With the 149th Kentucky Derby coming up, horse racing fans across the country are looking at betting opportunities on the big event. With so many ways to wager on the race, it’s interesting to look at some of the previous winner’s odds as well as post positions. This article also includes some analysis from FanDuel TV’s Scott Hazelton from his recent interview with LINEUPS.com, plus some of my own breakdowns for the race.
2023 Kentucky Derby Prediction
While there are generally 20 horses running in the Kentucky Derby, there will only be 19 this year following Skinner’s scratching because of an elevated temperature. The current favorite for the race is Forte at 3/1, followed by Tapit Trice at 5/1 and Angel of Empire at 8/1. Of the favorite, Scott Hazelton told us that “Forte has been brilliant. He knows how to win races. He’s not the flashy type. He’s not going to blow the doors off and win by five, ten lengths, but he knows what his job is and he gets there.”
It can definitely be difficult to choose one horse to bet on to win it all, but Scott Hazelton gave us some insight on his favorite horse in the event: “My top play will be Angel of Empire. I think he is more than capable of going with Forte. They’ve never faced each other. He’s the 14, he’s drawn right next to Forte.”
Plus, there are a few other horses that Hazelton believes could finish as Kentucky Derby champions. “Verifying at the 2… he’s 15/1 on the morning line which is a predicted odds for him come post time. I think he’ll probably be in that range. Two Phil’s the 3, he’ll probably be double digit priced come post time.”
As a bettor, it’s all about looking for value, and the Kentucky Derby presents plenty of opportunities with so many different horses to wager on. As Hazelton told us, “The value is tremendous in gambling on this sport, because it’s not a 1v1 proposition.”
While I haven’t made an official play myself, there are two horses that have piqued my interest. Tapit Trice has 5/1 opening odds, and has the same trainer as frontrunner Forte: Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. The horse also has similar speed figures to frontrunner Forte and Two Phil’s, and is positioned in the 5th spot, which has produced the most winners throughout Kentucky Derby history. I’m also considering a bet on Mage in the 8th position, where Medina Spirit would have had the win in 2021 if not for his disqualification. In the recent Florida Derby, Mage lost by just a length to Forte, and there’s definitely some value in taking the horse to win at 15/1. Outside of that, I’m looking to place a special trifecta box bet with Hazelton’s favorite three horses.
Previous Kentucky Derby Winners
|2012||I'll have another||15-1|
When deciding which horse to wager on in this year’s Kentucky Derby, it’s interesting to look at some of the previous winners. Last year’s champion was a major longshot, as Rich Strike came away with the win despite facing 80/1 odds. In 2021, Medina Spirit originally won the race, although the horse faced disqualification, making Mandaloun (12/1) the official winner. The year before that, Authentic won with 8/1 odds, beating heavy favorite Tiz The Law, who was facing 3/5 odds. 2019 saw Country Horse win the race with 30/1 odds, although the horse was listed as high as 65/1. Country Horse’s win was again the result of a disqualification, as Maximum Security was reviewed for interference. A much heavier favorite won the year before, with Justify (3/1) taking home the title in 2018.
Kentucky Derby Winners by Post Position
|2012||I'll have another||19|
When betting on a Kentucky Derby winner, it’s interesting to look at how post position plays into the results. In the last few years, there have been winners from the 20th position (Rick Strike), 15th position (Authentic), 18th position (Country House), and two in the 7th position (Mandaloun and Justify). Throughout the history of the race, the 5th position has won the Run For The Roses more than any other position with 10, the most recent winner being Always Dreaming in 2017. The second most winners have come from the 8th and 10th positions, followed closely by the 1st position. Interestingly, a horse in the 17th position has never won the race.