Trainer Todd Pletcher has the two top favorites to win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Forte is listed as the morning-line favorite at odds of 3-1, while Tapit Trice is listed at 5-1. Angel of Empire, trained by Brad Cox is the third choice in the morning-line odds at 8-1. Pletcher said to the media that he was happy with the post position of his two favorites. “I’ve always said you can get good trips from bad post positions and bad trips from good post positions, he said. "It’s really about how the race unfolds. But I do think the post positions do kind of affect strategies, and that can affect the outcome.” A full field of 20 horses will go to the post on Saturday at 6:57 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC. Let’s look at the Kentucky Derby field and Kentucky Derby picks.
Kentucky Derby Betting Lines
2023 Kentucky Derby Field
(Post Position, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Morning Line Odds)
1. Hit Show, Brad Cox, Manny Franco, 30-1
2. Verifying, Brad Cox, Tyler Gaffalione, 15-1
3. Two Phil’s, Larry Rivelli, Jareth Loveberry, 12-1
4. Confidence Game, Keith Desormeaux, James Graham, 20-1
5. Tapit Trice, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez, 5-1
6. Kingsbarns, Todd Pletcher, Jose Ortiz, 12-1
7. Reincarnate, Tim Yakteen, John Velazquez, 50-1
8. Mage, Gustavo Delgado, Javier Castellano, 15-1
9. Skinner, John Shirreffs, Juan Hernandez, 20-1
10. Practical Move, Tim Yakteen, Ramon Vazquez, 10-1
11. Disarm, Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario, 30-1
12 Jace’s Road, Brad Cox, Florent Geroux, 15-1
13. Sun Thunder, Kenny McPeek, Brian Hernandez Jr., 50-1
14. Angel of Empire, Brad Cox, Flavien Prat, 8-1
15. Forte, Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr., 3-1
16. Raise Cain, Ben Colebrook, Gerardo Corrales, 50-1
17. Derma Sotogake, Hidetaka Otonashi, Christophe Lemaire, 10-1
18. Rocket Can, Bill Mott, Junior Alvarado, 30-1
19. Lord Miles, Saffie Joseph Jr., Paco Lopez, 30-1
20. Continuar, Yoshito Yahagi, Ryusei Sakai, 50-1
Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Derby in 2010 with Super Saver and in 2017 with Always Dreaming. Post position No. 15 has won the Derby six times so Forte shouldn’t be hurt by the outside post. The post position for Tapit Trice at No. 5 is even better, as it has produced more winners than any other post position. The only post position to never produce a winner is No. 17 so history is against Derma Sotogake, but keep in mind that last year, Rich Strike became just the second horse in history to win from post position 20.
Forte was the 2-year-old champion after winning the Breeders’ Cup in November. He has won six of his seven career starts. He looked good in winning the Florida Derby and there is no reason to discount his chances as the favorite. Tapit Trice is the son of Tapit. He won the Blue Grass on April 8 at Keeneland and is 4-0-1 in five career starts. The best horse that Brad Cox has among his four starters is Angel of Empire. Cox won the Kentucky Derby with Mandaloun but that only happened because Medina Spirit was disqualified.
There are a number of horses in the contender category just behind the favorites. There is Derma Sotogake at 10-1, Two Phil’s at 12-1, another Pletcher horse in Kingsbarns at 12-1, two other Brad Cox horses in Verifying and Jace’s Road at 15-1 and Mage at 15-1.
There are ten horses listed at odds of 20-1 or more. They are Confidence Game and Skinner at 20-1, Hit Show, Disarm, Rocket Can and Lord Miles at 30-1 and Reincarnate, Sun Thunder, Raise Cain and Continuar at 50-1.
Kentucky Derby Picks
The Derby is a race where anything can happen with 20 horses trying to get position. That being said, this year’s two favorites look good. Pletcher has the two top horses in the field in Forte and Tapit Trice. I also think that Practical Move can be in the mix. He is the top California horse and I don’t think he is out of place at all in this race. I’ll make win wagers on Forte, Tapit Trice and Practical Move and then use all three horses in exacta and trifecta boxes.
My two longshot picks are Derma Sotogake and Disarm.
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