With the 2023 Kentucky Derby just one week away, major sportsbook operators are beginning to finalize their odds board for the race. For complete information on which horses are favored to win this year’s derby along with a little information on each horse, check out the odds boards and horse profiles below. Currently, Forte is the favored horse to win the Derby at 3-1 odds.
What Horse is Favored to Win the Kentucky Derby
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Two of the top three favorites to win this year’s derby are Forte, Tapit Trice, while Angel of Empire and Practical Move are currently tied for third.
1) Forte: 3-1
Currently ranking first on the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard, Forte clocks in as the lookahead favorite at 5-2 odds. So far so good for Forte as he has gone on a five-race winning streak, last being seen winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby in nail biting fashion.
It wasn’t a clean win as Forte found himself behind the pack right out the gate, relying on his elite closing speed to pull out the victory at the last second. With a crowded field for the Kentucky Derby, Forte will look to maneuver the field early and make a late push after the final turn.
The issue with backing Forte is that history is not on his side as only two Juvenile winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby with Nyquist being the most recent horse to pull it off in 2016. Forte’s jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr, is still searching for his first top three finish in the Derby as well.
2) Tapit Trice: 5-1
Tapit Trice has been garnering attention after beating out fellow Kentucky Derby participant Verifying by a nose in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. Trice currently ranks fourth on the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard with 150.
The horses’ owners have a brief history of the Derby with Mandy Pope and Anthony Beck searching for their first Derby win. Beck was close to pulling it off in 2021 with Hot Rod Charlie coming in second place.
Like the odds-on favorite Forte, Tapit Trice will look to finish strong with elite closing speed. He has a tendency to start slow while maneuvering through the field to catch the leader’s pace and using a late burst of speed to secure the win.
3) Angel of Empire: 8-1
Angel of Empire arguably had the best finishing performance in his last race out in comparison to the other top Derby contenders, winning the Arkansas Derby by 4 and a quarter length with the third longest odds on the board.
Catching bettors’ attention heading into the Kentucky Derby, Angel of Empire is now tied for the third shortest odds to win the first leg of the Triple Crown. With 154 points, he currently ranks third on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Angel of Empire’s owners has yet to secure a Kentucky Derby win but has a winning jockey as Flavien Prat won in 2019 with Country House. As a middle of the pack type of runner, look for Angel of Empire to hover around the back end of the lead group before making a late push to secure the win.
4) Practical Move: 10-1
Two years ago, legendary owner Bob Baffert received a two-year ban after Medina Spirit was disqualified for doping heading into the Kentucky Derby. He has since had to give up some horses to his former assistant Tim Yakteen.
Since Baffert’s suspension, Yakteen’s trained horses have not fared well in the Derby as both of his horses finished 12th (Taiba) and 15th (Messier). Practical Move will look to break the mold as he has yet to finish out of the money in his racing career.
Running as a stalker to the leader of the pack, Practical Move will look to hover around the lead by matching the pace before making a late push for the win. Not the most ideal type of runner with elite closers hovering closely behind.