2023 Kentucky Derby Odds & Post Positions
Full List of Kentucky Derby Post Positions with Latest Odds:
📆 Last Updated: May 31, 2023
*AE: Also Eligible if a horse is scratched.
**Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar, Skinner, and Forte have been scratched and will be replaced by Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hero, and King Russell. Program numbers will remain the same but horses starting gates will move down.
With less than one week to go until the 2023 Kentucky Derby, we have an overwhelming leader in the Road to Derby leaderboard. Since 2012, horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby by finishing in the top 20 places of a table based on a series of races worldwide. Points are awarded to the horses who finish in the first five places of each race, and one horse currently dominates the 2023 table.
That top betting choice is Forte, who sits 30 points clear of his nearest challenger having amassed a whopping $2,359,730 in prize money - which is $1.3m more than any other horse. As things currently stand, he is by some distance the most likely Kentucky Derby winner.
Forte's Post Position Draw put him at Post No. 15 but he will be starting from Post No. 13, after Practical Move and Skinner were scratched and Horses in Posts 11-20 were moved down two spots. Eight horses have won from Post No. 13 and the last horse to win from Post 13 was in 2016. The 13th gate is still on the outside edge, and while Forte may have a little more ground to cover, it could help him avoid getting caught in traffic as the horses reach the first turn.
If you're wondering what post produces the most Kentucky Derby Winners, here's an interactive breakdown of winners by post position since 1930. Use the filter to see only the winners in the last 20 years or the last 10 years.
Todd Pletcher told reporters after the draw that he was happy where Forte landed.
“Hopefully, he’ll get some tactical position in the first turn and be able to save a little bit of ground and go from there,” the trainer said.
The four-time Grade 1 winner is the clear market leader in current Kentucky Derby odds lists after slamming his rivals in the Fountain of Youth Stakes - a race that has produced 13 Derby winners - at Gulfstream Park in early March.
As we approach race day, don't be surprised if odds from most major horse betting racebooks start shifting, especially now that post positions are finalized and morning line odds have been announced.
2023 Kentucky Derby Odds: Horses To Watch
Steve Bittenbender is at Churchill Downs covering the 2023 Kentucky Derby for us, and here is what he had to say about this year's Kentucky Derby contenders...
To the surprise of no one, Forte was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite (now 7-2) for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby after last year’s 2-year-old champion received the 15th post in Monday’s draw for positions.
Forte comes to Churchill Downs having won his last five races, all graded stakes. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt last raced on April 1 and needed a heroic effort down the stretch to win the Florida Derby.
The betting public is expected to make the colt the heavy favorite when the horses reach the starting gate Saturday evening. A post-time favorite last won the Run for the Roses in 2018 when Justify did so en route to the 2018 Triple Crown.
Other Kentucky Derby Horses To Watch
Forte isn’t the only horse Pletcher brought to Louisville. He’ll also saddle Tapit Trice, the Blue Grass Stakes winner and 5-1 second choice, and Kingsbarns, the Louisiana Derby winner, and 12-1 ML odds to win.
Those two drew the fifth and sixth gates in the draw. Combined with where Forte will start, it’s the best luck Pletcher has had in recent years after Known Agenda and Mo Donegal drew the first gate in the past two Derbies.
Since 1930, posts 1-10 have produced 66 winners of the Kentucky Derby. However, multiple efforts to improve and evolve the Kentucky Derby starting gates.
In 2020, Churchill Downs debuted a custom 20-stall starting gate to eliminate the wide gap between posts 14 and 15. Is an outside position becoming an advantage?
After Tapit Trice, the third choice on the morning line is Angel of Empire. The Brad Cox-trained colt who won the Arkansas Derby is 6-1 and will break inside Forte in 12th.
Those are the only horses TwinSpires.com oddsmaker Mike Battaglia gave single-digit odds. He gave Derma Sotogake 8-1 odds, while Kingsbarns and Two Phil’s received 12-1 odds (Two Phil's is now 8-1).
Track handicappers set morning-line odds based on how they believe bettors will wager on the race. Unlike fixed-odds sports betting wagers, wagering on the Derby and other horse races is pari-mutuel, which means all bettors will receive payouts based on the odds when the race starts.
Road To The 2023 Kentucky Derby
Here are the most recent results from important races leading up to the 2023 Kentucky Derby:
The Santa Anita Derby has produced ten winners of the Kentucky Derby, the most recent of which was Triple Crown hero Justify in 2018.
149th Kentucky Derby Odds To Watch
2023 Kentucky Derby odds are beginning to take shape and there is no doubt that Forte brings the strongest credentials into the race at this stage, especially after Forte won the Florida Derby.
San Felipe Stakes winner Practical Move is bidding to follow in the footsteps of Authentic who won the Santa Anita Grade 2 contest en route to winning the 2020 Kentucky Derby. Despite racing keenly through the first half of that contest, Practical Move cruised to the front around the inside and saw his race out powerfully to mark himself down as a major Kentucky Derby contender for trainer Tim Yakteen.
It is also worth noting that the winner of that Grade 1 prize has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby on three occasions since 2012.
Update May 6th: Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar, Skinner, and Forte have been scratched from the field of 20 and replaced by Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hero, and King Russell.
Horses are generally trained to peak on the big day rather than in build-up races, which might explain why three of the last four Kentucky Derby winners had not previously won a Grade 1 race. These contenders have tended to be underestimated by anyone assessing the Kentucky Derby field and odds.
This grueling dirt race is all about class and only the best three-year-olds need apply. The ability to travel and quicken on dirt at the highest level is something very few horses can do, which is the hallmark of a Kentucky Derby winner. Having a dirt pedigree is crucial, as is having a pedigree that enables a horse to stay the ten-furlong trip off what is nearly always a strong pace.
How To Place Bets on the 2023 Kentucky Derby
Here's how to place bets on the 2023 Kentucky Derby:
- ✅ Login or Sign Up with the legal sportsbook of your choice (Use TwinSpires offer code BET200 during sign up for $200 in Bonus Cash😉)
- ✅ Choose Churchill Downs Race Track
- ✅ Select the Kentucky Derby race number (typically second to last on the card)
- ✅ Pick the horse that you want to bet on
- ✅ Select your desired wager
- ✅ Enter the dollar amount you would like to wager
- ✅ Place your bet
Win bets on the Kentucky Derby favorite was the safest betting strategy between 2013 and 2018, during which period every favorite went in. However, the trend has shifted in recent years, so much so that three of the last four winners have gone off 81/1, 269/10 and 65/1.
That suggests anyone assessing the latest 2023 Kentucky Derby odds should look further afield than the top of the market and tackle the race with more exotic bets than straightforward win wagers.
Kentucky Derby Futures Betting
Futures betting on the Kentucky Derby can be risky but it can also bring great rewards.
Getting a bigger price is all well and good but the further in advance of the big day you place a futures wager, the bigger the scope for something to go wrong. If your wager doesn't make the race, for whatever reason, then the bet is down.
Kentucky Derby Betting Tips
For all of Forte's prominent class, the Fountain Of Youth Stakes has only produced two winners since 1980. However, 5 of the last 7 Kentucky Derby winners ran in the Florida Derby, and Forte took home first place.
Run style is essential when assessing Kentucky Derby odds. 2022 winner Rich Strike came from off the pace but the opening quarter splits were the quickest in the race's history and the race was set up perfectly for a close.
However, nearly every other winner in the last decade has raced close to the pace and the ability to lay up handy, no matter the gate, is ultimately a crucial factor. Any horse not near the front by the home turn almost certainly has too much to do.
Top 2023 Kentucky Derby Predictions
Victory at the Florida Derby solidified Forte as a favorite. Highly-regarded Practical Move captured the victory at the Santa Anita Derby, which put the horse squarely in second place in Post Position Points Standings. However, Practical Move was scratched from the field on Thursday due to an elevated temperature.
These big races normally have a significant bearing on Kentucky Derby futures odds but don't expect to see Vegas odds on the Kentucky Derby this year until the final field is confirmed.
The Morning Line Odds are the best place to start when trying to make predictions for the Kentucky Derby. Combining ML odds with workout reports, run styles, and gate positions is a great way to analyze potential outcomes and make the most informed bet possible.
Kentucky Derby Betting Glossary
- Win - Simple, you need to bet the winner! If your horse dead heats, your stake is halved.
- Place - Generally speaking, this is a top-three wager, although that drops to the top two in fields of 5-7 runners.
- Show - A similar bet to the Place bet, your selection needs to finish third or better.
- Exacta - One of the most popular wagers as it can often generate juicy returns. Two horses are selected and must finish first and second in the correct order.
- Quinella - It's an Exacta bet with some insurance in that your two selections must finish first and second but in either order.
- Trifecta - A bet that can return big bucks. You must select the first three horses home, in the correct order if the favorite bombs completely, winning Trifecta wagers can often pay huge returns, especially in Triple Crown races.
- Superfecta - Even bigger than a Trifecta, you need to go one place better by selecting the first FOUR horses home, in the correct order - this can pay mega sums.
- Super Hi-Five - A potentially life-changing bet because you must select the first FIVE horses home, in the correct order. Winnings are unlimited and a winning Super Hi-5 bet from the 2022 Kentucky Derby would have generated a near $150,000-1 payout.
Road To The Kentucky Derby
Forte's authoritative success in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November was probably the standout Road to Kentucky performance pre-turn of the year.
All points races have concluded and the Road To the Kentucky Derby is set. UAE Derby, Louisiana Derby, Jeff Ruby Stakes, Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, and Santa Anita Derby were all worth 100 points to the winner. The last of those has long been regarded as the West Coast's premier Kentucky Derby prep race, so much so that it has provided the Kentucky Derby winner on 10 occasions.
Kentucky Derby 2022 Results
History was made at Churchill Downs Racetrack in 2022, with Rich Strike becoming the biggest-priced winner of the Kentucky Derby in over 100 years.
Rich Strike was sent off an unconsidered 80-1 chance in Kentucky Derby odds. Still, jockey Sonny Leone captured the nation's hearts by coming from off the speed on the Eric Reed-trainer underdog, who was only entered into the race after another horse was scratched.
History of the Kentucky Derby
Sporting events don't get more historic than the Kentucky Derby. First run in 1875, it is officially the longest-running sports event in the United States. Only the best three-year-olds get to compete in a race dubbed "The most exciting two minutes in sports'.
Staged at the mighty Churchill Downs Racetrack, the race has been won by some of the sport's greats, including the likes of American Pharaoh, California Chrome, and Smarty Jones.
Bob Baffert is the most winning modern-day horse racing trainer with six victories in the famous contest under the Twin Spires, while 2018 winner Justify became the first horse since Apollo in well over one hundred years to win the Grade 1 prize without having raced as a two-year-old.
Past Kentucky Derby Winners
Some of the biggest stars in horse racing have won the Kentucky Derby, including the great Secretariat who still holds the record (1:59.40 in 1973) for the fastest Derby success. Here are the fastest times in the history of the mile-and-a-quarter race:
American Pharaoh and Justify both went on to complete the Triple Crown for trainer Bob Baffert in the last decade, while 2014 winner California Chrome went on to earn the best part of $15m in a stunning career. Bookmakers were the winners in 2022 though, because 80/1 outsider Rich Strike became the biggest-priced winner of the race since Doneail won at 91/1 in 1913.
More Horse Racing Betting
The Kentucky Derby winner nearly always goes on to attempt the fabled Triple Crown. However, only 13 Kentucky Derby winners have gone on to earn a place as one of the greats of the sport by winning the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Before you pick a triple crown winner, check out our guide to the best horse race betting apps in 2023.
- Preakness Stakes Horse Racing
The 2023 Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 20, which is also Armed Forces Day in the USA. No horse has won the Preakness Stakes by further than than the 11 and a half length success of Smarty Jones in 2004. Bob Baffert has won the race more than any other modern-day trainer but the seven-time winner hasn't got his hands on the Grade 1 prize since Justify scored en route to completing the Triple Crown in 2018.
- Belmont Stakes Horse Racing
The Belmont Stakes is the last and often the most difficult leg of the Triple Crown to win, primarily because the 1 mile, 4 furlong contest is a stiffer stamina test than both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes takes place at Belmont Park in New York and the 155th edition of the race will take place on Saturday, June 1o.
Kentucky Derby Odds FAQ
Mage (15-1) won the 2023 Kentucky Derby with a race time of 2:01.57. Two Phil's (9-1) placed in second, followed by the favorite heading into the race, Angel of Empire (4-1).
Angel of Empire is the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, trading at 4.5, followed by Tapit trice at 5.5, UAE Derby winner Derma Sotogake at 8.0 and Two Phil's at 9.0. Every other horse in Kentucky Derby 2023 odds is 11.0 or greater, and three other horses sitting at 31.0 with the longest odd to win.
The current favorite to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby is Angel of Empire with odds of 9-2. Heavy favorite Forte was scratched on race morning, paving the way for another Todd Pletcher horse to take home the run for the roses.
Forte, Practical Move, Skinner, Continuar, and Skinner have been scratched from the 2023 Kentucky Derby. While a bruised foot was discovered on Forte, Practical Move & Skinner each had elevated temperatures leading up to raceday. Continuar was simply not conditioned to race and Lord Miles was disqualified after trainer Saffie Joseph had two other horses pass away this week.
After early favorite Forte was scratched, the likes of Tapit Trice and Angel of Empire are now favorites and are both trading at single-figure odds with some firms. Derma Sotogake (7-1) and Two Phil's (7-1) are also horses to watch that could easily have a say.
Kentucky Derby bets will be the talk of the horse racing community as we approach the big day in early May. All the big online sportsbooks and land-based casinos will have live odds on Kentucky Derby.
Top horse racing sites like TwinSpires and TVG have Kentucky Derby 2023 odds futures while Churchill Downs will be running futures pools from April 1, horse racing fans can wager on the big race before the final field is set. Horse racing futures bets are risky but the rewards can be much greater!
Bets of $100 on Forte at Kentucky Derby betting odds of 4.0 right now, the bet will return $400 ($300 win and $100 original stake). There is, however, a good chance that Forte will go off a much shorter price on the day, after winning the Florida Derby in good style. If his official morning line odds are 2.5, a $100 wager would return $250.
Gavin Beech is a writer and contributor for BetKentucky.com and has worked in the betting industry for almost 20 years. Gavin is an experienced horse racing journalist, sports betting content writer and tipster. He has worked for some of the biggest online operators around, notably MailOnline and the Racing Post, where he is a regular on the Live Tipster slot.