Kentucky Derby: When Is The Main Race, Who’s Favorited To Win The 2023 Run For The Roses & More

Grab a mint julep and a fancy hat because it's almost time for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby. Learn the odds, who's racing, and more.

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Image Credit: Mark Abraham/UPI/Shutterstock

  • The 149th Kentucky Derby will take place on May 6
  • The race takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The race times, odds, and what Patrick Mahomes is doing there can be found below.

For fans of horses, bourbon, and big hats, there’s nothing more exciting than The Kentucky Derby. Taking place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, the event dubbed “The Fastest Two Minutes In Sports” will see twenty horses race around the 1 ¼ track in the “Run for the Roses.” It’s an event attended by everyone from celebrities to locals to dignitaries of all sorts.

It’s also going to be a wild day. As of Wednesday (May 3), the forecast predicted a high of 71 and a low of 56, with a 60% chance of rain during the day. According to Horse Racing Nation, the coldest Kentucky Derby ever was May 4, 1940, at 36 degrees (which was just as cold on the race that ran May 4, 1957.) On the opposite side, the warmest temperature was 94 degrees on May 2, 1959.

(Mark Abraham/UPI/Shutterstock)

The 2022 running of the Kentucky Derby saw Rich Strike, ridden by Sonny Leon, win at 8-1 odds. The horse entered the race as a replacement after Ethereal Road was removed (“scratched,” as they say in horse racing) from the race for undisclosed reasons. The favorites for the race were Epicenter and Zandon, who finished behind Rich Strike. The win was the second-highest upset in Derby history. Only Donerail, who won the 1913 race, had worse odds – 91-1. Will the same happen again this year?

Who Is Racing In The Kentucky Derby?

The following horses (and their jockeys) are listed in order of post position (h/t ESPN)

  • Hit Show (Manny Franco)
  • Verifying (Tyler Gaffalione)
  • Two Phil’s (Jareth Loveberry)
  • Confidence Game (James Graham)
  • Tapit Trice (Luis Saez)
  • Kingsbarns (Jose Ortiz)
  • Reincarnate (John Velazquez)
  • Mage (Javier Castellano)
  • Skinner (Juan Hernandez)
  • Practical Move (Ramon Vazquez)
  • Disarm (Joel Rosario)
  • Jace’s Road (Florent Geroux)
  • Sun Thunder (Brian Hernandez Jr.)
  • Angel of Empire (Flavien Prat)
  • Forte (Irad Ortiz Jr.)
  • Raise Cain (Gerardo Corrales)
  • Derma Sotogake (Christophe Lemaire)
  • Rocket Can (Junior Alvardo)
  • Lord Miles (Paco Lopez)
  • Continuar (Ryusei Sakai)

Who Is Favored To Win The Kentucky Derby?

Be warned that the odds shift and can change up until race day. Horses can be sick. Riders could catch COVID. The weather could have an impact.

As of May 3, CBS Sports reports Forte is the odds-on favorite (3-1). Tapit Trice is second at 51- odds. Angel of Empire (8-1), Derma Sotogake (10-1), and Practical Move (10-1) round out the top five favored horses. Continuar, Jace’s Road, Raise Cain, Sun Thunder, and Reincarnate make up the long shots at 50-1 odds.

What Time Is The Kentucky Derby 2023 Main Race?

The main race of the Kentucky Derby is set for 6:57 p.m. ET.

While there’s one race we know as The Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs runs races all day. Gates to the historic track open at 9:00 AM in the morning, with 14 races total running, according to its schedule. People come in and make a party of it, all while waiting for “The Fastest Two Minutes In Sports” – ad there are two more races after that.

(Scott Serio/CSM/Shutterstock)

How Much Does It Cost To Go To The Kentucky Derby?

As of May 3, general admission tickets were available on StubHub at $75 each, according to Some GA tickets were going up to $82, and prices may rise as the event gets closer. Those looking to sit at the race’s final turn must shell out $266 (before fees), while infield tickets go for $484. There are “unlimited food and drink” options, with the lowest going for $621. A spot in a VIP Longue, with in-seat wait service and unlimited food and drink, will cost $3,149.

Millionaire’s Row offers “one of the most luxurious experiences at the track,” according to Sports Illustrated, which says that the terrace” provides the perfect vantage point, but the tiered balcony also adds to the air of extravagance the Kentucky Derby has come to be famous for.” However, a ticket for this part of the track costs $6,787.

This all doesn’t take into account hotel, flight, and Lyft/Uber/taxi costs (don’t drink and drive!)

What Is Patrick Mahomes Doing There?

After appearing alongside his wife at the Met Gala, defending Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes will appear at the Kentuck Derby. He will have the honor of calling “Riders Up!”

“Riders Up!’ is the traditional command from the Paddock Judge for jockeys to mount their horses in advance of the upcoming race,” says the Kentucky Derby’s website. “But since 2012, Churchill Downs has reserved that special honor for a dignitary or celebrity attendee when it comes to the Kentucky Derby.”