We’re six weeks away from the 2023 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 6. There are five significant Kentucky Derby prep races around the world this weekend. Trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Todd Pletcher, Forte has already earned nearly $1.8 million in his career. He’s the 3-1 favorite in the 2023 Kentucky Derby odds, while Tapit Trice is at 8-1 and Practical Move is at 12-1 among the top 2023 Kentucky Derby contenders. Arabian Knight was 8-1 in the most recent 2023 Kentucky Derby futures, but the $2.3 million stallion’s training was shut down earlier this month. Before making any 2023 Kentucky Derby picks, be sure to see the horse racing predictions and futures bets from SportsLine’s elite horse racing expert Jody Demling.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the 2023 Kentucky Derby having nailed the winner of the Belmont Stakes four of the last fives years, including an exacta in 2022 with Mo Donegal and Nest. He also nailed Flightline’s win at the Breeders’ Cup Classic last November.
Demling is at his best in the biggest horse races in the world like the Kentucky Derby 2023. In fact, he has hit 10 of the last 14 Derby-Oaks doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both races all but four times in the last 14 years. He’s also called nine of the last 18 Preakness winners, keenly understanding when the Kentucky Derby winner was poised for victory or a massive upset, and nailed the 2022 Preakness trifecta. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.
Now, with the 2023 Kentucky Derby futures already on the board, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions over at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
One of Demling’s surprising 2023 Kentucky Derby picks: He is fading Forte, saying the favorite doesn’t even crack the top five. Forte is the most accomplished three-year-old in the country thus far with five wins in six career starts and four graded-stakes victories already to his name. However, he’ll face his biggest hurdle thus far early next month at the Florida Derby and the stakes will raise again at Churchill Downs in May.
Forte is a son of Violence, who won a pair of graded stakes races in 2012 and 2013, but one of those victories came on a synthetic surface and he also only ran four times in his career. His mother, Queen Caroline, ran 10 times in her career, but only captured one victory on turf, so pedigree could be a question. Forte’s career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98 only ranks fifth among three-year-olds this season, so Demling questions the 3-1 figure at this stage of the process. See which other 2023 Kentucky Derby horses to avoid at SportsLine.
Another stunner: Demling is high on Blazing Sevens, even though he’s a 66-1 longshot. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. The Champagne Stakes winner and fourth-place finisher in a loaded Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field last November made his three-year-old debut earlier this month at the Fountain of Youth Stakes and finished a disappointing eighth in a race where he was never a factor.
However, trainer Chad Brown has lined up one more shot to qualify for the Kentucky Derby 2023. Blazing Sevens will run again in the Wood Memorial on April 4 and Brown’s tactical decision to skip the Gotham Stakes (which he blames for his poor showing at Gulfstream Park) was with the Wood in mind. Brown says you should draw a line through his Fountain of Youth performance and expect better from the son of Good Magic, a three-time Grade I winner and the 2018 Kentucky Derby runner-up. See which other horses to back at SportsLine.
Demling is especially high on an even bigger longshot who has “a lot of room to improve,” and could make a serious charge at Churchill Downs. Anyone who backs this horse could hit it big. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over at SportsLine.
Which horse wins the Kentucky Derby 2023? And which huge underdog is a must-back? Check out the latest 2023 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who nailed 10 Derby-Oaks doubles.
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