2023 Kentucky Derby Odds

2023 Kentucky Derby Odds

The Kentucky Derby is often referred to as the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” This year’s edition, the 149th running of the iconic race,  comes our way on Saturday, May 6 at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky as the best three-year-old thoroughbreds on the planet do battle with a $3 million purse at stake. This page takes you through the potential field and contenders, along with information about the latest Kentucky Derby prep races and futures pools.

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Kentucky Derby field and morning line odds

Kentucky Derby start time

Kentucky Derby favorites

Understanding the odds

How to bet online

2023 Kentucky Derby odds

Odds for the 2023 Kentucky Derby will be released the week before the race, while the full field of runners will be finalized before that. We’ll take a look at the morning line odds for the race once that happens. In the interim, here’s a look back at the opening odds for last year’s derby.

Post PositionHorseMorning Line OddsTrainerJockey
1Mo Donegal10-1Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz Jr.
2Happy Jack30-1Doug O’NeillRafael Bejarano
3Epicenter7-2Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario
4Summer Is Tomorrow30-1Bhupat SeemarMickael Barzalona
5Smile Happy20-1Ken McPeekCorey Lanerie
6Messier8-1Tim YakteenJohn Velazquez
7Crown Pride20-1Koichi ShintaniChristophe Lemaire
8Charge It20-1Todd PletcherLuis Saez
9Tiz The Bomb30-1Ken McPeekBrian Hernandez Jr.
10Zandon3-1Chad BrownFlavien Prat
11Pioneer of Medina30-1Todd PletcherJoe Bravo
12Taiba12-1Tim YakteenMike Smith
13Simplification20-1Antonio SanoJose Ortiz
14Barber Road30-1John OrtizReylu Gutierrez
15White Abarrio10-1Saffie Joseph Jr.Tyler Gaffalione
16Cyberknife20-1Brad CoxFlorent Geroux
17Classic Causeway30-1Brian LynchJulien Leparoux
18Tawny Port30-1Brad CoxRicardo Santana Jr.
19Zozos20-1Brad CoxManuel Franco
20Ethereal Road30-1D. Wayne LukasLuis Contreras
21 (AE)Rich Strike30-1Eric ReedSonny Leon
22 (AE)Rattle N Roll30-1Ken McPeekJames Graham

2023 Kentucky Derby favorites

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” is in full swing. It’s an ongoing series of prep races that began on Sept. 17, 2022 with the Iroquois at Churchill Downs, and concludes with the Lexington at Keeneland on April 15, 2023. The top finishers earn points based on their finishing position for all of the races. Some of the races carry more weight than others and award 100 points to the winner.  Here’s a look at the current top ten leaders in the points standings.

In addition to the prep races, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools also offer a sneak peek at which horses may be in the running. There are six pools in total for this season. The first concluded on Nov. 3, 2022, while the last is scheduled for March 30 through April 1. The most recently completed pool was the fifth. Here were the top five options at the time of closing on Mar. 12.

The contenders and favorites for the 2023 Kentucky Derby will continue to take shape as the road continues. We’ll provide continual updates on the potential entrants throughout the season, and take a closer look at the favorites once the full field is official.

2023 Kentucky Derby news and notes

What do the Kentucky Derby odds mean?

The oddsmaker will consider a number of factors when setting the morning line. Any odds that come out for the Derby in advance of the draw are speculative, but they can serve as a ballpark guide of what to expect. These odds are not indicative of the oddsmaker’s opinion on each horse. Rather, their purpose is to act as a guess of how the public’s money will be wagered prior to the race. Additionally, the morning line odds are not final. You can expect to see shifts in the numbers right up to post time. The more money wagered on a horse, the lower its odds, and vice versa.

2023 Kentucky Derby race facts

There have been 148 runnings of the world’s most famous horse race. Here are some of the key points to know as we get ready for the 2023 Kentucky Derby:

How to bet on the Kentucky Derby online

You can bet on the Kentucky Derby online or via mobile device in most of the US, but doing so is not legal in every state. The complete list of legal horse race betting markets is available here. Here are some of the most popular places to get in on the action:

Types of bets

There are a few main ways to wager on the Kentucky Derby. You can stick to picking winners, bet on which horses you think will hit the board or put together some exotic wagers for a chance at greater returns. Here’s a quick run-through of the top options:

The win, place and show bets are your standard wagers. You can place these individually, but you can also combine your selections, such as a win and place, a place and show, or a win/place/show for your selected horse.

The remaining bets are exotics. They can be difficult to win consistently, but the payouts can be significant for small outlays. On the most basic level, you need to choose the correct order for your horses to finish in, but you can also make boxed selections to finish in any order, or wheeled to cover a number of bases.

The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only race that day at Churchill Downs. If you like a horse in an earlier or later race, you can play wagers such as the daily double, Pick Three, Pick Four, Pick Five, or Pick Six

What goes into the lines for the Kentucky Derby?

Once the field is set for the Derby, there will be a draw to determine post position for all participants in the race. The morning line odds for all entrants will come out several days in advance. The oddsmakers will consider a number of factors when setting the lines, such as the following:

Any odds that come out for the Derby in advance of the draw are speculative, but they can serve as a ballpark guide of what to expect. After the lines are out, it’s time for bettors to digest and make their guesses. You can expect to see shifts in the numbers right up to post time.

Prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby

Each prep race on the road to the Kentucky Derby awards points to the top four finishers. The top 20 horses clinch spots in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Here are the details on these races, which started in September when these horses were 2-year-olds.

Sept. 17, 2022IroquoisChurchill DownsCurly JackMorales/Amoss10-1
Sept. 24, 2022Juddmonte Royal LodgeNewmarketThe FoxesProbert/Balding17-2
Sept. 24, 2022Alan Smurfit Memorial BeresfordCurraghCrypto ForceKeane/O’Callaghan15-2
Oct. 1, 2022ChampagneBelmont At The Big ABlazing SevensPrat/Brown8-1
Oct. 2, 2022Qatar Prix Jean-Luc LagardereLongchampBelbekBarzalona/Fabre16-1
Oct. 8, 2022American PharoahSanta Anita ParkCave RockHernandez/Baffert2-5
Oct. 8, 2022Breeders’ FuturityKeenelandForteOrtiz Jr./Pletcher4-1
Oct. 22, 2022Vertem Futurity TrophyDoncasterAuguste RodinMoore/O’Brien9-4
Nov. 4, 2022Breeders’ Cup JuvenileKeenelandForteOrtiz Jr./Pletcher5-1
Nov. 26, 2022Kentucky Jockey ClubChurchill DownsInstant CoffeeSaez/Cox3-2
Nov. 26, 2022CattleyaTokyo RacecourseContinuarLane/Yahagi3.9-1
Dec. 3, 2022RemsenAqueductDubyuhnellOrtiz/Gargan4-1
Dec. 14, 2022Zen-Nippon Nisai YushunKawasakiDerma SotogakeMatsuwaka/Otonashi11-2
Dec. 17, 2022Los Alamitos FuturityLos Alamitos Race CoursePractical MoveVazquez/Yakteen8-1
Dec. 17, 2022Springboard MileRemington ParkWildatlanticstormGoncalves/Ashford Jr.6-1
Dec. 26, 2022Gun RunnerFair GroundsJace’s RoadGeroux/Cox2-1
Jan. 1, 2023Smarty JonesOaklawn ParkVictory FormationPrat/Cox3-5
Jan. 7, 2023JeromeAqueductLugan KnightDavis/McCarthy7-2
Jan. 8, 2023ShamSanta Anita ParkReincarnateHernandez/Baffert16-1
Jan. 21, 2023LecomteFair GroundsInstant CoffeeSaez/Cox6-5
Jan. 28, 2023SouthwestOaklawn ParkArabian KnightVelazquez/Baffert2-5
Feb. 4, 2023Holy BullGulfstream ParkRocket CanAlvarado/Mott5-2
Feb. 4, 2023Robert B. LewisSanta Anita ParkNewgateDettori/Baffert1-1
Feb. 11, 2023WithersAqueductHit ShowFranco/Cox6-5
Feb. 11, 2023Sam F. DavisTampa Bay DownsLitigateSaez/Pletcher5-2
Feb. 11, 2023El Camino Real DerbyGolden Gate FieldsChase the ChaosAyuso/Moger Jr.4-1
Feb. 18, 2023Risen StarFair GroundsAngel of EmpireSaez/Cox13-1
Feb. 19, 2023HyacinthTokyo RacecoursePerriereFukunaga/Kuroiwa10-11
Feb. 25, 2023RebelOaklawn ParkConfidence GameGraham/Desormeaux18-1
Mar. 3, 2023PattonDundalkCairoMoore/O’Brien2-5
Mar. 4, 2023Fountain of YouthGulfstream ParkForteOrtiz Jr./Pletcher1-2
Mar. 4, 2023GothamAqueductRaise CainLezcano/Colebrook23-1
Mar. 4, 2023San FelipeSanta AnitaPractical MoveVazquez/Yakteen4-1
Mar. 4, 2023John Battaglia MemorialTurfway ParkCongruentLeon/Sano16-1
Mar. 11, 2023Tampa Bay DerbyTampa Bay DownsTapit TriceSaez/Pletcher1-2
Mar. 15, 2023Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition StakesKempton ParkBrave EmperorMorris/Watson9-5

The most prominent prep races award 100 points to winners and 40 points to runners-up. Both of these totals ensure Derby spots for the top two finishers of these races:

Kentucky Derby history

The Kentucky Derby first took place in 1875 and has been an annual event since. Aristides was the inaugural winner, clocking in at 2:37.75 over 1 ½ miles. The race evolved in the years that followed, with the length changing to 1 ¼ miles in 1896, where it remains to this day.

The race typically takes place on the first Saturday in May and serves as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Derby winners tend to become favorites for the next two legs — the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes — but turning the trick of winning all three races has proven to be a difficult achievement.

To date, it has happened just 13 times, most recently by Justify in 2018. Secretariat holds the all-time speed record for the mile-and-a-quarter race at Churchill with a blistering time of 1:59.4 in 1973. Bob Baffert and Ben A. Jones are tied for the most Derby wins for a trainer with six, while Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the lead for jockeys with six each.

2022 Kentucky Derby Recap

History was made at the 2022 Kentucky Derby as the second-largest longshot in the history of the event, behind only 91-1 Donerail in 1913, went on to win. Rich Strike stormed to the lead down the stretch to claim victory at odds of 80-1. Even more amazingly, the horse was only in the field due to the scratch of Ethereal Road the previous day.

At post time, Epicenter and Taiba were the co-favorites at 5-1, followed by Messier at 7-1. Summer is Tomorrow took the early lead, while Messier and Epicenter battled for control at the 3/4-mile mark. Down the stretch, Rich Strike pulled off an improbable rally from 15th place to snatch the victory. Epicenter finished in second, followed by Zandon in third.

FinishHorseJockey/TrainerPostML OddsFinal OddsTimeWinnings
1Rich StrikeLeon/Reed2130-180-12:02.61$1,860,000
2EpicenterRosario/Asmussen37-25-13/4 length$600,000
3ZandonPrat/Brown103-18-11 1/2 lengths$300,000
4SimplificationOrtiz/Sano1320-140-13 1/2 lengths$150,000
5Mo DonegalOrtiz Jr./Pletcher110-18-13 3/4 lengths$90,000
6Barber RoadGutierrez/Ortiz1430-140-14 3/4 lengths
7Tawny PortSantana Jr./Cox1830-167-14 3/4 lengths
8Smile HappyLanerie/McPeek520-114-110 lengths
9Tiz the BombHernandez Jr./McPeek930-125-112 1/2 lengths
10ZozosFranco/Cox1920-139-115 3/4 lengths
11Classic CausewayLeparoux/Lynch1730-167-117 lengths
12TaibaSmith/Yakteen1212-15-117 3/4 lengths
13Crown PrideLemaire/Shintani720-117-118 1/4 lengths
14Happy JackBejarano/O’Neill230-121-119 lengths
15MessierVelazquez/Yakteen68-17-119 lengths
16White AbarrioGaffalione/Joseph Jr.1510-111-119 3/4 lengths
17Charge ItSaez/Pletcher820-113-127 3/4 lengths
18CyberknifeGeroux/Cox1620-114-142 1/2 lengths
19Pioneer of MedinaBravo/Pletcher1130-147-156 3/4 lengths
20Summer is TomorrowBarzalona/Seemar430-142-164 1/4 lengths

The surprise at the top of the board led to some hefty payouts for winning bettors. Here’s how it all shook out.

Kentucky Derby FAQ

When is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby takes place on May 6, 2023 at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky. The race is usually run on the first Saturday in May.

How many horses run in the race?

In recent history, the race sets the number of runners at 20. The first race saw 15 runners, with a varied number of starters throughout the history of the race.

How much does the winner of the Kentucky Derby receive?

The overall purse for the Kentucky Derby is $3 million, with the winning connections in the race landing the first prize of $1,860,000. This compares to the sum of $2,850 awarded to the inaugural winner in 1875.

When is post time?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is scheduled to start at 6:50 p.m. ET, the 12th of 14 races at Churchill Downs that day. The doors open at 8 a.m. ET, allowing fans to enjoy the all-day experience.

How much are Kentucky Derby tickets?

General admission tickets for the Kentucky Derby go on sale online in November, starting at $60. As the date for the race nears, the tickets increase in price to $75 – $80, while purchasing a ticket on the day of the race itself will cost $85.

How long does the Kentucky Derby last?

Historically, the Kentucky Derby has lasted just a little more than two minutes, ever since the move to 1.25 miles in 1896, which attributes the nickname “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

Who was the fastest horse to win the Kentucky Derby?

Secretariat set the record for the fastest time in Kentucky Derby history in 1973 with a finish of 1:59.40. Monarchos is second on the list with a time of 1:59.97, breaking the two-minute mark in 2001.

Which jockeys/trainers have the most wins?

Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are tied for the most wins as jockeys, each crossing the line first on five occasions. Bob Baffert and Ben A. Jones share the lead for trainers with six victories.

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