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Kentucky Derby 2023 Odds, Best Bets & Predictions

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

Kentucky Derby 2023 Odds, Best Bets & Predictions

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Bookies.com handicapper Adam Thompson has been crushing horse racing for the last two years. If you bet $5 on the picks for the 2021 TVG Pacific Classic, your account would be $232 fatter. 

That’s just the latest in a string of horse racing betting success for Thompson, who won $480 on a $10 wager at the 2021 Preakness Stakes and hit the exacta at the Belmont Stakes last year, taking $75 on a $10 bet.

Now he has set his sights on the 2023 Kentucky Derby. The whopping 23-horse field goes to post at 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 6. Last year, Thompson picked the 2-3-4 horses correctly but missed out on the huge payday thanks to the 80-1 ultimate underdog Rich Strike. 

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2023 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

Saturday, May 6 | 6:57 p.m. ET | NBC

It doesn’t get any bigger than the Run for the Roses. The horse racing odds at sports betting apps for the weekend’s Kentucky Derby have three horses near the top of the morning line odds at TwinSpires and FanDuel Racing. 

It’s never exciting, and often a risk, to go with the favorites in a race with this many horses in it. Unfortunately, FORTE (#15, 5-1 morning line odds) is the class of this 23-horse field. His pedigree is among the very best, and he’s won six of seven races. 

His speed numbers rank No. 2 and he’s battle-tested. Forte has made an astonishing $344,000 per start. No horse is more ready for this crowded, talented field. The hope is more money will pour into Tapit Trice leading up to post time. 

ANGEL OF EMPIRE (#14, 6-1) is our favorite play because of the odds. Brad Cox has four horses in the race but this is the big one with the top jockey. Angel has finished outside the top two just one in six races. 

Those two will lead our exotics picks. We’ll be sprinkling funds on Forte and Angel of Empire with: 

TAPIT TRICE (#5, 6-1) could be the best horse in the field, and many metrics say he is. Tapit’s pedigree is second-to-none and he’s won four of his five career races, taking third in the other. 

RELATED: Kentucky Derby Chasing The Perfect Mint Julep

MAGE (#8, 16-1) has only raced three times with one victory, but his speed numbers rank top 5 in the Derby field. 

MANDARIN HERO (#22, 72-1) is obviously our big wild card. The Japanese import has finished first or second in all six races and, like Mage, has a top-five speed grade. Can he keep up in his next level of competition? The odds say it’s unlikely, but after Rich Strike’s win at 80-1 last year, we know nothing is impossible. 

Here’s how we’re betting the race; you can lay out your bet at TwinSpires racing book and on their sports betting app.

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Kentucky Derby Picks

$10 To Win: 14 ($10)

$10 To Win: 15 ($10)

$2 Exacta: 14,15 with 5,8,14,15,22 ($16)

$.50 Trifecta: 14,15 with 5,8,14,15,22 with 5,8,14,15,22 ($12)

RELATED: How Much Money Would You Make Always Betting The Kentucky Derby Favorite?

Kentucky Oaks, Friday

$10 To Win: 7

Oaks-Derby Double

7 with 14,15

RELATED: Best Kentucky Derby Betting Promos

Adam Thompson’s Oaks-Derby Weekend Picks

Kentucky Oaks Friday

  • Race 1: 7,8,12 Exacta Box
  • Race 2: 6 To Win (small), 6,9,11 Exacta Box
  • Race 3: 18 To Win
  • Race 4: 4,8,16 Exacta Box
  • Race 5: 1,4,5 Exacta Box
  • Race 6: 7 To Win; 7,8 Exacta Box; 7,8 with 2,4,6,7,8 with 2,4,6,7,8 Trifecta
  • Race 7: 9 To Win; 6,8,9 Exacta Box
  • Race 8: 1,8,11 Exacta Box
  • Race 9: 1,2,7 Exacta Box
  • Race 10: None
  • Race 11 (OAKS): 7 To Win
  • Race 12: 6 To Win
  • Race 13: 11,12,14 Exacta Box

Kentucky Derby Saturday

  • Race 1: 1 To Win; 1,8 Exacta Box
  • Race 2: 8 To Win; 1,6,8 Exacta Box
  • Race 3: 1,3,14 Exacta Box
  • Race 4: 2 To Win; 2,3,5 Exacta Box; 2,3,5 Trifecta Box
  • Race 5: 5 To Win; 3,5,7 Exacta Box
  • Race 6: 2 To Win
  • Race 7: 10 To Win
  • Race 8: None
  • Race 9: 1,11,15 Exacta Box
  • Race 10: 1 To Win; 1,7 Exacta Box
  • Race 11: 10 To Win
  • Race 12 (DERBY): 14,15 To Win; 14,15 with 5,8,14,15,22 Exacta; 14,15 with 5,8,14,15,22 with 5,8,14,15,22 Trifecta
  • Race 13: 2 To Win
  • Race 14: 2,9 Exacta Box

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.