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Kentucky Derby Picks – Pletcher may still be well-stocked in Louisville

BetOnline patrons have seen that it has been a bizarre and dramatic week at Churchill Downs. Two horses died, and the trainer Saffie Joseph, who believes he’s been “scapegoated,” got suspended after those two horses perished. And the entrant he trains, Lord Miles, is out of the Kentucky Derby as a result. 

We had other scratches, but none of them had as much of an impact as that of Forte, who was being boosted not only as the Kentucky Derby favorite but also a possibility for the Triple Crown. 

Some observers have leveled great criticism at Pletcher for being disingenuous about Forte, who was seen stumbling during a session. He denied there was any problem. But it was called a left-foot cruise. Scratching the horse really wasn’t Pletcher’s decision. That was made by the racing commission in Kentucky, and Pletcher was apparently very upset.

Forte is not necessarily head and shoulders above the field, but he’s got the best credentials. A winner of six out of seven races, he’s got a five-race winning streak, and four of those were Grade 1 victories. He closed like a monster to win the Florida Derby, beating out the inexperienced Mage. Naturally, he had won more money than any other contender in the race, keeping the enthusiasm at par on major horse racing betting sites.

That scratch leaves us with a field that is a little more wide-open, but there is no doubt that Pletcher is still in a position to win this race. That’s because he will be saddling up Tapit Trice, son of the great sire Tapit, who might be considered the most consistent horse in the field. 

On top of that, he’s got Kingsbarns, who won the Louisiana Derby, going away in only his third start. Kingsbarns did not race as a two-year-old, so that would be one factor going against him. Great things had been expected out of his sire, Uncle Mo. Tapit is one of his grandsires. 

Here’s a look at the Kentucky Derby odds posted at BetOnline in the wake of Forte’s exit: 

Kentucky Derby 2023


Angel of Empire 400


Tapit Trice 500


Derma Sotogake



Two Phil’s






Mage 1400




22 Mandarin Hero



Confidence Game






Hit Show






Cyclone Mischief



King Russell 4000


Raise Cain



Sun Thunder



Jace’s Road



Rocket Can


We’ll say up front that we like Tapit Trice to win because we think he can get the distance easily. He has the speed and the closing kick. From what we’ve seen, that’s a BIG closing kick, as he was eighth in the stretch of the Tampa Bay Derby and rolled him to win, albeit against a Grade 3 field. But we like some other horses too. 

Kingsbarns is one of them, and we have talked about him. Another colt has only three starts and never raced as a two-year-old. Mage was a big disappointment in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream but bounced back a month later to engage in a duel with Forte in the Florida Derby, having come on like a locomotive to take the lead into the stretch before falling to the Pletcher charge by a single length.

But if that outing proved anything, it’s that Mage has the native ability to run the best. Whether that means a lot in a congested field like the Kentucky Derby offers depends on how he is positioned by jockey Javier Castellano, who is trying for the umpteenth time to win the Derby. Many handicappers will write Mage off because of his inactivity as a two-year-old. But seriously, at this price, you can’t ignore him. Use him somewhere. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to wager on the Kentucky Derby and other races through BetOnline’s racebook, and while you’re at it, be sure to browse the unique props available in their sportsbook! Enter their “First and Last” contest for a chance to win a substantial sum of money. With various cryptocurrency options and credit card payments accepted, joining BetOnline is easy. Don’t let yourself get left behind at the starting gate!

Maxine Klingensmith

Maxine holds a bachelor degree in journalism, and she has worked as a freelance writer with foremost publications. Recently, Maxine has joined our team as a news editor. As she is passionate for casino and gambling industry, she conventionally contributes the latest news and reviews for casinos.

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