2023 Kentucky Derby Odds: Examining Final Fractions Theory

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 5, 2023
Kentucky Derby Final Fractions

Bettors are inching closer to one of the most popular sports wagering events on the calendar — the 149th Run for the Roses. A metric that many of them employ for their Kentucky Derby odds prep is the Final Fractions Theory. Let’s break down the figures behind this concept and which horses stand out for it.

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Kentucky Derby Final Fractions For The Field

The Final Fractions Theory would not have existed without Jennie Rees, a former Louisville turf writer and publicist. It answers the question: how fast did the horse finish their most recent race? A horse’s last prep race of at least 1 1/8 miles is considered instrumental towards whether or not he’ll flourish at 1 1/4 miles in the Kentucky Derby. The same notion goes for his last three furlong times.

In order to meet the mark of the Final Fractions Theory, horses must deliver their final furlong in 13.0 seconds or less, or their final three furlongs in 38.0 seconds or fewer.

In fact, 28 of the previous 32 Kentucky Derby winners have met this criteria, including 11 of the last 12 victors. The only exception during the latter timeframe occurred in 2021, as Mandaloun was crowned the Derby champion after Medina Spirit’s failed post-race drug test. But for wagering purposes, Medina Spirit tickets were the ones that cashed on Derby Day.

Last go-around, Rich Strike came through at 80-1 odds. He wasn’t even eligible for the Derby before finishing 5¾ lengths behind Tiz the Bomb in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, tallying the 20 points necessary to qualify for the Run for the Roses.

2023 Kentucky Derby Odds

Below are the final and last three furlong times from each horse’s most recent prep race — juxtaposed with the latest Kentucky Derby odds (as of Thursday). Some advance deposit wagering platforms, such as FanDuel Racing, will have wagering available before Saturday.

The morning line is an estimation of what public bettors will likely wager come post time of the given race. More often than not, these prices are available two or three days before a race. Nevertheless, Churchill Downs has made it their practice to release the Kentucky morning-line odds at the post position draw on Monday.

Related: What Is An Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta In Horse Racing Betting?

Post/NumberHorseOddsLast 1fLast 3f
1Hit Show30-113.037.9
3Two Phil's12-112.336.7
4Confidence Game20-1*13.0 (1 1/16 miles)37.9
5Tapit Trice5-112.437.2
10Practical MoveSCR13.037.3
12Jace's Road50-112.437.4
13Sun Thunder50-112.838.0
14Angel Of Empire8-112.136.8
16Raise Cain50-112.537.9
17Derma Sotogake10-112.537.5
18Rocket Can30-112.537.9
19Lord MilesSCR13.037.9
21Cyclone Mischief30-113.638.6
22Mandarin Hero20-112.837.1
23King Russell50-112.337.4

Applying Final Fraction Theory

After the 2022 Derby saw eight horses run both their final furlong and final three furlong in the necessary span, this year’s crop of eligible thoroughbreds is not quite an exclusive club. In total, 19 of them to have accomplished this feat.

But digging a bit further, Derma Sotogake, Kingsbarns, Disarm, and Jace’s Road all produced their results via 1 3/16 miles — slightly closer to the Derby’s length. Maybe this factor won’t manufacture any significance. If you’re looking for another factor to consider for exotics, though, it may do the trick.

Jace’s Road owns the juiciest odds (36-1) from this tier for the Kentucky Derby and the Final Fractions Theory. Forte, priced at 3-1, remains the clear-cut favorite.

Like any other betting market, horse racing bettors will perceive Kentucky Derby odds through dissimilar lenses. Since 2000, the favorite has won 10 times. However, a pair of the three biggest Derby longshots came in first over the last four races. The aforementioned Rich Strike paid out $163.90 off a standard $2 outright wager.

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