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Get ready to don your fanciest hats and sip on mint juleps, because the 149th Kentucky Derby is just around the corner! With a rich history and a reputation for showcasing some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world, the Kentucky Derby has become an iconic event. This year’s race will be held on May 6 and features a massive $3 million purse up, making the 2023 Kentucky Derby an event that cannot not be missed!


View the latest Kentucky Derby odds at Bovada today!

Taking place each year on the first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s considered to be one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, and is known as the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” The race is open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds and is run over a distance of 1 ¼ miles.

The Kentucky Derby has been held annually since 1875, making it one of the oldest continuously held sporting events in the United States. Over the years, the event has become much more than just a horse race – it has become a cultural phenomenon, steeped in tradition and history. The race has been nicknamed the “Run for the Roses,” due to the blanket of roses that is draped over the winning horse.

In addition to being an exciting sporting event, the Kentucky Derby is also a major betting event. With millions of dollars being wagered each year on the race, it’s no wonder that the Kentucky Derby is often referred to as the “Super Bowl of horse racing.” From casual horse racing bettors to seasoned pros, the Kentucky Derby is a sports betting event that offers something for everyone!

This annual event is a staple in the world of horse racing, attracting sports fans and bettors from all around the globe. Bovada Sportsbook has Kentucky Derby odds on all of the contending thoroughbreds, giving you the chance to win big by betting on this legendary race. Before placing your bets, let’s preview some of the top betting options leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Top Contenders to Win the 2023 Kentucky Derby

Forte +250

The current betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby, Forte has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2023 horse racing season. This horse has already won six times in just seven career starts, including impressive victories at the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby (G1). With this spectacular stretch, Forte has now amassed 190 points and sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings.

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Owner: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable

Breeder: South Gate Farm


Tapit Trice +700

Next up on our list of Kentucky Derby betting favorites is another Todd Pletcher horse: Tapit Trice. This gray colt has finished first in each of its past four starts, most recently winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs and the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Tapit Trice is currently sitting fourth in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 150 points. This thoroughbred comes with an excellent pedigree and is bred to carry his speed for the Kentucky Derby’s 1 ¼-mile track.

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Luis Saez

Owner: Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck)

Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.

Practical Move +900

With an upset win in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), Practical Move took a big step forward in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings. He then followed that up with two more victories in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), bringing his point total to 160 and taking him to No. 2 in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings. While there are some concerns about Practical Move’s pedigree and overall stamina, his current odds provide some excellent betting value.

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: Ramon A. Vazquez

Owner: Amestoy, Leslie A., Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean and Beasley, Roger K.

Breeder: Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners

 Derma Sotogake +1000

This chestnut colt hails from Japan and has been gaining a lot of attention with his strong showing in the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby. Derma Sotogake had a slow start in the Saudi Derby (G3) but fought to make up ground and managed to finish third. He then followed that up completely dominating the UAE Derby (G2), winning by over 5 full lengths and bringing him up to 100 total points on the season. He may be a longshot to become Japan’s first ever winner at the Kentucky Derby, this horse has early speed and could surprise some people on May 6.

Trainer: Otonashi Hidetaka

Jockey: Lemaire Christophe

Owner: Hiroyuki Asanuma

Breeder: Shadai Farm

Angel of Empire +1200

Following a successful two-year-old career, Angel of Empire continues to produce for his owners and is picking up momentum leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby. After finishing second in his three-year-old debut at the Smarty Jones Stakes earlier this year, this Pennsylvania-bred horse has picked up wins at the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1). With those two victories, this colt now sits third in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 154 points.

Trainer: Brad H. Cox

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables LLC

Breeder: Forgotten Land Investment Inc & Black Diamond Equine Corp

Kingsbarns +1200

With three victories in his first three starts, Kingsbarns is an intriguing betting option to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Having not raced as a two-year-old, Kingsbarns made his debut earlier this year by winning a one-mile race at Gulfstream Park. He followed that up with a dominant victory at Tampa Bay Downs before winning again at the Louisiana Derby (G2). Currently eighth in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 100 points, this three-year-old colt is clearly trending in the right direction.

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC

Breeder: Parks Investment Group, LLC

Verifying +1500

The son of Justify began this season with a dominant performance, with Verifying picking up an allowance win at Oaklawn Park. Although he placed an uninspired fourth in his next start at the Rebel Stakes (G2), he recently finished runner-up with a great showing at the Blue Grass Stakes G1, netting him 40 points in the standings. Verifying now sits 13th in the Road to the Kentucky Derby with 54 total points and could be a horse to watch during this year’s Run for the Roses.

Trainer: Brad H. Cox

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Owner: Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Poulin, Jonathan, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B.

Breeder: Hunter Valley & Mountmellick Farm, LLC


Two Phil’s +1400

This chestnut colt may not fit the typical profile of a top contender at the Kentucky Derby, but if this race has taught us anything, it’s that good horses can come from just about anywhere. Two Phil’s began his 2023 season with a second-place finish at the Lecomte Stakes (G3), followed by a third-place showing in the Rising Star Stakes (G2). After recently making his way to Kentucky, Two Phil’s showed out at the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), winning the race by 5 ¼ lengths for his fourth victory in eight career starts.

Trainer: Larry Rivelli

Jockey: Jareth Loveberry

Owner: Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip

Breeder: Phillip Sagan

Mage +2000

This lightly-used thoroughbred has only made three career starts, all in the past few months. Mage made his debut with a spectacular 3 ¾-length victory in a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park. He then finished fourth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) before his eye-catching runner-up finish in the Florida Derby (G1). With 50 total points, Mage sits 16th in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings and his current odds could lead to a potentially huge payout if he can win at Churchill Downs.

Trainer: Gustavo Delgado

Jockey: Luis Saez

Owner: OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH

Breeder: Grandview Equine


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