Well, things got complicated in a hurry. The number of Kentucky Derby scratches sits at four and two additional changes, including late ones from Thursday and Friday. Leading the crowd to withdraw includes Practical Move, Lord Miles, Blazing Sevens, Continuar (JPN), and Skinner. Wild On Ice also suffered a training injury and was tragically euthanized, making him a sixth change to the probable field. Practical Move and Skinner were both contenders to hit the podium at this race while Continuar was set to be the first international invitee in the Run for the Roses.
In their places, we now have Jace’s Road, Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hero (JPN), and King Russell. Given that all of the eligible horses have been cycled through the field, only 19 horses will run on Saturday.
How did Kentucky Derby odds react to such a stark re-shuffling of the Kentucky Derby field? Let’s take a look.
Kentucky Derby Odds React To Scratches
Blazing Sevens was the first change, having defected from the probables before arriving at Churchill Downs. Practical Move and Skinner each withdrew due to elevated temperatures. Continuar’s team believed the colt wasn’t in shape enough to run the Derby.
Lord Miles was forced to withdraw due to a pending investigation into trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who was also the trainer for Wild On Ice. Joseph has been suspended from horse racing in the meantime.
Morning line odds opened for every eligible horse, meaning we already have numbers for the fill-ins. Unsurprisingly, all of the latest additions are longshots:
King Russell replaces Sun Thunder and Raise Cain as the longest shots in the Derby at 55-1. The latter two opened at 50-1, but their odds have been on the march. As of Friday at 11:00 a.m. ET, Sun Thunder’s odds sunk to 26-1 and Raise Cain’s 34-1; Raise Cain remains the longest shot from the original field of 20.
- What time does the Kentucky Derby start? Click this link to stay up to date on the Run for the Roses schedule.
The Favorites Get Shorter
While Derby favorite Forte (3-1 opening) saw his odds grow to 5-1, Angel of Empire, Tapit Trice, and Two Phil’s saw theirs shorten considerably. Angel of Empire opened at 8-1, but the scratch from Practical Move opened the door for excited bettors; his odds are now down to 6-1. Tapit Trice’s shrunk all the way down to 5-1, now co-favorite with Forte, and Two Phil’s moves to 9-1.
While the bulk of the betting action won’t happen until Saturday – oftentimes minutes prior to post – betting trends are already emerging. Keep in mind, sharper bettors will wait until seconds before post to place their bet as to not tip other punters off to their moves. In horse racing, odds continue to move until gates open, meaning that odds can become seriously watered down should one horse take a lot of action.
Speculation surrounds Forte’s odds, who will likely take plenty of action prior to post.
- Follow TheLines on Twitter for full Kentucky Derby odds coverage.
What Happens If There’s More Kentucky Derby Scratches?
At this juncture, all eligible horses have been entered into the race. After Skinner scratched late Friday morning, the field shrunk to 19. No additional horses can be added at this time, meaning further scratches will continue to shrink the field.
2023 Kentucky Derby Odds
The odds table below reflects and will continue to reflect changes in both the odds and Kentucky Derby participants.
|Post Position Number||Horse Name||Kentucky Derby Odds||Morning Line Odds||Closing Line Odds||Trainer||Jockey|
|1.||Hit Show||25-1||30-1||24-1||Brad Cox||Manny Franco|
|2.||Verifying||15-1||15-1||14-1||Brad Cox||Tyler Gaffalione|
|3.||Two Phil's||8-1||12-1||9-1||Larry Rivelli||Jareth Loveberry|
|4.||Confidence Game||17-1||20-1||21-1||Keith Desormeaux||James Graham|
|5.||Tapit Trice||9-2||5-1||9-2||Todd Pletcher||Luis Saez|
|6.||Kingsbarns||10-1||12-1||11-1||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz|
|7.||Reincarnate||13-1||50-1||14-1||Tim Yakteen||John Velazquez|
|8.||Mage||17-1||15-1||15-1||Gustavo Delgado||Javier Castellano|
|9.||Skinner||SCR||SCR||SCR||John Shirreffs||Juan Hernandez|
|10.||Practical Move||SCR||SCR||SCR||Tim Yakteen||Ramon Vazquez|
|11.||Disarm||24-1||30-1||27-1||Steve Asmussen||Joel Rosario|
|12.||Jace's Road||31-1||50-1||33-1||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux|
|13.||Sun Thunder||30-1||50-1||33-1||Kenny McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr.|
|14.||Angel of Empire||4-1||8-1||4-1||Brad Cox||Flavien Prat|
|15.||Forte||SCR||3-1||SCR||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|16.||Raise Cain||31-1||50-1||33-1||Ben Colebrook||Gerardo Corrales|
|17.||Derma Sotogake||8-1||10-1||7-1||Hidetaka Otonashi||Christophe Lemaire|
|18.||Rocket Can||27-1||30-1||28-1||Bill Mott||Junior Alvarado|
|19.||Lord Miles||SCR||SCR||SCR||Saffie Joseph Jr.||Paco Lopez|
|20.||Continuar||SCR||SCR||SCR||Yoshito Yahagi||Ryusei Sakai|
|21.||Cyclone Mischief||29-1||30-1||29-1||Dale Romans||TBA|
|22.||Mandarin Hero||20-1||20-1||17-1||Terunobu Fujita||Kazushi Kimura|
|23.||King Russell||31-1||50-1||32-1||Ron Moquett||Rafael Bejarano|