- The 2023 Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs
- This article will be updated with 2023 Kentucky Derby odds once the field is set
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.
Up to $200 bonus bet at TVG for Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby field and morning line odds
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 Position||Horse||Morning Line Odds||Trainer||Jockey|
|1||Mo Donegal||10-1||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|2||Happy Jack||30-1||Doug O’Neill||Rafael Bejarano|
|3||Epicenter||7-2||Steve Asmussen||Joel Rosario|
|4||Summer Is Tomorrow||30-1||Bhupat Seemar||Mickael Barzalona|
|5||Smile Happy||20-1||Ken McPeek||Corey Lanerie|
|6||Messier||8-1||Tim Yakteen||John Velazquez|
|7||Crown Pride||20-1||Koichi Shintani||Christophe Lemaire|
|8||Charge It||20-1||Todd Pletcher||Luis Saez|
|9||Tiz The Bomb||30-1||Ken McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr.|
|10||Zandon||3-1||Chad Brown||Flavien Prat|
|11||Pioneer of Medina||30-1||Todd Pletcher||Joe Bravo|
|12||Taiba||12-1||Tim Yakteen||Mike Smith|
|13||Simplification||20-1||Antonio Sano||Jose Ortiz|
|14||Barber Road||30-1||John Ortiz||Reylu Gutierrez|
|15||White Abarrio||10-1||Saffie Joseph Jr.||Tyler Gaffalione|
|16||Cyberknife||20-1||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux|
|17||Classic Causeway||30-1||Brian Lynch||Julien Leparoux|
|18||Tawny Port||30-1||Brad Cox||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|19||Zozos||20-1||Brad Cox||Manuel Franco|
|20||Ethereal Road||30-1||D. Wayne Lukas||Luis Contreras|
|21 (AE)||Rich Strike||30-1||Eric Reed||Sonny Leon|
|22 (AE)||Rattle N Roll||30-1||Ken McPeek||James 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.
- 1 – Forte, 90
- 2 – Practical Move, 60
- 3 – Confidence Game, 57
- 4 – Angel of Empire, 54
- 5 – Raise Cain, 54
- 6 – Tapit Trice, 50
- 7 – Rocket Can, 40
- 8 – Red Route One, 33
- 9 – Instant Coffee, 32
- 10 – Classic Car Wash, 26
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.
- Forte, 3-1
- Tapit Trice, 8-1
- All Other 3-Year-Olds, 10-1
- Practical Move, 12-1
- Instant Coffee, 19-1
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
- Saturday, May 11, 2023: Tapit Trice was the top choice at odds of 1-2 heading into the Tampa Bay Derby. After falling way behind out of the gate, the favorite pulled out a stirring rally to snatch the win and claim 50 points.
- Saturday, Mar. 4, 2023: Four prep races shook up the leaderboard. Forte was the winner of the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, while Raise Cain took down the Gotham at Aqueduct. Practical Move outpaced the field for the San Felipe at Santa Anita Park, and Congruent came out on top at the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park.
- Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023: The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn also awarded 50 points to the winner, and delivered another surprise. Confidence Game took the race at odds of 18-1, followed by 9-1 Red Route One in second, and 9-2 Reincarnate in third.
- Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023: There were 50 points at stake for the winner of the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. Two of the longer shots outpaced the field, with 13-1 Angel of Empire claiming the victory, followed by 16-1 Sun Thunder in second.
- Friday, Nov. 4, 2022: The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was held at Keeneland. Forte was the winner at 5-1, outpacing second-place finisher Cave Rock, who was heavily favored at post time with odds of 2-5. National Treasure finished in third.
- Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022: The Road to the Kentucky Derby kicked off with the running of the Iroquois at Churchill Downs. Curly Jack was the winner at odds of 10-1 and earned 10 points. Honed finished second, followed by Jace’s Road in third.
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:
- 2023 location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
- Distance: 1 ¼ miles
- Age qualifications: 3-year-old colts, geldings, fillies
- 2022 purse: $3 million
- 2023 race date: May 6
- Post time: 6:50 p.m. ET
- Where to watch: NBC
- Fastest time: 1:59.4, Secretariat, 1973
- Most wins by a trainer: Bob Baffert and Ben Jones, six
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:
- TVG: The home for live horse racing action on a year-round basis, TVG Racing also offers online horse betting. Simple to sign up for and easy to use, it also features regular promotions, especially when it’s Derby time.
- TwinSpires: Bearing the name of the famed twin spires at Churchill Downs, this is a trusted site that’s popular with the horse racing community. Beyond the Derby and other top events, you can bet on races from across the globe. TwinSpires will also have promos to consider on Derby day.
- NYRA: The New York Racing Association offers online horse betting via NYRA Bets. Available for online and mobile users, NYRA is a year-round destination for plenty of bettors across the nation. Beyond the standard Derby promos, you can also check out the rewards program for regular players.
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:
- Win: Pick the horse that you think will win the race.
- Place: A bet on a horse to finish in first or second.
- Show: Wager on a horse to finish in at least third place.
- Exacta: A wager on the top two finishers in the race.
- Trifecta: Pick the top three finishers.
- Superfecta: Bet on the top four finishers.
- Super high five: Take your chances on picking the top five horses.
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:
- Performance in qualifying races.
- Public interest and expected wagering action.
- Pedigree, jockey, trainer, stable and other ancillary factors.
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, 2022||Iroquois||Churchill Downs||Curly Jack||Morales/Amoss||10-1|
|Sept. 24, 2022||Juddmonte Royal Lodge||Newmarket||The Foxes||Probert/Balding||17-2|
|Sept. 24, 2022||Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford||Curragh||Crypto Force||Keane/O’Callaghan||15-2|
|Oct. 1, 2022||Champagne||Belmont At The Big A||Blazing Sevens||Prat/Brown||8-1|
|Oct. 2, 2022||Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere||Longchamp||Belbek||Barzalona/Fabre||16-1|
|Oct. 8, 2022||American Pharoah||Santa Anita Park||Cave Rock||Hernandez/Baffert||2-5|
|Oct. 8, 2022||Breeders’ Futurity||Keeneland||Forte||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||4-1|
|Oct. 22, 2022||Vertem Futurity Trophy||Doncaster||Auguste Rodin||Moore/O’Brien||9-4|
|Nov. 4, 2022||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile||Keeneland||Forte||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||5-1|
|Nov. 26, 2022||Kentucky Jockey Club||Churchill Downs||Instant Coffee||Saez/Cox||3-2|
|Nov. 26, 2022||Cattleya||Tokyo Racecourse||Continuar||Lane/Yahagi||3.9-1|
|Dec. 3, 2022||Remsen||Aqueduct||Dubyuhnell||Ortiz/Gargan||4-1|
|Dec. 14, 2022||Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun||Kawasaki||Derma Sotogake||Matsuwaka/Otonashi||11-2|
|Dec. 17, 2022||Los Alamitos Futurity||Los Alamitos Race Course||Practical Move||Vazquez/Yakteen||8-1|
|Dec. 17, 2022||Springboard Mile||Remington Park||Wildatlanticstorm||Goncalves/Ashford Jr.||6-1|
|Dec. 26, 2022||Gun Runner||Fair Grounds||Jace’s Road||Geroux/Cox||2-1|
|Jan. 1, 2023||Smarty Jones||Oaklawn Park||Victory Formation||Prat/Cox||3-5|
|Jan. 7, 2023||Jerome||Aqueduct||Lugan Knight||Davis/McCarthy||7-2|
|Jan. 8, 2023||Sham||Santa Anita Park||Reincarnate||Hernandez/Baffert||16-1|
|Jan. 21, 2023||Lecomte||Fair Grounds||Instant Coffee||Saez/Cox||6-5|
|Jan. 28, 2023||Southwest||Oaklawn Park||Arabian Knight||Velazquez/Baffert||2-5|
|Feb. 4, 2023||Holy Bull||Gulfstream Park||Rocket Can||Alvarado/Mott||5-2|
|Feb. 4, 2023||Robert B. Lewis||Santa Anita Park||Newgate||Dettori/Baffert||1-1|
|Feb. 11, 2023||Withers||Aqueduct||Hit Show||Franco/Cox||6-5|
|Feb. 11, 2023||Sam F. Davis||Tampa Bay Downs||Litigate||Saez/Pletcher||5-2|
|Feb. 11, 2023||El Camino Real Derby||Golden Gate Fields||Chase the Chaos||Ayuso/Moger Jr.||4-1|
|Feb. 18, 2023||Risen Star||Fair Grounds||Angel of Empire||Saez/Cox||13-1|
|Feb. 19, 2023||Hyacinth||Tokyo Racecourse||Perriere||Fukunaga/Kuroiwa||10-11|
|Feb. 25, 2023||Rebel||Oaklawn Park||Confidence Game||Graham/Desormeaux||18-1|
|Mar. 3, 2023||Patton||Dundalk||Cairo||Moore/O’Brien||2-5|
|Mar. 4, 2023||Fountain of Youth||Gulfstream Park||Forte||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||1-2|
|Mar. 4, 2023||Gotham||Aqueduct||Raise Cain||Lezcano/Colebrook||23-1|
|Mar. 4, 2023||San Felipe||Santa Anita||Practical Move||Vazquez/Yakteen||4-1|
|Mar. 4, 2023||John Battaglia Memorial||Turfway Park||Congruent||Leon/Sano||16-1|
|Mar. 11, 2023||Tampa Bay Derby||Tampa Bay Downs||Tapit Trice||Saez/Pletcher||1-2|
|Mar. 15, 2023||Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes||Kempton Park||Brave Emperor||Morris/Watson||9-5|
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:
- March 25 — UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse
- March 25 — Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds
- March 25 – Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park
- April 1 — Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
- April 1 — Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park
- April 8 — Wood Memorial at Aqueduct
- April 8 — Blue Grass at Keeneland
- April 8 — Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park
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.
|Finish||Horse||Jockey/Trainer||Post||ML Odds||Final Odds||Time||Winnings|
|3||Zandon||Prat/Brown||10||3-1||8-1||1 1/2 lengths||$300,000|
|4||Simplification||Ortiz/Sano||13||20-1||40-1||3 1/2 lengths||$150,000|
|5||Mo Donegal||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||1||10-1||8-1||3 3/4 lengths||$90,000|
|6||Barber Road||Gutierrez/Ortiz||14||30-1||40-1||4 3/4 lengths||–|
|7||Tawny Port||Santana Jr./Cox||18||30-1||67-1||4 3/4 lengths||–|
|8||Smile Happy||Lanerie/McPeek||5||20-1||14-1||10 lengths||–|
|9||Tiz the Bomb||Hernandez Jr./McPeek||9||30-1||25-1||12 1/2 lengths||–|
|10||Zozos||Franco/Cox||19||20-1||39-1||15 3/4 lengths||–|
|11||Classic Causeway||Leparoux/Lynch||17||30-1||67-1||17 lengths||–|
|12||Taiba||Smith/Yakteen||12||12-1||5-1||17 3/4 lengths||–|
|13||Crown Pride||Lemaire/Shintani||7||20-1||17-1||18 1/4 lengths||–|
|14||Happy Jack||Bejarano/O’Neill||2||30-1||21-1||19 lengths||–|
|16||White Abarrio||Gaffalione/Joseph Jr.||15||10-1||11-1||19 3/4 lengths||–|
|17||Charge It||Saez/Pletcher||8||20-1||13-1||27 3/4 lengths||–|
|18||Cyberknife||Geroux/Cox||16||20-1||14-1||42 1/2 lengths||–|
|19||Pioneer of Medina||Bravo/Pletcher||11||30-1||47-1||56 3/4 lengths||–|
|20||Summer is Tomorrow||Barzalona/Seemar||4||30-1||42-1||64 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.
- Rich Strike: W – $163.60, P – $74.20, S – $29.40
- Epicenter: P – $7.40, S – $5.20
- Zandon: S – $5.60
- $2 exacta: $4,101.20
- $0.50 trifecta: $7,435.35
- $1 superfecta: $321,500.10
- $1 super high five: $741,018.90
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.