Forte is Favored In The Kentucky Derby Odds
Horse Racing

Kentucky Derby Contenders: Forte Favored, But Watch Out For Derma Sotogake

The Kentucky Derby is dubbed “the most exciting two minutes in sport” is, without doubt, one of the biggest betting events in the world.

Wagering reached a new record in 2022 with the number increasing by 17% from 2021 to a staggering $179 million.

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the famous Triple Crown, and with 20 runners due to go to the gate on Saturday, May 6, at 6.57 pm at Churchill Downs, we wanted to bring you a rundown of the top contenders for this year's “Run For The Roses”

Kentucky Derby Stats

Below you can see some of the key stats from the race over the last ten years. Hopefully, this might help you to pick out the winner of the 2023 running of this great race.

  1. Post position 1 has been responsible for 12 winners in the last 100 runnings of the race. This record is held jointly with post position 5. with post position 4 registering 10 winners in that time.
  2. Of all the Kentucky Derby winners, 105 of the 149 victors were either Bay (56) or Chestnut (49) in color, like last year's shock 80/1 winner Rich Strike.
  3. The Kentucky Derby trials provide some great stats for picking out the winner of the Kentucky Derby, with the Florida Derby producing 24 Kentucky Derby winners and the Blue Grass Stakes and Champagne Stakes providing 23 winners apiece.

And if that doesn’t help, then taking a look at all the important Kentucky Derby trials is a great way of building a shortlist of possible contenders.

Kentucky Derby Horse Contenders 

Here's a look at some serious Kentucky Derby Horse contenders.

Betting Odds To Win The Kentucky Derby in 2023
Tapit Trice+700
Derma Sotogake+800
Practical Move+900
Angel Of Empire+1200
Two Phil's+1200
Confidence Game+2800
Hit Show+3000
Jace's Road+5000
Mandarin Hero+5000
Lord Miles+6000

Odds as of April 28

Forte At The Fountain of Youth Stakes

Forte at the Fountain of Youth Stakes, missed the gate (slow starting) early on but moved inside on the clubhouse turn to slide inside rivals and stalk the leaders. He was under a tight rein and stalked foes along the inside waiting for a gap to appear.

He moved two lanes wide on the far turn and then ranged up (moved close) on the turn into the home stretch. He forged clear at the quarter pole (400 yards from the finish) and showed his class and kicked away (went clear) and was all wrapped up (winning easily) approaching the wire (winning line).

Tapit Trice At The Tampa Bay Derby

Tapit Trice dropped in the rear after a very slow start and he had to settle off the early speed. He clearly has an issue at the gates and has been slow away in all of his races, something Todd Pletcher has been working on in the lead-up to the race.

He was still well back (far behind) as they hit the top of the stretch, and had around six lengths to make up. He made his move in the six path, and finally got to the front 100 yards from the wire to win by two lengths.

Derma Sotogake At The UAE Derby

Derma Sotogake broke sharply from his inside gate here, and as they went into the clubhouse turn he got to the lead and led the field at a moderate pace.

He was followed closely by his Japanese compatriot Dura Erede (major race winner in Japan) and as they rounded the far turn, the jockey (Christophe Lemaire) quickened from the front and soon went clear of his rivals on a tight rein. His home stretch speed was electrifying and he soon widened away to win by six lengths.

Practical Move At The San Felipe Stakes

Practical Move was a bit slow and stumbled exiting the starting gate but soon recovered to sit in the fifth spot. As they went down the backstretch, he made a move into fourth but was still under a tight hold.

As they reached the far turn he found a seam on the rail and quickly moved up to challenge the leader. As they straightened for the drive to the wire, the horse moved effortlessly to the front and quickly stretched clear by three lengths for an easy win.

Lord Miles At The Wood Memorial

Lord Miles broke well from the outside, had speed two deep but had quickly fallen to third.

He let the top pair go on and dropped into a stalking position around the bend, chased four-wide into the far turn, took aim four wide into the stretch, drew alongside the chalk approaching the final sixteenth and nosed ahead right on the wire (led near the finish line).

Who Won The 2022 Kentucky Derby?

Two words: massive upset! About 30 seconds before the deadline, Ethereal Road was scratched. Next in line was Rich Strike and his jockey, Sonny Leon. The chestnut colt carried 80-1 odds ahead while entering his starting gate. Crossing the finish line in just over two minutes and two seconds, Rich Strike pulled off the win. He became the second horse in Derby history to win from the 20th post, the last being Big Brown in 1930. 

Kentucky Derby Horses Expert Picks - Top Three

Forte looks like he belongs as the strong chalk here and his Breeders Cup Futurity win as a two-year-old was a brave performance. Rightfully a strong favorite and his race form, as you saw above, is very strong.

He won the Fountain Of Youth Stakes with ease and many top handicappers have made him their pick to be wearing the garland of roses in the winner's enclosure just after 7 pm ET on Saturday, May 6.

Lord Miles +6000 (60/1) Does not do things too quickly but has shown a game attitude in all of his races. He was a shock 59/1 winner of the Wood Memorial and if he gets a good gate post and can sit mid-pack, he looks like one of the strongest closers in this race and could be a great bet across the board.

However, our expert handicapper has scoured all of the 20 Kentucky Derby possibles in this year's field, and it is Derma Sotogake who gets the vote.

The Japanese raider will be aiming to go gate to wire here just like he did in the UAE Derby. Such was his devastating stretch run in that race, that he gets the vote to emerge victorious in the 149th Run For The Roses.

Kentucky Derby Horses Expert Picks - Sleeper Pick

Two Phils +1200 (12/1) was viewed as one-dimensional and a lover of the slop but he put that myth to rest with an exhilarating display in the Jeff Ruby “Steaks” Stakes when widening away from a strong field.

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.

How Are Kentucky Derby Favorites Decided?

The Kentucky Derby is a race for the three-year-olds, with colts (that’s the boys) carrying 126 pounds and fillies (that’s the girls) carrying 121 pounds, and it’s run over a distance of a mile and a quarter.

The trials for the race start during the horses’ two-year-old careers, but it is during the following year as three-year-olds that we get to see how those horses have progressed from two to three years old. Following along can help give bettors an accurate view of who might emerge as the Kentucky Derby champion come Saturday, May 6.