2023 Kentucky Derby: Tapit Trice leads the way after Forte's surprising scratch
Who will emerge victorious from a crowded Kentucky Derby field on Saturday?
Twenty-three horses were originally entered in the race (post time: 6:57 p.m. ET, NBC), with Forte headlining the field at 3-1 odds. Things changed Saturday morning, as Forte was the latest horse to be scratched from the event.
Here's a look at the opening odds for each horse in the field as well as a quick glance at their recent histories entering the Derby. Five horses have been scratched from the race as of Saturday morning: Forte, Skinner, Practical Move, Lord Miles and Continuar.
1. Hit Show (30-1)
Hit Show finished second at the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in April and won the Withers Stakes at the same track in February. Starting on the rail in a 23-horse race could be tough.
2. Verifying (15-1)
Both Hit Show and Verifying are trained by Brad Cox. Verifying was fourth in the Rebel Stakes in February at Oaklawn after starting on the inside post and getting caught in traffic before finishing second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 8.
3. Two Phil’s (12-1)
This will be Two Phil’s third start at Churchill downs. The horse has raced eight times in his career and has a first, a second and a third in 2023.
4. Confidence Game (20-1)
The Kentucky Derby will be Confidence Game’s first start since winning the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in February ahead of Reincarnate and Verifying.
5. Tapit Trice (5-1)
Tapit Trice enters as one of the favorites, thanks to an undefeated record in 2023. The horse won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes in April and has wins in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and in a claiming race at Gulfstream Park in February. Lord Miles, a 30-1 long shot, was fifth in the Tampa race.
6. Kingsbarns (12-1)
Kingsbarns hasn't lost since he started racing earlier this year. This Todd Pletcher-trained horse won the Louisiana Derby in March by 3.5 lengths over fellow Derby entrant Disarm.
7. Reincarnate (50-1)
After winning the Sham Stakes in January, Reincarnate has finished third in both the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby.
8. Mage (15-1)
All three of Mage’s career starts have come at Gulfstream Park. He was second by a length to Derby favorite Forte in the Florida Derby, a start that has a big impact on his odds for Saturday.
9. Skinner (20-1)
10. Practical Move (10-1)
11. Disarm (30-1)
Disarm has finished second, second and third in his three starts in 2023. The third-place finish came on April 15 at the Lexington Stakes behind two horses who aren’t entered Saturday.
12. Jace’s Road (50-1)
Jace’s Road finished third in the Louisiana Derby and fifth in the Southwest Stakes.
13. Sun Thunder (50-1)
Sun Thunder has one top-three finish in four 2023 starts. The horse was fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes and fifth in the Louisiana Derby.
14. Angel of Empire (8-1)
Cox has four horses in the Derby, and Angel of Empire has the best odds to win among all of them. Angel of Empire won the Arkansas Derby on April 1 and also won the Risen Star in February.
15. Forte (3-1)
16. Raise Cain (50-1)
Raise Cain won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March for his first win since October. That Gotham Stakes win was sandwiched between two fifth-place finishes.
17. Derma Sotogake (10-1)
Derma Sotogake won the UAE Derby by 5.5 lengths in an incredibly impressive performance. He, Continuar and Mandarin Hero are the three Japanese horses in the Derby field.
18. Rocket Can (30-1)
Rocket Can was fourth in the Arkansas Derby and second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes after winning the Holy Bull Stakes in February.
19. Lord Miles (30-1)
20. Continuar (50-1)
21. Cyclone Mischief (30-1)
Two previous sons of Into Mischief have won the Kentucky Derby. Cyclone Mischief was third in the Florida Derby and also the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream this year.
22. Mandarin Hero (20-1)
Mandarin Hero finished second in the Santa Anita Derby with a speed score of 105 on April 8.
23. King Russell (50-1)
King Russell was second in the Arkansas Derby to Angel of Empire in the first big start of his career.