The 2023 Kentucky Derby might be two months away, but prep season is heating up. Confidence Game scored a win as an 18-1 long shot in the Rebel Stakes and now has 57 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby 2023, which takes place on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs. Brad Cox’s Angel of Empire and Todd Pletcher’s Forte both have at least 40 points in the 2023 Kentucky Derby prep races. The 2023 Kentucky Derby futures are shifting, Forte the 8-1 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite. 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.
Top 2023 Kentucky Derby predictions
One of Demling’s surprising 2023 Kentucky Derby picks: He is fading Forte, saying the favorite doesn’t even crack the top five. Few horses have as convincing of a resume as Forte, who has looked dominant in his last two races and won his last three overall. However, the Kentucky Derby track is a longer one than he has been accustomed to, and Forte’s bloodline suggests he is better equipped to sprint than sustain.
Forte’s closest victory also came at Keeneland in the biggest field he’s raced against, but those margins only stand to get slimmer in an even larger field expected in the Kentucky Derby 2023. Forte has consistently been able to run out of three- and four-wide groups, but hasn’t been pressed to win from an outside position. Although Forte’s results have been impressive, he hasn’t faced enough adversity in a longer format to slot in as one of Demling’s top choices. See which other 2023 Kentucky Derby horses to avoid at SportsLine.
Another stunner: Demling is high on Blazing Sevens, even though he’s a 27-1 longshot. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. The three-year-old colt is trained by Chad Brown and owned by Rodeo Creek Racing. He’s already earned $411,000 in four career starts, winning the Champagne Stakes and a maiden race at Saratoga last summer while finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and third in the Hopeful Stakes.
Blazing Sevens was sired by 2018 Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic, who was fourth in the Preakness Stakes and won the 2018 Haskell. Good Magic was sired by the legendary Curlin, the 2007 Preakness Stakes winner. Blazing Sevens is currently 18th in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 16 points. See which other horses to back at SportsLine.
How to make 2023 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
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.