2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Odds, Betting Picks: Expert Picks Winner With Forte Scratch

2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Odds, Betting Picks: Expert Picks Winner With Forte Scratch article feature image

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky Derby

The Run for the Roses is just minutes away, as the 149th Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday at 6:57 p.m. ET on NBC — and that means it's time for the 2023 Kentucky Derby odds and our expert betting picks.

And with betting favorite Forte scratched, my expert betting pick for the 2023 Kentucky Derby remains the same — with the latest 2023 Kentucky Derby updated odds below in addition to our betting picks.

If you are planning to bet on the Kentucky Derby, be sure to enter the BetMGM bonus code during registration for a special bonus.

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 Odds, Expert Betting Picks for Winner, Exotics

Post Time and Channel: 6:57 p.m. ET, NBC

Top Pick

No. 17 Derma Sotogake (originally 10-1, now 8-1 after Forte's scratch) is one of two Japanese horses in the Derby. He’s coming in off of a win in the UAE Derby, where he took went 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 Japan had a Derby winner.

Forte being out doesn’t change my win bet. If anything, it makes me feel even better about my win bet. With all the speculation that was going on, I had already tossed Forte out of a lot of my bets over the past 24-48 hours. Obviously, the favorite being out is going to change the win pools. You’re going to have new odds, you’re going to have new favorites. But with Forte’s running type of being a closer, I don’t think it changes the setup for the race. We’re just going to see odds that significantly change.


No. 14 Angel of Empire (8-1, now 9-2) is one of four trained by Brad Cox. This son of Classic Empire has a superb late kick. Like so many others, he will need to work out a trip, and it doesn’t help that the pace scenario is so murky.

That said, he was the best in the Arkansas Derby, winning by open lengths while wrapped up.

No. 1 Hit Show (30-1, now 25-1) 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.

In the Wood Memorial, he was in between horses for the majority of the stretch run and was bumped multiple times. Had he been out in the clear, he would have won that race easily.

Just like Angel of Empire, he will need to work out a trip, but the rail post shouldn’t matter with his running style.

No. 21 Cyclone Mischief (30-1, now 29-1) 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.

The biggest question is: can he get the distance? He’s by Into Mischief and out of a Bernardini mare, so the breeding suggests he should be able to.

Trainer Dale Romans said he’s been training well and has continued to mature nicely.

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 into some exotics and win bets where I think they’re going to be much more forwardly placed. (Editor's note: Odds have shortened drastically on Reincarnate as we near post time, with some lines now down to as short as 12-1.)

Conti's Bets:

Win — #17 Derma Sotogake

Exacta (Box): 17 | 3,14

Superfecta: 17 | 3,14,21 | 1,3,14,21 | 1,3,14,21,22

Longshot Win Bets: No. 1 Hit Show (30-1), No. 21 Cyclone Mischief (30-1), No. 7 Reincarnate (50-1)

For more Kentucky Derby best bets and picks, check out 2023 Kentucky Derby Best Bets, Picks: Winner, Exactas, Superfectas,Exotics.

2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Odds*

PostHorseCurrentBefore Forte Scratch
1Hit Show24-130-1
3Two Phil’s9-18-1
4Confidence Game20-120-1
5Tapit Trice9-26-1
10Practical Movescratchscratch
12Jace's Road32-139-1
13Sun Thunder32-137-1
14Angel of Empire7-26-1
16Raise Cain32-137-1
17Derma Sotogake8-18-1
18Rocket Can27-136-1
19Lord Milesscratchscratch
21Cyclone Mischief28-130-1
22Mandarin Hero18-126-1
23King Russell31-139-1

*Odds via FanDuel Racing as of 6:57 p.m. ET

Previous Kentucky Derby Day Races and Picks

Race 4 — Derby City Distaff

Post Time: 12:04 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 5 Matareya (7-2) is coming in second off the layoff and making her second start as a four year old after a sensational campaign at three. She finished second last time out when she got a great trip up the rail. But clearly she doesn’t love the off track.

The good news is we should have a fast main track, and she should take a step forward after that last race.


No. 2 Goodnight Olive (4-5) has seven wins from eight career starts. She’s the class of this field after rattling off three straight G1 wins.

Conti's BetsWin — #5 Materaya

Pick 3: 4,5 / 5 / 12

Race 5 — Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Post Time: 12:36 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 5 Spendarella (7-5) hasn’t been seen in 9+ months, but was one of, if not the best three-year-old filly turf horses last year.

She’s a perfect 4-for-4 in the U.S. and has been training smartly leading up to Saturday. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has been riding extremely well and is scoring at a 57% clip when teaming up with trainer Graham Motion.

Conti's Bet: Win — #5 Spendarella

Race 6 — Knicks Go

Post Time: 1:14 p.m. ET

The Pick

No. 12 Caddo River (4-1) is a distance specialist, hitting the board in all six starts at this distance. He also likes Churchill Downs, posting two wins from three starts.

He had every opportunity to go by the winner last time, but just couldn’t get by. He's getting back to a one turn mile here, which may be best for him.


No. 6 Zozos (5-2) won last time out, and that win looks even better because three of the other runners from that race came back to win their following races. He will be forwardly placed and had the highest Beyer speed figure in his last race.

Conti's Bets: Win — #12 Caddo River

Double: 12 / 10

Race 7 — Twin Spires Turf Spring

Post Time: 1:56 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 10 Arrest Me Red (4-1) won this race last year and is coming in second off the layoff, just as he did for that victory.

Last time out, he couldn’t get to the speedball that is Caravel, but he did make up some ground.

Arrest Me Red gets jockey Irad Oritz back aboard, so it's all systems go.


No. 4 Big Invasion (7-2) has never run a bad race, posting seven wins, one second-place finish and one third-place finish in nine career starts.

The biggest question is who he's faced. There’s no doubt this is the most talent field he’s ever gone up against, and he’s going to be coming from off of it, which is never easy in a turf sprint. That's without mentioning the post position.

Conti's BetWin — No. 10 Arrest Me Red

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Race 8 — Pat Day Mile

Post Time: 2:46 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 7 Fort Bragg (9-2) was on the Derby trail, but the distances didn’t suit him. He’s a classic example of a horse that will appreciate the cutback in distance to a one-turn mile.

He’s lost to Practical Move and Forte, so he’s been around great company his entire career. While this isn’t the easiest of fields, he has tactical speed, and I expect him to run big.


No. 9 General Jim (4-1) made a big sweeping move on the turn last time out to secure the win. It was only a four-horse field, but he beat an odds-on favorite, and did it with ease.

He’s been training well leading up to this spot and trainer Shug McGaughey always has his horses ready to run their best.

Conti's Bet: Pick 5: 7,9 / 2,4,11,14 / 4,7,8 / 5 / 1,14,15,17,21

Race 9 — American Turf

Post Time: 3:40 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 4 Talk of the Nation (10-1) has taken a big step forward since switching to the turf, posting two very impressive wins.

Last time out, he beat No. 8 Mo Stash, who then came back to win the G3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland.

Talk of the Nation should be able to sit in a nice stalking position and kick for home coming out of the turn.


No. 2 Far Bridge (7-2) won both of his career starts in a very professional manner. He will be far back early, and jockey Joel Rosario will look to make one big run late in hopes that he can get up in time. He’s very dangerous here, but it’s interesting that he changed barns and ownership groups after his last victory.

No. 11 Carl Spackler (3-1) broke his maiden in dominant fashion last time at Gulfstream Park. He was entered in the G3 Transylvania Stakes, but was scratched supposedly because of his post position. And if that was a concern last time, it will be a concern here, too, as he doesn’t draw any better. All that said, you can't underestimate a Chad Brown runner in a major stakes race on the turf.

No. 14 Webslinger (20-1) will make one run like Far Bridge. He closed into a slow pace last time out in the G3 Transylvania and as previously mentioned, there’s more pace signed on here, so expect him to be flying late at a nice price.

Conti's Bets: Win — #4 Talk of the Nation

Pick 3: 4 / 4,7,8 / 5

Race 10 — The Churchill Downs

Post Time: 4:31 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 4 Hoist the Gold (30-1) has tactical speed in what appears to be a fairly paceless race. With jockey Luis Saez in the irons, you know he will be forwardly placed and he will get first jump on some of the closers.


No. 7 Cody’s Wish (4-5) loves Churchill Downs (4-for-4) and has shown versatility to stalk or close. We haven’t seen him since the Breeders’ Cup Mile last November, so the layoff is a concern. But he clearly was at his best last year, winning three graded stakes races.

No. 8 Fortin Hill (20-1) is coming off an impressive victory, which is the first off a five-month layoff. He has speed and while this is a big step up, he has the ability to steal this one from the front.

Conti's Bet: Win — #3 Hoist the Gold

Race 11 — Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic

Post Time: 5:27 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 5 Up to the Mark (4-1) has found his preferred surface, scoring twice and recording a third-place finish in three turf starts.

Last time out, it was a paceless race, where the winner walked on the front end and went gate to wire. Up to the Mark finished a closing third and only a neck behind one of the best turfers in the game today (Modern Games).

Unlike last time, he gets plenty of pace to run into Saturday.

Conti's Bet: Win — #5 Up to the Mark (Bet of the Day)

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