2023 Kentucky Derby: time, horses, odds and where to watch

The Kentucky Derby has been held annually since 1875, making it one of the longest-running sporting events in the United States. Ready for ‘The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”?

Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, wins the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby
Rich Strike (21), with Sonny Leon aboard, wins the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Louisville, Ky.Jeff Roberson (AP)
Alonso Martínez

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is near. Its rich history, the high stakes, and its stature has made it one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. This importance makes the whole day an event in itself, with a number of traditions and festivities leading up to the race itself, starting two weeks before the race, with the Kentucky Derby Festival.

The day starts with a “dawn patrol”, where the horses that will be racing are taken out for a morning workout. During this routine, the trainers and owners have a chance to see how their horses are feeling and make any last-minute adjustments to their strategy.

A few races precede the Kentucky Derby, which is run in the late afternoon with the horses parading onto the track to the sound of “My Old Kentucky Home”, the state anthem. The race itself is short, only lasting around two minutes, which is the reason why the race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”.

Once the race ends, the winner is draped in a blanket of roses and presented with the coveted Kentucky Derby trophy. The purse, or prize, for the race will be $3 million.

When is the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023. The Kentucky Derby almost always takes place on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, an annual festival held in the weeks preceding the day of the main race.

Where does the Kentucky Derby take place?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will take place at Churchill Downs racetrack, where it’s been held since its inception in 1875. Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, which hosts several events every year. The capacity of the venue is of roughly 170,000 people.

What time is the Kentucky Derby?

The coverage for the Kentucky Derby begins at 10:30 am EDT. Several races are run before the main race.

The Kentucky Derby is the twelfth race on the schedule and it starts at 6:57 pm EDT.

Where to watch the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby races will be broadcast by NBC, with coverage on undercard races beginning at 10:30 EDT on USA Network, and main network coverage of pre-race activities starting at 12:30 EDT.

The race will also be livestreamed on NBCSports.com

Which horses will run in the Kentucky Derby 2023?

Previous to the Kentucky Derby, 20 horses have to qualify for the race in the 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of races that were first introduced in 2013, replacing the previous graded stakes race earning system.

The main Road consists of races in North America and one in Dubai. The Japan Road consists of four races in that country, and the European road consists of seven races in England, Ireland and France.

Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Forte horse at Keenelend Race Course, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022
Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Forte to victory during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile race at Keenelend Race Course, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Lexington.Jeff Roberson (AP)

The 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby consisted of 37 races. 20 horses have qualified, and there’s also four ‘also eligibles’ in case of a late withdrawal from the field. These are the standings for the horses that will run the race.

  1. Forte - 190 points
  2. Practical Move - 160 points
  3. Angel of Empire - 154 points
  4. Tapit Trice - 150 points
  5. Two Phil’s - 123 points
  6. Lord Miles - 105 points
  7. Derma Sotogake (JPN) - 100 points
  8. Kingsbarns - 100 points
  9. Raise Cain - 64 points
  10. Rocket Can - 60 points
  11. Hit Show - 60 points
  12. Confidence Game - 57 points
  13. Verifying - 54 points
  14. Sun Thunder - 54 points
  15. Mage - 50 points
  16. Disarm - 46 points
  17. Reincarnate - 45 points
  18. Jace’s Road - 45 points
  19. Skinner - 45 points
  20. Continuar (JPN) - 30 points
  21. Cyclone Mischief - 45 points
  22. Major Dude - 40 points
  23. Mandarin Hero (JPN) - 40 points
  24. King Russell - 40 points


According to Oddschecker, these are the current odds for the 2023 Kentucky Derby:

Derma Sotogake won the UAE Derby as a 10-1 underdog, with a strong ability to start fast and close out the race well. Kingsbarns has won all three of his races, including the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, but is a risky pick due to his lack of experience against more seasoned horses. Verifying has two wins and finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes, making him a strong dark horse pick for the Kentucky Derby.

Who has won the Kentucky Derby?

Last year, horse Rich Strike of RED TR-Racing won the Kentucky Derby with a mark of 2:02.61. The year prior, Mandaloun of Juddmonte Farm was the winner with a time of 2:01.02.

The last horse that won the Kentucky Derby and managed to win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing by also winning the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes was Justify (China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing, WinStar Farm), who won with a time of 2:04.20.

The fastest horse that has ever won the Kentucky Derby was Secretariat in 1973, owned by Meadow Stable. Secretariat ended the race with a time of 1:59.4, a record that has never been broken in the race.

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