Skinner, Continuar Among 4 Kentucky Derby Scratches: How Did Odds React?

Written By Brett Gibbons on May 5, 2023
Kentucky Derby scratches

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.

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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.

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.

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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 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
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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons