2023 Kentucky Derby Best Bets, Picks: Winner, Exotics, Superfectas and Longshots
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Derma Sotogake
The 2023 Kentucky Derby is moments away. Are you ready to bet the most exciting two minutes in sports with our 2023 Kentucky Derby best bets and picks for the race winner, exotics, exactas, superfectas and some longshots for good measure?
Our horse racing experts break down their 2023 Kentucky Derby best bets and picks below, featuring picks on a prospective winner, exotics, exactas, superfectas and longshots.
Let’s get to the 2023 Kentucky Derby best bets and picks for winner, exotics, exactas, superfectas and longshots at Churchill Downs at 6:57 p.m. ET on NBC.
For the 2023 Kentucky Derby results, order of finish and payouts, check out 2023 Kentucky Derby Order of Finish, Results, Payouts: Mage Wins Kentucky Derby.
2023 Kentucky Derby Best Bets, Picks
Kentucky Derby Winner Best Bets, Picks
No. 17 Derma Sotogake (10-1)
Sean Zerillo: Given the recent trend in international horse-racing events, it is a matter of time before Japan finds its first Kentucky Derby winner.
Derma Sotogake dominated the UAE Derby, finishing ahead of three other Japanese entrants. All of the American horses finished at the back of the field.
Historically, the UAE Derby is the weakest of the Kentucky Derby prep races, failing to produce a single horse to hit the board at Churchill Downs amongst 18 entrants. Of those, only Mendelssohn (2018) and Derma Sotogake were given severe consideration among oddsmakers as potential selections. Mendelssohn (who I picked that year) broke poorly and was injured — he never had a chance in Kentucky.
Derma Sotogake has a far better chance against a relatively weak American 3-year-old crop, with a versatile running style, proof that he wants the distance, and a solid outside draw. He is my top win contender for the race. He can get to a lead and wire the field, or sit in the second flight behind a fast pace and pass horses in the stretch.
After the final workouts this week, I also like the No. 14 Angel of Empire (who has the best closing kick in the race) to come running late. No. 11 Disarm should outrun his 30-1 morning line odds, too.
I’ll bet Derma Sotogake across the board (Win/Place/Show) at odds of 8-1 or better.
Zerillo’s exactas feat. Derma Sotogake: 17 | 11,14
Mike Conti: Derma Sotogake is one of two Japanese horses in the Derby. He’s coming off a win in the UAE Derby, where he took the field gate to wire. He won by 5 ½ lengths and seemingly had plenty left in the tank.
While a Japanese horse has never won the Derby, they have had a ton of success over the last year on the international stage, and it’s time they had a Derby winner.
No. 8 Mage (15-1)
Mike Somich (via Action on YouTube): Mage hasn’t broken well the last two starts — he swung wide on the first turn [at the Florida Derby last month] … then couldn’t hold off [winner] Forte down the lane — and that’s the key here: If Mage breaks and is sitting top-five in this race, I love him at [this price].
No. 2 Verifying (15-1)
Chase Howell: Verifying is the son of Triple Crown winner Justify, which could have led the public to supporting this horse — but at 15-1 odds, there’s value in taking him to win/place/show.
Verifying lost by a nose to Tapit Trice, who could end up going off as the favorite, in the Bluegrass Stakes after leading for most of the race. He’s going to get up front early and I think he can hold on for at least a third-place finish.
For more Kentucky Derby best bets and picks, check out 2023 Kentucky Derby Odds, Betting Picks: Expert Likes Derma Sotogake With Forte Scratched.
Kentucky Derby Exotics, Exactas, Superfectas Best Bets, Picks
Exacta: 17 | 11,14
Zerillo: As stated above, I’m all over Derma Sotogake at the top of my tickets, and this exacta lets me get in on Angel of Empire and Disarm after their strong final practices.
Exacta: 17 | 3,14
Conti: This is the core of my superfecta below, as well, with Derma Sotogake up top, then Two Phil’s and Angel of Empire in my second spot.
Superfecta: 8 | 6,14,17 | 1,3,6,14,17 | 1,3,6,14,17,22
Somich: This is the lottery ticket of horse racing. You’ve got to put a shot up top, and that’s what I’m going to do by putting Mage in that first spot, seeing if we can get a nice 15-1 home up top. In the second spot, we’re going to put Kingsbarns, Angel of Empire and Derma Sotogake. In the third spot, we’ll add Hit Show and Two Phil’s. And in that fourth spot, we’ll throw in Mandarin Hero as well, for a $1 bet that will cost you $48.
Superfecta: 17 | 3,14,21 | 1,3,14,21 | 1,3,7,14,21,22
Conti: I’m going to single Derma Sotogake up top as my best bet. In the second spot, I’m going to have three horses: Two Phil’s, Angel of Empire and Cyclone Mischief. In the third spot, I will be adding Hit Show to that group, and in the fourth sport, we’ll include Reincarnate and Mandarin Hero.
That’s a $1-based bet that should cost you $36, and if it comes back, it’s balloons — because we’re all celebrating!
Kentucky Derby Longshot Best Bets, Picks
Mike Conti: No. 1 Hit Show (30-1) will outrun his odds. He’s 30-1 on the morning line, but had he not drawn the rail and won the Wood Memorial, his odds would be 10-1.
No. 21 Cyclone Mischief (30-1) drew in after the scratch of Practical Move. In full transparency, I’ve always loved this horse and made a futures bet on him back in January. He’s expected to be on or close to the lead, and in a race with so many questions around the pace, being forwardly placed is a big advantage.
No. 7 Reincarnate (50-1) only has one choice, and that’s to GO. In a race where we don’t know what the pace is going to be, I’m going to put a longshot horse like this in where I think they’re going to be much more forwardly placed.
2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Odds*
|Post||Horse||Current||Before Forte Scratch|
|14||Angel of Empire||7-2||6-1|
*Odds via FanDuel Racing as of 6:57 p.m. ET
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