The 149th Kentucky Derby is just hours away, so there’s no time like the present to read up on “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”
This year’s race is expected to bring plenty of fans to Churchill Downs as a slightly smaller pool of horses competes for one of the most prestigious honors in the sport. Wide-ranging excitement surrounding the Derby should also provide a bit of an economic boom when hundreds of millions of dollars are wagered on the Run for the Roses.
With Derby Day fast approaching, here are the answers to a few of this week’s most-searched Kentucky Derby-related questions.
What time is the Kentucky Derby?
That’s simple. Post time for the Kentucky Derby is slated for 6:57 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Saturday, May 6. Though plenty of festivities and other races will grace Churchill Downs in Louisville all day long, the Kentucky Derby’s main event is over before you know it.
Those at home can watch the race by flipping to NBC or streaming through Peacock. Locally, WLEX-18 will provide broadcast coverage from 8 a.m. to noon, while FS2 and FanDuel TV will offer coverage options of their own throughout the day.
Radio coverage is available through Sirius XM Channel 85.
What horses are running in the 2023 Kentucky Derby?
Here’s a look at the now-18-horse field, plus its starting positions and morning-line odds:
- Hit Show (30-1)
- Verifying (15-1)
- Two Phil’s (12-1)
- Confidence Game (20-1)
- Tapit Trice (5-1)
- Kingsbarns (12-1)
- Reincarnate (50-1)
- Mage (15-1)
- Skinner (SCRATCHED)
- Practical Move (SCRATCHED)
- Disarm (30-1)
- Jace’s Road (50-1)
- Sun Thunder (50-1)
- Angel of Empire (8-1)
- Forte (SCRATCHED)
- Rise Cain (50-1)
- Derma Sotogake (10-1)
- Rocket Can (30-1)
- Lord Miles (SCRATCHED)
- Continuar (SCRATCHED)
- Cyclone Mischief (30-1)
- Mandarin Hero (20-1)
- King Russell (50-1)
What horses were scratched from the 2023 Kentucky Derby?
Practical Move (elevated temperature), Lord Miles (trainer suspension), Continuar (fitness concerns), Skinner (elevated temperature) and Forte (fitness concerns) were all removed from the original lineup. All three also-eligible horses have entered the lineup, so any additional scratches will reduce the field’s size even further.
Due to the scratches, the field’s newly added horses — Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hero and King Russell — will respectively break from posts No. 16, 17 and 18, though their program numbers will respectively remain No. 21, 22 and 23.
Who is favored to win the Kentucky Derby?
Before getting scratched, Forte was the overwhelming favorite to win the race with 3-1 morning-line odds. Fitness concerns forced the horse to withdraw from the race Saturday morning.
Now, Tapit Trice (5-1) and Pennsylvania-hailing Angel of Empire (8-1) have the shortest odds to win the derby, according to the morning-line odds.
Over the years, clear-cut favorites have won the Kentucky Derby 40 times out of 115 contested races, translating to a 34.78% winning rate. Most recently, the race-time favorite won each race between 2013 and 2018. However, the Kentucky Derby’s favorite did not win the race once between 1980 and 1999.
The Derby’s race-time favorite finished in fourth in 2019 (Improbable), second in 2020 (Tiz the Law) and third in 2021 (Essential Quality). Epicenter, 2022’s favorite, finished in second place.
What are the best post positions for the Kentucky Derby?
Overall, the post position with the most Kentucky Derby winners since 1930, when starting gates were first used, is post No. 5 with 10 winners. It’s the only post position with double-digit race winners in that span.
Tapit Trice, which has the second-shortest morning-line odds to win the race at 5-1, will break from post No. 5.
Post No. 10 has the highest percentage of top-three finishes in the Derby since 1930. Twenty-five of the 86 horses that broke from the post finished “in the money,” producing a 29.1% clip.
Post No. 17 is the only position without a win to its name. Starters from post No. 17 are 0-for-43 when it comes to winning the Kentucky Derby, and only three starters from the position have ever finished in the money.
How can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?
A record $179 million was wagered on the 2022 Kentucky Derby’s pool.
Once you know what kind of bet you’d like to place, submitting your wager is pretty easy.
You can place a bet at any racetrack or racetrack gambling facility in Kentucky leading up to Derby Day, including Churchill Downs. Popular betting venues in Kentucky include Keeneland Race Course and Red Mile Racetrack in Lexington, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and Turfway Park.
Online wagering is available through a number of platforms, including TwinSpires, Churchill Downs’ official online wagering platform, as well as TVG and AmWager.
Some popular wagering platforms, including DraftKings and FanDuel, are available in other states but are not yet operating in Kentucky, where legalized sports betting will not take effect until later this year. You do not need to be a given state’s resident to place bets online, but platforms will use your location to make sure wagers can legally be placed before completing any transactions.
This story was updated at 10:28 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 to reflect the latest changes to the horses eligible to run.
If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, help is available by calling 1-800-522-4700.
Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.
Do you have a question about horse racing or the Kentucky Derby for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was originally published May 5, 2023, 3:14 PM.