Kentucky Derby Best Bets for 2023: Expert Picks and Winning Strategies

The Churchill Downs track is impeccable, and the weather forecast is favorable, with clear skies and mild temperatures. Fans from across the country have already begun arriving in Louisville, Kentucky, to witness this iconic event in person.

Last year, the “Run for the Roses” witnessed an unforgettable moment when Rich Strike overtook his rivals in the home stretch, overtaking the heavily favored Epicenter just before crossing the finish line in one of the most stunning upsets in the Kentucky Derby’s history.

Where to Watch the Kentucky Derby

When: Saturday, May 6 at 07:30 PM ET
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
Where Can I Stream? *, and NBC Sports app*

Best Bets for the 2023 Kentucky Derby

When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, betting on the favorite is always a safe bet, even though it will never be the most profitable. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on an underdog for a potential big payout.

If you’re feeling confident in two particular horses, consider making an Exacta Bet.

For those looking for an even bigger challenge and higher payouts, try your luck with a trifecta bet involving three horses. Remember that anything can happen in horse racing, so do your research and trust your instincts when placing bets.

Horses Running the 2023 Kentucky Derby and Current Odds to Win

Forte 3-1 15
Tapit Trice 5-1 5
Angel of Empire 8-1 14
Derma Sotogake 10-1 17
Practical Move 10-1 10
Kingsbarns 12-1 6
Two Phil’s 12-1 3
Mage 15-1 8
Verifying 15-1 2
Confidence Game 20-1 4
Skinner 20-1 9
Disarm 30-1 11
Hit Show 30-1 1
Lord Miles 30-1 19
Rocket Can 30-1 18
Continuar 50-1 20
Jace’s Road 50-1 12
Raise Cain 50-1 16
Sun Thunder 50-1 13
Reincarnate 50-1 7

Bet 1: Win Bet on the Favorite

Factors to consider when choosing the favorite:

  • Track conditions:
  • Check if the horse has a history of performing well in similar track conditions
  • Jockey:
  • Look for a jockey with experience and success in high-profile races like the Kentucky Derby
  • Recent form:
  • Analyze the horse’s recent performances and look for any patterns that could indicate future success

The importance of odds in a winning bet:

  • Odds impact potential winnings:
  • The lower the odds, the less you stand to win on your bet.
  • Favorable odds are key:
  • Look for horses with favorable odds that have a better chance of winning but still offer decent payouts.

How much to bet on the favorite:

  • Stay within budget limits:
  • Bet an amount you’re comfortable losing without causing financial strain.
  • Don’t go all-in on one bet:
  • Spread out your bets over multiple races or types of bets.

Bet 2: Place a Bet on an Underdog

Betting on underdogs can be a profitable strategy for sports bettors, even in the Kentucky Derby. Here are some tips for spotting potential underdogs and placing successful place bets:

  • Why betting on underdogs can be profitable:
  • Underdogs often have higher odds which means bigger payouts if they win. Additionally, unexpected upsets in horse racing happen frequently.
  • How to spot potential underdogs in the Kentucky Derby lineup:
  • Look for horses with long-shot odds (20-1 or greater) who have shown improvement leading up to the race. Analyze their past performances and look for indicators of a strong run at Churchill Downs.
  • Tips for placing a successful place bet on an underdog:
  • Place bets pay out if your horse finishes in first or second place, giving you more chances to win than just betting on a win alone. Consider combining multiple long shot horses into an exacta or trifecta box to increase your chances of winning.

Remember that there’s always risk involved when gambling, but by using these strategies you may increase your chances of winning big at the 2023 Kentucky Derby!

Bet 3: Exacta Bet on Two Horses

An exacta bet involves choosing two horses to finish first and second in a race, in the correct order. To win this bet, you must predict the top two horses and their respective finishing positions correctly. Here are some strategies for selecting two horses with high chances of winning:

  • Study past performances of each horse to analyze their track record.
  • Consider jockey performance as well as any recent changes to a horse’s training regimen.
  • Look at current odds and expert predictions to inform your decision.

When it comes to placing an exacta bet on two horses, there are two primary options: a straight exacta or an exacta box. A straight exacta requires predicting both the winning order and is typically more difficult but has higher payouts. An Exacta box allows betting on any combination of first or second place finishers rather than predicting one specific outcome, increasing your chances of winning but lowering potential payouts.

Bet 4: Trifecta Bet on Three Horses

Trifecta bets are a popular choice among sports bettors, especially for the Kentucky Derby. To increase your chances of winning, it’s important to understand what trifectas are and how they work. There are several types of trifectas such as straight, boxed, keyed and wheeled.

Trifecta bets offer various structures and choices to increase your chances of winning, including handicapping techniques like past performance analysis or wheeling a top horse with others.

Handicapping is one way to pick winning horses for your trifecta bets. You can use different techniques like studying past performances, analyzing speed figures or watching workouts to determine which horses have the best chance of finishing in the top three positions.

When structuring your trifecta bets, you have many options including boxing multiple horses together or keying one horse with others in various combinations. Wheeling is another variation where you select one horse to finish first place and then other horses to fill in second and third places with all possible combinations. Ultimately though there’s no surefire way to win at this game!

Kentucky Derby 2023 Winning Picks

Regardless of your final bet type, we’re picking the following three horses to make up the top 3 horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

  1. Angel of Empire
  2. Forte
  3. Tapit Trice

In the past 10 years we’ve had some interesting outcomes.

  1. 2012 – I’ll Have Another (12-1 odds), Jockey: Mario Gutierrez, Purse Winnings: $1,459,600
  2. 2013 – Orb (7-2 odds), Jockey: Joel Rosario, Purse Winnings: $1,414,800
  3. 2014 – California Chrome (5-2 odds), Jockey: Victor Espinoza, Purse Winnings: $1,442,800
  4. 2015 – American Pharoah (5-2 odds), Jockey: Victor Espinoza, Purse Winnings: $1,635,800
  5. 2016 – Nyquist (2-1 odds), Jockey: Mario Gutierrez, Purse Winnings: $1,631,600
  6. 2017 – Always Dreaming (9-2 odds), Jockey: John Velazquez, Purse Winnings: $1,635,800
  7. 2018 – Justify (3-1 odds), Jockey: Mike Smith, Purse Winnings: $1,432,000
  8. 2019 – Country House (65-1 odds), Jockey: Flavien Prat, Purse Winnings: $1,860,000 (Note: Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line first, was disqualified for interference.)
  9. 2020 – Authentic (8-1 odds), Jockey: John Velazquez, Purse Winnings: $1,860,000
  10. 2021 – Medina Spirit (12-1 odds), Jockey: John Velazquez, Purse Winnings: $1,860,000

What do you think?

Written by Reggie Breese