The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby unfolds at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The Race for the Roses is long, but for most of the field, the outcome will be determined in the first half mile. The possible pace scenarios for the race have been a huge topic on the backstretch at Churchill Downs this week, especially with a rash of scratches, horse injuries and deaths. Forte, a favorite to win the Derby, scratched Saturday morning after a veterinarian exam. How will everything shake out?
USA TODAY Sports and the Louisville Courier-Journal will provide live updates, the latest news and more from Churchill Downs throughout the day. Follow along.
Seventh horse dies at Churchill Downs with Freezing Point euthanized
A seventh horse has died at Churchill Downs. Freezing Point died Saturday after pulling up during the Pat Day Mile earlier in the day. He was led into an ambulance on his own power.
NBC initially said Freezing Point was in a protective splint for an ankle injury, then quickly announced Freezing Point was euthanized.
Earlier, in the second race of the day, Chloe’s Dream pulled up and was later euthanized.
What time is the Kentucky Derby race?
Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. ET.
What TV channel is the Kentucky Derby on?
NBC will broadcast the Kentucky Derby.
How can I watch the Kentucky Derby without cable?
The Kentucky Derby can be streamed online at NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app for eligible cable subscribers. Subscribers can pay for a month of Peacock Premium for $4.99 or Peacock Plus for $9.99. Other streaming subscription services that should carry NBC include YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Fubo.
Kentucky Derby 2023 odds
Here are the latest odds as of 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday:
Hit Show 25-1 Verifying 15-1 Two Phil’s 8-1 Confidence Game 17-1 Tapit Trice 9-2 Kingsbarns 10-1 Reincarnate 12-1 Mage 17-1 Disarm 24-1 Jace’s Road 30-1 Sun Thunder 28-1 Angel of Empire 9-2Raise Cain 29-1 Derma Sotogake 8-1 Rocket Can 27-1 Cyclone Mischief 28-1 Mandarin Hero 19-1 King Russell 30-1
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes to announce ‘Riders Up’ at Kentucky Derby
“Riders Up,” may only be two little words but on Kentucky Derby Day, they are a very big deal.
Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the two-time NFL and Super Bowl MVP for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been granted the special honor of commanding the jockeys to mount their horses as the announcer for this year’s “Riders Up” for Kentucky Derby 149 at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Hosted at the Derby by the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala team, Mahomes will make the official call in the paddock on NBC just before the Kentucky Derby race, which has a post time of 6:57 p.m.
— Kirby Adams for Louisville Courier-Journal
Freezing Point taken to medical center after pulling up in Pat Day Mile
Amid a weekend where injuries are rife, a horse pulled up during the Pat Day Mile Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Freezing Point appeared to misstep midway through, slowed down and did not finish the race.
Dr. Al Ruggles, the on-call veterinarian representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners at Churchill Downs, gave an update on Freezing Point during the NBC broadcast shortly after the race.
“I don’t know about an injury per se. He pulled up suddenly. He was loaded on an ambulance on his own power and brought to the medical center to be evaluated by his private veterinarian,” he said. “So a little early to say, but it wasn’t an overt injury that we know about yet.”
Six horses have died at Churchill Downs this week as concerns grow about the safety of the historic track.
Where is Bob Baffert? Why six-time Kentucky Derby winner isn’t at Churchill Downs
For a quarter century, Barn 33 at Churchill Downs has been the primary hub of activity and curiosity during Kentucky Derby week.
That’s where Bob Baffert would hold court every day with his trademark white hair and sunglasses, offering opinions on his horses, his competitors and his ambitious goals. Baffert wasn’t compelling merely because he won a lot of races, but also because he stood out as a bit of an iconoclast in a staid, buttoned-down sport.
But for the second year in a row, Baffert is missing from the Kentucky Derby.
Days after Baffert trainee Medina Spirit won the 2021 Kentucky Derby, a postrace drug test turned up positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid that is used legally to treat pain and inflammation but banned on race days.
Baffert denied any wrongdoing and entered a protracted battle with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which announced in February of 2022 that Medina Spirit had been disqualified and Baffert stripped of what would have been his seventh Derby crown. Additionally, Baffert, who had already been under scrutiny for a spate of positive drug tests in California, received a two-year ban from entering horses at any track owned by Churchill Downs Inc. The racing commissions in Maryland and New York recognized the ban for 2022, meaning Baffert could not compete in any of the Triple Crown races last year.
— Dan Wolken
Chloe’s Dream sixth horse to die in lead up to 149th running of Kentucky Derby
Another horse reportedly died Saturday at Churchill Downs, the sixth in the leadup to the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Chloe’s Dream was vanned off following Race 2 − which was on the dirt track − and euthanized, according to CBS Sports.
Jockey Corey Lanerie was rounding the first turn when Chloe’s Dream pulled up, about 23 seconds into the race.
The gelding “went wrong leaving the first turn, pulled up and was vanned off,” according to the Equibase race report.
The death comes after five horses died in six days around the hollowed ground: one in the paddock, one during a race on the turf track, two after turf races and one after morning training on the dirt track.
— Stephanie Kuzydym for Louisville Courier Journal
NO SWEAT DERBY BET:Users can get $20 returned on Kentucky Derby bet with FanDuel
What happens if you bet on a horse that gets scratched?
As of 10:20 a.m., across the 14 races expected to run this Derby Day, 31 horses have been scratched and three jockey changes have been made, according to Churchill Downs.
So, what happens if you already wagered on a horse that scratches from a race?
If you made a win, place, show, omni, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta or super hi-5 wager and one or more of your horses are scratched from the race, your bet will be refunded, according to Twin Spires.
For those who placed more advanced wagers, including a pick 4, pick 5, pick 6, pick 7, pick 8 or grand slam, in the event of a scratch, you will receive the “post time favorite, providing your wager is live going into the leg from which your horse is scratched,” according to Twin Spires.
Doubles wagers and pick 3 bets have different rules in Kentucky than other jurisdictions. In the event your horse scratches in these wagers before the first leg runs, your wager will be refunded. If your wager is still live going into the second or third leg and your horse is scratched, you will receive a consolation payoff if your wager wins the other two legs of races, according to Twin Spires. In these cases, there is no opportunity for betters to automatically receive the post time favorite horse.
– Louisville Courier Journal
How many horses run in the Kentucky Derby?
Usually, 20 horses run the race. This year, it will be 18 after five horses were scratched and several were replaced in the field.
Kentucky Derby 2023 field
Here are the 18 horses set for Saturday’s Run for the Roses: Angel of Empire, Confidence Game, Cyclone Mischief, Derma Sotogake, Disarm, Hit Show, Jace’s Road, Kingsbarns, Mage, Raise Cain, Reincarnate, Rocket Can, Sun Thunder, Tapit Trice, Two Phil’s, Verifying, King Russell, Mandarin Hero.