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Kentucky Derby Betting Tips 2023

As the hype around the race begins to heat up, fans from all over the globe are on the lookout for Kentucky Derby tips. This is the biggest horse racing event in North America, and it has been for nearly 150 years. To get tips on the other American horse races, read our page dedicated to American horse racing tips.

Who to Bet On at Kentucky Derby

As of now, it is way too early to know what the final line-up will look like at Churchill Downs, though these horses are among the early favourites.

So, with that out of the way, these are our Kentucky Derby horse picks for the next race (click here to get more information about Kentucky Derby horses and favourites).

1. Essential Quality

Brad Cox’s son of Tapit is the rightful winter favourite for the Derby after winning two Grade 1 races in Kentucky as a two-year-old; the Breeders’ Futurity and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland.
Despite his lineage, which may make him an even stronger favourite for the Belmont Stakes in time, he has proven already that he has the pace and the guile for this sort of test and unlike many Breeders’ Cup winners of the past, appears to have plenty of improvement left to come as a three-year-old.

2. Jackie’s Warrior

Despite Essential Quality being a worthy and rightful winner at the Breeders’ Cup, trainer Steve Asmussen cut a very dejected figure after his favourite Jackie’s Warrior was beaten in fourth and that tells you how highly his yard ranks this colt.

It could be argued that he didn’t give his full running at Keeneland and having landed two New York Grade One’s earlier in the campaign, he has already proven he is of the highest quality.

3. Keepmeinmind

As is the case with Essential Quality, Keepmeinmind has the profile of an improving horse who has not yet come close to his peak.

That sounds like an obvious thing to say about a two-year-old, but often in the States, they are trained to reach their maximum very early whereas this chap is obviously improving in lumps.

Beaten 3¼ lengths by Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Futurity before getting to within two lengths in the Juvenile in November despite traffic problems, Keepmeinmind will have his yard dreaming of closing the gap entirely by the time May rolls around.

4. Sittin On Go

Dale Romans’ runner didn’t perform at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Cup, but nobody is writing him off just yet. An easy winner at Grade 3 level, he needs to step up but looks more than capable of doing so and it will be very interesting to see where they send him for a prep in the spring.

For more information on how to watch the race, read our page on Kentucky Derby Live (top live stream services).

Kentucky-derby-betting tips
Kentucky Derby 2017. Photo Credit LunchboxLarry/ Flickr: CC BY 2.0

The Best Betting Tips for Kentucky Derby

Betting on the Kentucky Derby is one of the key ways to feel involved in the race. We all have opinions each year on who the better three-year-olds are in the States, but putting your money where your mouth is remains all-important!

That being said, you should never go into the Derby under-informed. You should always research the main intended runners in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Look at the results and times of the various major prep races such as the Santa Anita Derby, the Blue Grass Stakes, the Arkansas Derby and the Florida Derby, while also taking into account what the trainers have had to say.

If you’re betting far in advance of the race however you may want to check out what the pros have to say. Ante post, or ‘futures’ betting, is difficult in this case as there has been a growing trend for America’s top trainers to only bring out their best Triple Crown contenders in the spring.

But, as of late 2020, some top talent has already been on the track and nothing has been more impressive than Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Futurity winner Essential Quality. The Brad Cox colt, who runs in the familiar Godolphin blue, is already a dual Grade 1 winner and goes into the winter as the rightful favourite for the race.

The information can be critical in developing a proper Kentucky Derby betting strategy. The same goes for choosing which Kentucky Derby horses to bet on. It is also very easy to find since there are numerous websites that aggregate detailed information on individual horses.

Kentucky Derby Betting Types

From our Kentucky Derby predictions, we’ll take a step back and tell you something about the Kentucky Derby betting types. Making the best possible use of Kentucky Derby tips means knowing how to use them in the most effective way.

This includes leveraging the knowledge you have about Kentucky Derby best picks, into an effective Kentucky derby betting strategy.

Being aware of different Kentucky Derby betting types combined with knowing which Kentucky Derby horses to bet on is always the foolproof strategy. This is why we’ve included a short overview of Kentucky Derby betting lines with our Kentucky Derby tips.

We’ll briefly explain the simple and the more complicated types of bets. It will be up to you to decide the best way to bet on Kentucky Derby.

Win, Place, Show and Each-Way

The ‘win’ bet, of course, is self-explanatory. The horse you back must win in order for you to collect. This is similar to Australian-style betting, but it gets different after that.

‘Place’ bets concern horses finishing in the first two, in whatever order, while ‘show’ bets involve those finishing in the first three, again in any order.

If you’re betting with an Australian bookmaker, you may still be able to place a traditional ‘each-way’ bet as well. In this case, you are making two wagers; one on the win and one on the place. If your horse is first past the post you claim a return on both the win and the place bet, while if it is second or third you get a return for a place only which will be calculated at either ¼ or 1/5 of its odds.

Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta and Super High Five

These bets are known as ‘exotic’ wagers in the States, usually leading to pretty big returns for those who get them right.

An ‘exacta’ is simply a bet on the first two home, in the correct order. Predicting this is much harder than it sounds too! You can ‘box’ this bet, meaning you place double the stake and you will get a return no matter what order your two horses finish in, as long as they are first and second.

The ‘trifecta’ is the same only involving three horses, the ‘superfecta’ means picking four and the ‘super high five’ involves, you guessed it, picking all of the first five home in the correct order. If you get that right, go ahead and retire after you collect!

Find all the Horse racing Tips in our dedicated section.

Horse racing betting tips on other major events in America

Are you looking for more American horse racing betting tips? Do not hesitate to check the tips on the following events:

William HARRIS
20 articles
William is a racing writer with a growing portfolio of work on Australia and England horse racing. His passionate and his goal is to work as a journalist in the horse racing industry, and in the future to become a racing commentator.
18+ | Please play responsibly | Think. Is this a bet you really want to place? | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial content