The first leg of the Triple Crown is here, with the 2023 Kentucky Derby set for 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday evening. Tapit Trice has rattled off four straight victories and is one of the co-favorites at 9-2 on the 2023 Kentucky odds board, joining Angel of Empire. Morning-line favorite Forte scratched Saturday morning due to injury concerns. The other 2023 Kentucky Derby contenders getting single-digit odds leading up to post time include Derma Sotogake (7-1), Two Phil's (7-1) and Kingsbarns (9-1).
In addition to Forte, four other horses scratched from the 2023 Kentucky Derby field throughout the course of the week, leaving room for some alternates to make noise. Rich Strike took advantage of his opportunity as an 80-1 longshot last year, so should you be targeting any of this year's longshots with your 2023 Kentucky Derby bets? With a wide-open 18-horse field set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you'll want to see what racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2023 Kentucky Derby picks.
A member of the Beyer Speed Figure-making team who is based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir is a two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. He has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014.
Last year, he was red-hot in the Triple Crown prep races, hitting the superfecta in the Blue Grass Stakes for $1,678 and exactas in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby. He also hit the 19-1 winner of the Man o' War Stakes, the trifecta in the Pegasus World Cup, the superfecta in the Met Mile and multiple Pick 4s, including May 14's at Belmont for $1,851.
Five weeks ago, he hit the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park for $641 and the exacta in the Florida Derby. Three weeks ago, he nailed the Pick 5 at Keeneland and the exacta in the Lexington Stakes.
Now, he has handicapped the 2023 Kentucky Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them at SportsLine.
Top 2023 Kentucky Derby betting strategy
One surprise: Weir is fading Tapit Trice, even though he is a co-favorite at 9-2. The 3-year-old colt has three wins in three starts this year, but his tendency to start slow and break late could be detrimental in a big race like the Kentucky Derby 2023. He was able to win the Blue Grass Stakes by a neck after breaking earlier than usual, but the expert still doesn't see that translating to a Derby victory.
"This long-striding gray colt made a step forward in the Blue Grass Stakes both on the speed figure scale and his ability to get into the race earlier than he did in the Tampa Bay Derby. However, he still looks like a grind-it-down horse who may prove to be better suited for the Belmont than the Derby," Weir told SportsLine. See which other horses to avoid here.
Another curveball: Weir is high on Verifying, even though he is a 16-1 longshot. Verifying made his debut last August at Saratoga, leading at every call in a six-furlong maiden special weight. He jumped to the graded stakes when he finished second in the Champagne S. (G1) at Aqueduct in October.
Verifying is the son of Justify, who won the Triple Crown in 2018, so pedigree is not an issue heading into Saturday's showdown. He was purchased for $775,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, with expectations remaining high for him since then. Weir sees Verifying as a value bet for the 2023 Kentucky Derby, especially following some recent withdrawals from the field. See which other horses to use here.
How to evaluate 2023 Kentucky Derby horses
Moreover, Weir's top pick is an overlooked horse who "could end up with a perfect stalking trip." Weir is including this horses in his 2023 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Kentucky Derby? What longshot is a must-back? And how has Weir constructed his wagers? Check out the latest Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from a top horse racing champion and insider.
2023 Kentucky Derby odds, lineup, horses, field, picks
|Tapit Trice||9-2||5||SEE PICKS|
|Angel of Empire||9-2||14||SEE PICKS|
|Derma Sotogake||7-1||20||SEE PICKS|
|Two Phil's||7-1||3||SEE PICKS|
|Confidence Game||17-1||4||SEE PICKS|
|Mandarin Hero||21-1||22||SEE PICKS|
|Hit Show||26-1||1||SEE PICKS|
|Rocket Can||27-1||18||SEE PICKS|
|Raise Cain||30-1||16||SEE PICKS|
|Sun Thunder||30-1||13||SEE PICKS|
|Cyclone Mischief||31-1||21||SEE PICKS|
|Jace's Road||32-1||12||SEE PICKS|
|King Russell||32-1||23||SEE PICKS|