2023 Kentucky Derby Predictions with Recommended $100 Wager
The highlight of this Saturday’s race card at Churchill Downs is the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. This year’s “Run for the Roses” has 23 entries on the morning line. I have five contenders in my program book for the Kentucky Derby that could win.
These five horses have morning line odds, and my prediction to win this stakes race is in percentage points. I also have the top three contenders to win, place and show as a bonus pick.
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This three-year-old colt has been a favorite to win the Kentucky Derby ever since he won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4 as a two-year-old. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Forte won a pair of major graded stakes at Gulfstream Park this year. He finished first in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 4, and he topped the field in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 1.
Sired by Violence, he finished first in six of seven races in his early career (fourth in the Grade 3 Stanford Stakes in mid-July last year). Forte has shown the pedigree and power to finish strong in the backstretch at 1 ¼ miles on dirt. He is starting at the No. 15 gate at Churchill Downs with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr..
Percent to Win: 60%
Tapit Trice (5-1)
As a Kentucky-bred colt racing for Whisper Hill Farms and Gainesway Stable, Tapit Trice has won races at Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Keeneland Race Course as a three-year-old. He finished first at Keeneland on April 8 in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes to cement his rating (7.89) at Horse Racing Nation.
In that race at Keeneland, Tapit Trice covered 1 1/8 miles on dirt in 1:50.00 over Verifying and Blazing Sevens. Also trained by Todd Pletcher, he drew the No. 5 gate at Churchill Downs and Luis Saez will be his jockey.
Percent to Win: 20%
Angel of Empire (8-1)
As a son of Classic Empire, he finished first or second in five races out of the six in his competitive career. Angel of Empire won his last two races as a three-year-old. He finished first at Fair Ground on Feb. 18 in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes before winning the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 1.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, Angel of Empire will start the Kentucky Derby at the No. 14 gate. He has increased the distance and grade of this event, but his HRN rating of 7.70 will make him one of the legitimate contenders for the Kentucky Derby.
Percent to Win: 5%
Practical Move (10-1)
With Tim Yakteen as the trainer and jockey Ramon Vazquez leading him out of the No. 10 gate, Practical Move is in pretty good position to make a run for the money in the Kentucky Derby. He won back-to-back races at Santa Anita Park by finishing first in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 4 before taking first in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 8.
Sired by Practical Joke, he climbed the ladder in his 7.67 rating at HRN with his two victories out on the West Coast.
Percent to Win: 5%
As a son of Uncle Mo and trained by Todd Pletcher, Kingsbarns has an 8.02 HRN rating from his last win at Fair Grounds. He finished first in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 25 by covering the 1 3/16 mile on dirt in 1:57.33. His competitive career as a three-year-old created wins in the one-mile Allowance race at Gulfstream Park and a Maiden Special Weight race at Tampa Bay Downs covering 1 mile and 40 yards.
Starting at No. 6 at Churchill Down in the Kentucky Derby with jockey Jose Ortiz, Kingsbarns is a live longshot to finish in the money in this race.
Percent to Win: 10%
Kentucky Derby Bonus Pick:
$50 on Forte to Win
$25 on Tapit Trice to Place
$25 on Kingsbarns to Show
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