How many horses are in the 2023 Kentucky Derby Field?

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Written By Bill Gelman | Last Updated
How many horses are in the Kentucky Derby field

The 149th Kentucky Derby is taking place Saturday, May 6 live from Churchill Downs. There were 20 horses announced for the 2023 Kentucky Derby field during Monday afternoon’s post-position draw live from Louisville, Ky. However, this year’s race is turning out to be a perfect example of how quickly things change leading up to race day as there have been multiple scratches. How many horses are in the Kentucky Derby field now? Be sure to follow TheLines’ Kentucky Derby odds throughout the week.

Here we will look at how big the Kentucky Derby field is as well as betting information on the race.

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How many horses are in the Kentucky Derby field now?

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The Derby field is restricted to 20 runners, and it’s considered on the larger side. But there have been multiple scratches ahead of Saturday’s race. So how many horses are in the Kentucky Derby field now? As of Saturday morning there are 18.

There are 18 horses in the Kentucky Derby field.

The Kentucky Oaks, which also takes place at Churchill Downs, only has 14 horses.

When the Preakness Stakes field is announced later this month, there will be a maximum of 14 horses. There are times when the field will be smaller. The 2022 race, for example, only had nine horses. Derby winner Rich Strike did not enter the race.

The Belmont Stakes has a cap of 12 horses, but the field is typically smaller. Only eight horses competed in the 2022 race.

Only this year’s Kentucky Derby field has been announced so far.

Why was Forte scratched?

There was worry that Forte might be a late scratch after a Thursday workout that saw him step awkwardly. After Forte’s Saturday morning workout, trainer Todd Pletcher, owner Mike Repole and a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarian made the decision to pull the horse.

Forte had been the favorite for weeks and had odds of 3-1 as of Saturday morning. The colt was slated to run out of the 15 post.

Kentucky Derby Odds

Here is the updated Kentucky Derby field along with their trainer, jockey and odds.

Post Position NumberHorse NameKentucky Derby OddsMorning Line OddsClosing Line OddsTrainerJockey
1.Hit Show25-130-124-1Brad CoxManny Franco
2. Verifying15-115-114-1Brad CoxTyler Gaffalione
3. Two Phil’s8-112-19-1Larry RivelliJareth Loveberry
4. Confidence Game17-120-121-1Keith DesormeauxJames Graham
5.Tapit Trice9-25-19-2Todd PletcherLuis Saez
6.Kingsbarns10-112-111-1Todd PletcherJose Ortiz
7.Reincarnate13-150-114-1Tim YakteenJohn Velazquez
8. Mage17-115-115-1Gustavo DelgadoJavier Castellano
9.SkinnerSCRSCRSCRJohn ShirreffsJuan Hernandez
10.Practical MoveSCRSCRSCRTim YakteenRamon Vazquez
11.Disarm24-130-127-1Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario
12.Jace’s Road31-150-133-1Brad CoxFlorent Geroux
13.Sun Thunder30-150-133-1Kenny McPeekBrian Hernandez Jr.
14.Angel of Empire4-18-14-1Brad CoxFlavien Prat
15.ForteSCR3-1SCRTodd PletcherIrad Ortiz Jr.
16.Raise Cain31-150-133-1Ben ColebrookGerardo Corrales
17.Derma Sotogake8-110-17-1Hidetaka OtonashiChristophe Lemaire
18.Rocket Can27-130-128-1Bill MottJunior Alvarado
19.Lord MilesSCRSCRSCRSaffie Joseph Jr.Paco Lopez
20.ContinuarSCRSCRSCRYoshito YahagiRyusei Sakai
21.Cyclone Mischief29-130-129-1Dale RomansTBA
22.Mandarin Hero20-120-117-1Terunobu FujitaKazushi Kimura
23. King Russell31-150-132-1Ron MoquettRafael Bejarano

Which horses are the 2023 Kentucky Derby favorites?

The table above shows Tapit Trice, 5-1 and Angel of Empire, 8-1., as the favorites. The big longshots include Raise Cain and Jace’s Road, who both had 50-1 odds on the morning line.

Horse bettors will look at Beyer Speed Figures (BSF), considered one of the most useful handicapping tools.

How To Bet The Kentucky Derby From Home

Betting on the 2023 Kentucky Derby field does not require making a trip to Churchill Downs. There are numerous betting options available using the FanDuel Racing app.

What Happens If A Horse Is Scratched From Kentucky Derby Field?

It turns out the 2023 Kentucky Derby provides a perfect example of how such a scenario plays out. As of Saturday morning, five of the horses announced during Monday afternoon’s Kentucky Derby draw have been scratched. The reasons behind late scratches range from illness to lack of fitness for the long Kentucky Derby course. The five horses scratched from the 2023 race are:

  • Forte
  • Skinner
  • Continuar
  • Practical Move
  • Lord Miles

This means the three additional horses eligible for the 2023 Kentucky Derby field are now officially entered into what will be a 18 horse field. These horses are:

  • Cyclone Mischief
  • Mandarin Hero
  • King Russell

Since there are only three horses on the replacement list, the Kentucky Derby field will shrink following any additional scratches.

The 2022 Run For The Roses serves as another great example of what can happen following a scratch. Rich Strike was announced as a Friday replacement for Ethereal Road. Rich Strike, with 80-1 odds, made national headlines by winning the race as the second biggest longshot in Kentucky Derby history. Donerail, the 1913 winner with 91-1 odds, still holds the top spot.

How to watch The 149th Run for the Roses

NBC Sports will begin its 7.5 hours of Kentucky Derby coverage noon ET on Saturday. The live coverage across NBC and Peacock will include nine races live from Churchill Downs.

NBC Sports coverage of the 149th Kentucky Derby will include host Mike Tirico along with analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss.

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