The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the sport and is the first event to kick off the Triple Crown. The race is back for its 149th running on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Like last year, legendary trainer Bob Baffert will not be able to take part on the track. Baffert will miss a second straight Derby because Churchill Downs Inc. banned him when their 2021 winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. The thoroughbred tested positive for an anti-inflammatory drug.

«I just moved on,» Baffert told The Associated Press in an interview before the Derby.


«There is no more exciting time when you have a horse that has a chance to win the Derby.»

A woman holds a horse after a morning workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Louisville. The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 6. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Baffert’s absence isn’t the only cloud around the event.

Churchill Downs has launched an investigation into the deaths of four horses at the track. Two horses trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. collapsed on the track and died last week. Two others also died as a result of racing or training. Joseph is set to ride Lord Miles in Saturday’s race.


«While a series of events like this is highly unusual, it is completely unacceptable,» Churchill Downs said in a statement. «We take this very seriously and recognize that these troubling incidents are alarming and must be addressed. We feel a tremendous responsibility to our fans, participants in our sport and the entire industry to lead in safety and continue to make significant investments to eliminate risk. for our athletes.

The Kentucky Derby has never been cancelled. The event was postponed by World War II and the coronavirus pandemic, but it has still gone smoothly since 1875.

Here’s what you need to know about the open houses at Churchill Downs.

Who is competing and what are the betting odds?

Forte at the Breeders' Cup

Irad Ortiz Jr. leads Forte to victory during the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race at Keenelend Race Course on November 4, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

  1. Hit Show (Manny Franco) 30-1
  2. Checking (Tyler Gaffalione) 15-1)
  3. Two Phil (Jareth Loveberry) 12-1
  4. Confidence Play (James Graham) 20-1
  5. Tapit Trice (Luis Saez) 5-1
  6. Kingsbarns (Jose L. Ortiz) 12-1
  7. Reincarnated (John R. Velazquiez) 50-1
  8. Magician (Javier Castellano) 15-1
  9. Skinner (Juan J. Hernandez) 20-1
  10. Practical move (Ramón A. Vázquez) 10-1
  11. Disarm (Joel Rosario) 30-1
  12. Jace’s Path (Florent Geroux) 50-1
  13. Sun Thunder (Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr.) 50-1
  14. Angel of the Empire (Flavien Prat) 8-1
  15. Strong (Irad Ortiz Jr) 3-1
  16. Raise Cain (Gerardo Corrales) 50-1
  17. Derma Sotogake (Christopher Lemaire) 10-1
  18. Can Rocket (Junior Alvarado) 30-1
  19. Lord Miles (Paco Lopez) 30-1
  20. Dragon (Ryusei Sakai) 50-1
  21. Cyclone Mischief (Joel Rosario possibly) 30-1
  22. Mandarin Hero (Kazushi Kimura) 20-1
  23. King Russell (Rafael Bejarano) 50-1

Who are the favorites to win?

Rich Strike wins in 2022

Rich Strike, with Sonny Leon aboard, wins the 148th Kentucky Derby race at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2022, in Louisville. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Forte entered the Kentucky Derby as a 3-1 favorite to win. Todd Pletcher’s horse led the Derby standings, sitting at No. 15. Forte has won six of seven starts, including last month’s Florida Derby.

Last year, Sonny Leon brought Rich Strike to an unlikely upset. The horse went an 80-1 long shot and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the event’s history. The horse was bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm and is owned by Richard Dawson’s RED TR-Racing, LLC. Eric Reed is the coach.


How to look?

  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
  • When: May 6, 2023
  • Expected publication time: 6:57 pm EET
  • Television: NBC/
  • Purse: $3 million