The Road to the Kentucky Derby doesn’t just reveal horses that have a better chance to win than initially thought, but it can also expose other horses’ weaknesses. Giant Mischief (43-1) was a middle-of-the pack option in the 2023 Kentucky Derby odds, but appears to be running in the wrong direction after his last outing. In the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn at the end of February, he faded to a sixth place finish after going into the final straightaway in second. Confidence Game (99-1), another one of the 2023 Kentucky Derby contenders, saw his stock go up after winning at Rebel, as did Red Route One (58-1) who finished second. 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. The biggest field he ran in as a two-year-old was at the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes, where he broke from a favorable position on the seventh post.
Even in that race, he had to find a path from the outside-in on the final stretch through a four-wide group. On the longer track at Churchill Downs, too much time spent on the outside or in the pack coming out of the second turn could be problematic. The 2023 Kentucky Derby field doesn’t look overly pacey, which only serves to clog passing lanes. 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. Racing fans and bettors got a long look at Blazing Sevens going head-to-head with early Kentucky Derby favorite Forte at the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
The two met previously at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year, when Blazing Sevens finished in fourth but ran a better race than his results implied after having to recover from an early bump out of the break. That was also his first two-turn race and should speak to how resourceful he can be in such a format. Blazing Sevens’ win at the Champagne Stakes was completed on a wet and sloppy track and while he doesn’t have a pristine resume of wins, he has shown he can battle through adverse conditions in a big race. 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.