2023 Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby Double Picks for Oaks-Derby Double
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Derma Sotogake, one of our picks for the Kentucky Derby leg of our Kentucky Oaks-Derby Double at Churchill Downs for the 2023 Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse racing event of them all — and there’s a way for you to get in on the betting action even before Saturday’s epic race with a Kentucky Oaks-Derby Double.
You’re probably familiar with Kentucky Oaks Day, which features a number of Grade 1 races on Friday at Churchill Downs in one of the top events for 3-year-old fillies in North America. That culminates in Race 11, the Kentucky Oaks on Friday evening.
Well, a Kentucky Oaks-Derby Double is exactly what it sounds like. You pick horses from Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby and put them on a ticket. If your horses win, you win.
And if you’re really feeling frisky, you can even throw in a horse or two from Saturday’s Turf Classic. This year, there are a handful of bets I’d recommend that span both days for Derby weekend. They can provide great value and a way for you to go into the Derby with the possibility of a big score!
Our Kentucky Oaks-Derby Double Picks, Best Bets
Oaks/Derby Double – 7 | 1,14,15,17,21
Oaks/Turf/Derby Pick 3 – 7 | 5 | 1,14,15,17,21
For our full Kentucky Oaks Day card, check out 2023 Kentucky Oaks Odds, Betting Picks: How to Bet Friday Stakes Races.
Kentucky Oaks Pick for Oaks-Derby Double
No. 7 Wet Paint (5-2) has been ultra-impressive in each of her three starts as a 3-year-old. As a closer, she will need to work out a trip, but there’s enough pace in here for her to close into. She’s also proven that she can do it regardless of track conditions, which is important to note as there is a possibility of rain.
Turf Classic Pick for Kentucky Oaks/Turf Classic/Kentucky Derby Pick 3
No. 5 Up to the Mark (4-1) has found his preferred surface, scoring twice and 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 today.
Kentucky Derby Pick, Best Bet for Oaks-Derby Double
No. 17 Derma Sotogake (10-1) is one of two Japanese horses in the Derby. He’s coming in 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, the Japanese horses have had a ton of success over the last year on the international stage, and it’s time they had a Derby winner.
Kentucky Derby Live Contenders for Oaks-Derby Double Pick, Best Bet:
No. 15 Forte (3-1) is the Derby favorite after being the 2-year-old champion and winning both of his races as a 3-year-old. While his Beyer speed figures have regressed some as a 3-year-old, he’s still gotten the job done. Last time in the Florida Derby, it looked like he was going to be defeated, but he found another gear in the last 1/16th to get up in the shadow of the wire.
It’s important to note that there was a lot of speculation he was going to scratch after taking a bad step in a training session on Thursday morning, so the question is: Is he 100%?
No. 14 Angel of Empire (8-1) 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 much the best in the Arkansas Derby winning by open lengths while wrapped up.
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. 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 wins 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) 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, but 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.
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