Derby Day is upon us and there have now been a number of changes to the field leading up to this year’s Run for the Roses. We’ll fill you in here on all the late scratches and ponies that are replacing them, as well as lay out seven different ways to bet on the Kentucky Derby without breaking the bank, for $20 or less.
For those who are new to online horse betting in New York, you’re also in for a great deal from the FanDuel Racing app.
Coverage begins at noon ET on NBC Sports with the Kentucky Derby post time set for 6:57 p.m. ET.
One great thing about the “fastest two minutes in sports” is the large field of now 18 horses, which can set up for inexplicable surprises and upsets, meaning some potential high-paying tickets if you play it right (and some of your longer shots come in). While these picks are in no way guaranteed, they are how this horse handicapper will be approaching the 2023 Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby late scratches and new entries (latest updates)
With the final Derby-day scratch of morning line favorite Forte, there have now been a total of five horses scratched from this year’s Derby. Here’s a brief rundown of the essential information around the scratches, which brings the Kentucky Derby field to a total of 18 (one of the scratches missed the deadline for an also-eligible to replace it).
- Practical Move (morning line odds of 10-1) scratched Thursday morning due to a fever. Replaced by Cyclone Mischief (in post 16).
- Lord Miles scratched on Thursday afternoon due to trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s indefinite suspension from Churchill Downs by the Kentucky horse racing commission. The suspension comes amid investigations into the deaths of two Joseph Jr.-trained horses at Churchill Downs this past week. Mandarin Hero takes over in the 17 post position for trainer Hiroaki Arai’s first-ever Derby entry.
- Continuar scratched Thursday evening by trainer Yoshito Yahagi, who deemed his colt not physically ready. Yahagi said: “Considering the future of the horse and the fact that we cannot show the horse’s true ability in his current state, we have decided to scratch Continuar from the Kentucky Derby.” Taking his place in post 18 is King Russell.
- Scratching Friday morning was Skinner — like Practical Move, for an elevated temperature. Skinner was set for post position 9 and will not be replaced in the field due to missing the 9 a.m. cutoff for also-eligibles to enter.
- And finally, Forte had odds of 4-1 when it scratched just 10 hours ahead of the race, the official Kentucky Derby twitter account announced in a tweet.
FanDuel Racing app offering New York horse bettors a $20 ‘No Sweat’ Derby bet
How it works: FanDuel Racing customers can claim the $20 No Sweat bet offer by signing up for a new account and making a deposit.
- Log in or sign up to FanDuel Racing in New York.
- Place a win bet on a single horse in the Kentucky Derby.
- If it doesn’t win, get your $20 back in bonus bets you can use on another race.
Note that the offer is good on your first wager on the FanDuel Racing app and the bonus funds will be in your account within 24 hours.
The bonus dollars will expire on June 12, 2023 which gives customers an opportunity to use them on the Belmont and/or Preakness.
Seven ways to bet $20 or less on the Kentucky Derby
Here are seven potential ways to take advantage of the FanDuel Racing money back special.
I’m betting these boys with wins and exactas.
A win-place is a wager that your horse will come in first; a place wager is betting he will finish at least second. Note for the FanDuel Racing welcome offer, only the win bet portion of the wager will count toward the no sweat first bet.
Odds listed below were current as of 4:15 p.m. ET. Always check the updated odds on FanDuel Racing or TVG before you place your bets.
$20 to win on #14 Angel of Empire
Angel of Empire (9-2): Won the Arkansas Derby last. Best pony out there. As a favorite, I will play him straight with a big bet on him to win.
$20 to win on #6 Kingsbarn
Kingsbarn (10-1): Good pony. Hidden beneath the Pletcher war machine. Twelve to one are decent odds. Betting.
$10 to win and place on #2 Verifying ($20 total)
Verifying (15-1): Pretty good odds for a damn good horse.
Now for the longer shots
This is how I deal with longer shots: I always bet win-place. You like a pony, bet him win-place. Third place (show bets) are for schmucks.
$10 win-place on #12 Jace’s Road ($20 total)
Jace’s Road (30-1): Probably won’t win but who knows — Cox does amazing things sometimes.
$10 win-place on #1 Hit Show ($20 total)
Hit Show (25-1): If he doesn’t get buried in the one-hole, he’s a Cox-trained pony and has a chance.
Exacta and trifecta bets
Exactas are an “exotic bet” where you pick the first two horses. If you box your picks, you get all combinations but you pay for each combo. A $1 exacta box bet on two horses costs $2. The same bet with three horses costs $6 (six combos).
$2 Exacta Box with any 3 of the above horses ($12)
Six possible combinations of the first- and second-place horses. Mix in a long shot that pulls through for you and the payout potential climbs.
Trifecta boxes are fun. My bother in law, Gordon, loves tri-boxes. You pick three ponies in any order. A $1 tri-box with three horses runs you $6 ($1 for each of six combos). Add another horse and it jumps to $24 (a total of 24 combinations).
$2 Trifecta Box with any 3 of the above horses ($12)
For those looking for a longer shot bet with a chance at a bigger payout.
It’s Derby Day, the second most wonderful day of the year. Hold on to your bonnets and mint juleps and enjoy the race.