(courtesy of Lindsay Griffin)
Spring is an exciting time for horse racing fans.
Last year’s youngest equine competitors have begun to come into their own and make names for themselves. True talent emerges over pure precocity, and nearly every owner and trainer dreams, even just fleetingly, of winning the Kentucky Derby.
It is an exciting time for fans, as well. Many who follow the sport keep a close eye on their favorite horses, analyzing past performances and track workout tabs prior to Kentucky Derby prep races. Of course, these fans also often enjoy placing bets on the horses they’ve followed, and all the better if those bets bring forth a profit. If one of those picks turns out to be a Kentucky Derby winner, not only can the bettor gain a tidy profit, but a hefty helping of bragging rights as well.
Here are some expert tips for the 2023 Kentucky Derby contenders by TwinSpires. Take a look at who and how to bet on the Kentucky Derby that happens on May 6.
The Future Pools
The Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks (the top race for three-year-old fillies) both offer a Future Wager, in which horse players can select their candidate months before the race is even won. The risk of loss is much higher than that of a standard bet because the bettor is putting money down without even being sure that their selection will run in the race at all. However, because of that risk, the financial rewards for a win can also be quite high.
There are several opportunities to make a Future Wager on the Kentucky Derby, but each pool is only open for a few days. Pool 5 runs from March 10th through March 12th, and Pool 6 will open on March 30th and close on April 1st.
This year, each Future Wager pool has forty betting choices; 38 individual horses, and options for “All Other Males” and “All Other Fillies.” At the close of Pool 4, “All Other Males” was the overall favorite option, with Forte, Hoosier Philly, Tapit Trice, and Instant Coffee being the five top individual horses offered.
Insights and Trends
Up-and-comers beware: the experience counts.
It appears that this year, many of the top Triple Crown contenders (at least at the time of this writing) were top-tier two-year-olds or had at least broken their maidens by the end of 2022.
Forte is of course the obvious example here; the Eclipse Champion Two-Year-Old Male of 2022 had a fantastic seasonal debut, taking the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes easily. However, he is not the only one. Practical Move, the recent winner of the Grade II San Felipe Stakes, was a Grade I winner at two.
Grade III Lecomte Stakes winner Instant Coffee won the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes as a two-year-old, and Grade II Rebel Stakes winner Confidence Game, while not a stakes winner at two, had two impressive victories over the Churchill Downs surface.
It is also important to consider a racehorse’s human connections, and right now, trainer Brad Cox looks to have an embarrassment of Triple Crown riches.
He is the trainer of the aforementioned Instant Coffee, as well as Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Angel of Empire, Grade III Withers Stakes winner Hit Show, Grade III Gotham Stakes runner-up Slip Mahoney, and Gun Runner Stakes winner Jace’s Road.
While only time will tell how many of these colts will make it to the Kentucky Derby, these are certainly names to keep in your head when planning your bets on future Kentucky Derby prep races!