For the 149th time, 20 horses will line up at the starting gates of Churchill Downs on May 6, 2023. Join millions of people around the world by tuning in to watch “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. The fastest horses in the world compete for the most prestigious title in horse racing: Kentucky Derby champion.
If you’re not among the 155,000 people cheering the horses on from the stands, keep reading for all the information you need to watch the action on live TV.
What is the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby is the nation’s most prestigious and most attended horse race. Affectionately known as “The Run for the Roses” for the rose garland draped over the winning horse, the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Started in 1875, the 10 furlong, or 1 1/4-mile, race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses is the longest continually-held major sporting event in North America.
The Derby offers a unique mix of sport, fashion, and entertainment, drawing crowds worldwide. It is especially popular among high-profile guests, including the horse-racing elite, actors, athletes, and politicians, all vying to see and be seen.
A busy week of festivities precedes the Kentucky Derby. The week kicks off with opening night entertainment on Saturday, April 29, followed by horse races and special events each day, including Thursday’s Taste of the Derby and Friday’s Kentucky Oaks, a historic horse race for fillies.
The week culminates with the running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at 6:57 PM. The winning horse and team are celebrated in the winner’s circle with $1.86 million, a garland of over 400 roses, and a 14-karat gold trophy.
2023 Kentucky Derby : Updates
The winner of the 2023 Kentucky Derby was Mage. While the horse is clearly a top performer, the odds were 15-1 for its success at the derby. It was an upset few saw coming as Mage was not a top contender for the coveted Garland of Roses. It was the first derby win for the Venezuelan duo of trainer/co-owner Gustavo Delgado and Javier Castellano, Mage’s Hall of Fame rider. Second place went to Two Phil’s with Angel of Empire taking third, despite it being the favorite at race time following Forte’s withdrawal.
Official Finish Order :
2. Two Phil’s
3. Angel of Empire
5. Hit Show
6. Derma Sotogake
7. Tapit Trice
8. Raise Cain
9. Rocket Can
10. Confidence Game
11. Sun Thunder
12. Mandarin Hero
15. King Russell
17. Jace’s Road
18. Cyclone Mischief
Scratched: Practical Move, Continuar, Lord Miles, Skinner, Forte.
2023 Lineup of Horses and Assigned Jockey
The Kentucky Derby contenders earn qualifying points throughout designated races leading up to the big event. This lead-up is known as the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The top 20 in the standings at the end of the series earn their spot in the Derby. Although the horses are seeded based on their qualifying points, the gate positions are randomly assigned on the Monday before the run.
Here are the 20 contenders for this year’s race:
- Forte – Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- Practical Move – Ramon Vazquez
- Angel of Empire – Flavien Prat
- Tapit Trice – Luis Saez
- Two Phil’s – Jareth Loveberry
- Lord Miles – Paco Lopez
- Derma Sotogake (JPN) – Christophe Lemaire
- Kingsbarns – Flavien Prat
- Raise Cain – Jose Lezcano
- Rocket Can – Junior Alvarado
- Hit Show – Manny Franco
- Confidence Game – James Graham
- Verifying – Tyler Gaffalione
- Sun Thunder – Brian Hernandez, Jr.
- Wild On Ice – Ken Tohill
- Mage – Luis Saez
- Blazing Sevens – Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- Reincarnate – John R. Velazquez
- Jace’s Road – Florent Geroux
- Continuar (JPN) – Ryusei Sakai
These are the top 5 “also-eligible” horses available to enter the race if one of the horses in the field is scratched before the race begins:
- Skinner – Victor Espinoza
- Cyclone Mischief – Javier Castellano
- Major Dude – Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- Mandarin Hero (JPN) – Kazushi Kimuri
- King Russell – Rafael Bejarano
Jockey assignments are officially announced a few days prior to the Derby. The lists above indicate the riders as of the publish date of this article.
Past Six Winning Horses of the Kentucky Derby
Below is the list of the last six winning horses and jockeys.
- 2022: Rich Strike – Sonny Leon
- 2021: Mandaloun – Florent Geroux
- 2020: Authentic – John Velazquez
- 2019: Country House – Flavien Prat
- 2018: Justify – Mike Smith
- 2017: Always Dreaming – John Velazquez
Top Stories Ahead of the Kentucky Derby 2023
Aside from being dubbed the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby is an event steeped in tradition. As with every preceding Derby, this year’s running will surely offer thrills and excitement for fans and horse racing enthusiasts. Here are some of the stories and traditions to watch during the Derby.
With so many factors affecting a horse race, such as the weather, jockey, track conditions, and the horse’s health, picking the winner is extremely difficult. Based on today’s odds, Forte is the favorite at 7-2, having won the last five of his races. Angel of Empire is the second favorite at 8-1 and Practical Move rounds out the top three with 10-1 odds.
But anything can happen at the Kentucky Derby! Rich Strike stunned the world by winning last year’s Derby as an 80-1 underdog after earning a slot just 24 hours before the race due to a scratch.
Will the winner of the Derby go on to win the Triple Crown? A Triple Crown winner is a horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in a single season. In 148 Derbies, there have been just 13 Triple Crown winners, with the last taking the crown in 2018. Notable wins include:
- 2018: Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, the oldest jockey (at 52) to win the Triple Crown.
- 2015: American Pharoah, who became the first horse in history to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing by winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
- 1973: Secretariat, considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time, set a course record at each of the events.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most bet-on sporting events of the entire year, and pari-mutuel betting is an integral part as it’s the default betting system for horse racing. This system is unlike fixed-odds betting, which is common for most sports. Pari-mutuel betting can be thought of in terms similar to stock transactions, in that buying a ticket on your favorite horse is like buying a share in its race performance.
Fans hoping to strike it rich can place bets on their favorite horses at the race track, in Las Vegas, online, or through off-track betting locations. Betting odds change quickly and often up until post-time of the race, and payouts are calculated according to the odds when the betting closes.
Rich Strike’s 80-1 odds to win the 148th running made him the biggest longshot since 1913.The victory paid \$163.60 to “win” on a \$2 bet.
Live race day odds are available on kentuckyderby.com.
Mint Juleps and Fancy Hats
The Kentucky Derby wouldn’t be the same without its iconic mint juleps and over-the-top hats. In 1939, the mint julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and now nearly 120,000 are served to patrons each year. The sweet cocktail is made with bourbon (another Kentucky staple), mint leaves, and simple syrup.
Women began wearing extravagant hats as part of their race day attire in the 1960s. Legend has it hats bring good luck to the horses, and the larger the hat, the more luck. Look for colorful, elaborate hats adding to the glamor and excitement of the race.
When & Where to Watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby
Viewers are treated to all-day comprehensive race coverage beginning at noon ET on May 6, highlighting everything from horses to fashion, jockeys, racing history, and more. The Kentucky Derby is available to virtually everyone, with the sporting event broadcast live on NBC.
In addition, viewers can watch online on Peacock, NBCSports.com, and the NBC app. Friday’s Kentucky Oaks will air on the USA Network and Peacock.
|Date||Event||Time||How to Watch|
|May 5||Kentucky Oaks||1 PM – 6 PM ET||TV: USA Network|
Streaming: Peacock & NBCSports.com
|May 6||Kentucky Derby||12 PM – 2:30 PM ET||Streaming only on Peacock & NBCSports.com|
|2:30 PM – 7:30 PM ET|
Post-time is estimated to be 6:57 PM
Streaming: Peacock & NBCSports.com
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