provided he can stay within striking distance of the leading group until the race’s closing stages. 

Experienced jockey Flavien Prat, who secured the 2019 Kentucky Derby title aboard Country House following Maximum Security’s disqualification, will be riding him, increasing the odds of a formidable top-three finish.

Cyclone Mischief @ 30/1 (+3000)

With an experienced jockey and renowned trainer behind him, Cyclone Mischief has consistently improved throughout his racing career. He has the potential to challenge the other Kentucky Derby favorites and makes a name for himself on the big stage.

Kentucky Derby Expert Picks

As previously discussed, the Kentucky Derby is a grueling 1 1/4-mile race. Hence, endurance is likely the key quality to pinpoint in a potential victor. Horses that start off strong may fare well at the race’s onset, but due to the extended length compared to the average race, they often struggle to maintain their pace toward the end.

Consequently, focusing on horses that might initially hold back but possess a powerful closing sprint to clinch the race is beneficial. Let’s take a look at some of the horses that fit this criterion.

While some might lean towards the favorite, Forte (+300), as the likeliest contender for the Kentucky Derby victory, the other prime candidates, Tapit Trice (+500) and Angel of Empire (+800), offer gamblers greater potential returns and potential for surprise.

Kentucky Derby Favourites
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Factors That Could Influence the Race Outcome

While the Kentucky Derby odds and Kentucky Derby favorites provide valuable insight into the potential winners, numerous factors could influence the race’s outcome. Some of these factors include:

Track conditions 

The state of the track on race day can have a significant impact on the performance of the horses. A wet or muddy track can favor certain horses, while others may struggle.

Post positions 

The starting gate positions can determine the race outcome. Horses in certain post positions may have an advantage, while others could face challenges navigating the crowded field.

Race tactics 

The strategies employed by jockeys and trainers can significantly impact the race. Aggressive tactics may pay off for some horses, while a more conservative approach could be the key to success for others.

The unpredictable nature of the race 

With a crowded field of 20 horses, the Kentucky Derby is known for its unpredictability. Upsets and surprises are common; even the most well-prepared horses can face challenges on race day.

Betting Tips for the 2023 Kentucky Derby

When betting on the Kentucky Derby, it’s essential to consider the odds and favorites and the factors that could influence the race outcome. Here are a few tips for placing your bets:

Study the contenders  

Take the time to research each horse’s racing history, pedigree, and recent performances. This information can help you identify potential winners and spot valuable betting opportunities.

Understand the odds 

While favorites have an excellent track record at the Derby, long shots can and do win. Understanding the odds can help you balance the risk and reward when placing your bets.

Consider the intangibles 

Track conditions, post positions, and race day tactics can significantly influence race outcomes. Keep an eye on these factors as you make your betting decisions.

Manage your bankroll 

It’s essential to bet within your means and set a budget for your Kentucky Derby wagers. Remember, betting on horse racing should be fun, not financially stressful.

The Exciting Countdown to the 2023 Kentucky Derby

As we approach the 2023 Kentucky Derby, the excitement and anticipation continue to build. Whether you’re a seasoned horse racing enthusiast or a casual fan, the event promises thrilling action, unforgettable moments, and perhaps a few surprises. 

So, with the Kentucky Derby odds and Kentucky Derby favorites in mind, it’s time to prepare for the “Run for the Roses.” The Kentucky Derby isn’t just a race; it’s an experience, a spectacle, and a celebration of the sport of kings.

And remember, while the odds and favorites provide some insight, the beauty of the Derby lies in its unpredictability. So, as you place your bets, remember to enjoy the experience, and may the best horse win!

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About the author


Andrew Shassetz is a seasoned freelance writer who combines his academic background from the University of Alaska, where he studied Journalism, with a genuine love for horse racing. Following a significant life-changing accident, Andrew courageously shifted his career path from mainstream journalism to full-time freelancing.

Today, he passionately delves into the thrilling world of horse racing and sports. He delivers compelling, insightful commentaries that resonate with readers worldwide, redefining sports journalism with his unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise.