Way Too Early Odds for the 2023 Kentucky Derby

  • The Kentucky Derby’s is set to take place on May 6.
  • Arabian Knight is currently the relatively heavy favorite at +550 odds.
  • Forte at +900 appears to be a nice value due to jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.’s impressive record

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby’s 149th consecutive race has begun creating odds for well over 100 horses. Only two horses sport odds shorter than +1000 being Arabian Knight (+550) and Forte (+900).

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race, meaning it is in the top level of racing and features most of the best horses that are three-year-old thoroughbreds. Online betting sites have given the vast majority of horses odds with about two months to go until the race.

Top 5 Kentucky Derby Horse Odds

  • Arabian Knight +550
  • Forte +900
  • Cave Rock +1400
  • Tapit Trice +1400
  • Faustin +1600

Arabian Knight’s Impressive Year

Arabian Knight opens up as the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at +550 odds. Recent workouts for AK have showcased the horse’s great speed, with two out of three 5F times clocking under a minute during the last 60 days. However, all of these results have been handily, meaning the horse is being worked at a more intense pace than if they were breezing.

In AK’s only race within 2023, he performed very impressively, finishing in first and earning $458,250 in a Grade 3 stakes race. Helping boost the odds is jockey John R. Velazquez, who won four Grade I stakes races in 2022 and has consistently finished in the top five in races similar to the KY Derby.

Arabian Knight also has an extremely impressive top speed, registering a 105-speed figure in his only 2022 race, which dwarfed the second-place finisher’s 92. His second race registered a 97, beating out second place by a solid seven units.

AK is expected to participate in one more race this year before the Kentucky Derby, likely being the Santa Anita Derby or the Arkansas Derby. The results of this race will be crucial to how AK’s odds will move in the coming months, as the race would be the first Grade I of his young career.

At +550 odds to win the whole thing, Arabian Knights is a strong bet given how great he has performed in his few races while also having plenty of time off before a potentially strong showing at his first Grade I race.

Forte’s Phenomenal 2022 Offers Value

While most of the coverage on Arabian Knights has him pinned as the favorite, Forte comes in at second with +900 odds, which may be a great value given past race results.

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Forte has had a great career so far, posting four first place finishes in just five starts. Even more impressive is that three of these first-place finishes were in Grade I stakes races.

In terms of workout times, Forte has posted three straight 5F times less than one minute and four seconds. This may not sound as impressive when compared to AK, but it is very important to acknowledge that these times were breezing, meaning the horse is running at a moderate speed without significant input from the trainer and still finished just a few seconds behind AK’s handily pace.

Forte’s jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr. is absolutely incredible. In 2022, he posted a mind-boggling 20 first place finishes in Grade I stakes races. He is following this up in 2023 with five Grade 3 stake race wins and one Grade I win in January.

While Forte has not hit the track in 2023 yet, his next opportunity is a Grade 2 race this Saturday at the Fountain of Youth Stakes event. A win in this race could mean a huge shift in odds that may even catapult Forte to challenge Arabian Knights for the Kentucky Derby favorite.

Overall, with an extremely talented jockey, great showings in 2022, and inspiring workout times, Forte seems to be undervalued and could make this a prime spot to take the +900 odds set by online horse betting sites before they move following his next race.