Kentucky Derby 2023 sleepers, odds and analysis
Horse Racing

2023 Kentucky Derby Sleepers: Looking For Longshots

We have already published our rundown on the top Kentucky Derby Contenders and our main post on the team's Kentucky Derby Picks but this post is about seeing if we can find another potential “Rich Strike” who won last year's Kentucky Derby at a whopping 80/1 on the boards.

The 149th edition of the Run For The Roses looks ultra-competitive and there are three sleepers in the field that have gone under the radar. That is due to the popularity of the favorite Forte and his two main rivals Tapit Trice and Derma Sotogake from Japan.

But our expert has been sifting through the form with a fine tooth comb and he has come up with three horses that could potentially cause a shock.

But, first, let's take a peak at who is favored heading into the 2023 Kentucky Derby:

Betting Odds To Win The Kentucky Derby
Tapit Trice+600
Angel Of Empire+600
Derma Sotogake+900
Practical Move+1000
Two Phil's+1200
Confidence Game+1800
Mandarin Hero+2000

Odds as of May 4

Kentucky Derby Sleeper Pick Contenders

Take caution if you're tailing these picks as they are to be treated more like lottery tickets rather than wise investments.

Lord Miles +5000 ( ML 50/1)

This horse does not do things too quickly but has shown a game attitude in all of his races. 

He started on the Derby trail back in November when he broke the maiden tag first time (won his first race) by an easy five lengths in hand.

He broke well that day but was soon being urged along and running green (showed inexperience), however, he ran out a clear winner and this was a good introduction.

He stepped up the class ladder (ran against higher-class horses) next time in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes and came from way back to finish third.

He runs well from way off the speed, and with the way this race will be run (lots of pace) he may not be seen early but should be closing late (finishing fast)

He sealed his ticket to the Derby by putting in another game and gutsy performance to win the Wood Memorial, and without a doubt, he looks like he'll be a huge number on the board, and he is our top sleeper pick for this year's race.

He was a shock 59/1 winner of the Wood Memorial and although he has drawn poorly (gate 19) if he can sit mid-pack, he looks like one of the strongest closers in this race and could be a great bet across the board, and in exotics.

Two Phils +1200 (ML 12/1)

He kicked off his career back in June 2022 when taking in a maiden at Churchill Downs, and after a good start he moved up but caught traffic problems and was forced back by four lengths and that was his debut run done, finishing seven lengths off the winner.

That debut was a blot as the next time he contested the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes over six furlongs and blitzed his foes by eight lengths, winning in hand under Jareth Loveberry (Saturday's jockey)

He took in the Breeders Cup next time where he was well beaten by Forte and that looked like the end of his Kentucky Derby aspirations but he has come back stronger as a three-year-old and put himself firmly in the picture for Derby glory when taking the Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes back in March.

He annihilated the opposition by more than five lengths, in turn producing a Beyer speed figure (handicap rating) of 101, the best of any horse in this field, and he has a perfect post position in gate 3. He'll be one who will be stalking the speed and with a proven stretch kick, he'll take advantage of any suspect stayers on the front end and is another to include in exotics.

Continuar +6000 (ML 60/1)

Our third and final sleeper pick is the Manabu Ikezoe-trained Continuar from Japan. He has drawn the widest gate of all in 20 and has a tough job from there.

He is very lightly raced and after winning his maiden run by a length on debut back in Japan, he took a huge step up the class ladder to contest the Saudi Derby where he was beaten just 3 lengths in fifth.

That was a step forward for sure and he probably improved again next time when taking in the UAE Derby at Meydan in March.

In that race, he came up against his Japanese counterpart Derma Sotogake who is one of the favorites for this year's Kentucky Derby, and was beaten by 10 lengths by that foe.

Yes, he has to improve, yes he has a poor draw, and yes, his track workouts at Churchill have been underwhelming, but he has looked like a horse with some serious ability, and this race setup could see him being one of the late closers.

Kenutcky Derby Sleeper Pick

So they are our three sleeper picks for the 2023 Run For The Roses and Lord Miles is our main sleeper pick across the board at the current odds of 50/1

Kentucky Derby Exotics Sleeper Picks

If you are looking for another way to wager on the race, how about some exotics.



Using Practical Move, Derma Sotogake and Lord Miles in a three-horse box exacta



Using Two Phils, Practical Move, Derma Sotogake, and Lord Miles in a four-horse trifecta box



Using Two Phils, Practical Move, Derma Sotogake, Lord Miles, and Continuar in a five-horse Superfecta box

“Yes, I know what you are thinking, where is Forte?”

Forte deserves to be the favorite, and could well win this easily, but he is not the fastest from the gate, and out of post position 15, he could find himself meeting traffic problems, and if that happens he may be too far back to get involved.

So as the saying goes, GO BIG or GO HOME.

Exotics are a fun bet that you can play for small stakes but can produce nice returns, with the Superfecta, in particular, a bet that can produce life-changing money if you hit the right horses.

Best of luck with your wagers.

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