Latest on the field, odds and highlights from Churchill Downs

8 Min Read

In the Bluegrass State, the first Saturday in May means one thing — at long last, the Kentucky Derby is here.

Huge crowds were expected at Churchill Downs for the 149th running of the iconic horse race, the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Courier Journal will have a full staff on hand all day to keep up with the action on social media and at courier-journal.com.

Daytime races Thursday and Friday got the ball rolling and parties Friday night were a fitting way to lead to the busiest day of the year in Louisville.

Update: Kentucky Derby 2023 post position draw, updated odds and more

Picks and predictions: Kentucky Derby betting strategy from Ed DeRosa: Here are horses you should put money on

From the races to the red carpet to the decadent and depraved infield, we’ll keep this story updated throughout Saturday with what we’re seeing from the racetrack. Here’s a quick look at where everything currently stands:

Forte, morning-line favorite, scratches

Kentucky Derby contender Forte and exercise rider Hector Ramos working at Churchill Downs Wednesday morning May 3, 2023, in Louisville, Ky.  The horse is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Kentucky Derby contender Forte and exercise rider Hector Ramos working at Churchill Downs Wednesday morning May 3, 2023, in Louisville, Ky. The horse is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Forte, the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby 149 has scratched.

The Florida Derby winner was taken out of the race about 10 hours before Saturday’s 6:57 pm post time.

Forte, the 2-year-old champion and winner of five straight races, was set as the 3-1 morning-line favorite following Monday’s draw. The odds were 4-1 as of Saturday morning before his scratch.

Forte is the fifth Kentucky Derby hoping to scratch in the last three days.

What happens if you bet on a horse that scratches?

So, what happens if you already wagered on a horse that scratches from a race?

If you make a win, place, show, omni, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta or super hi-5 bet and one or more of your horses are scratched from the race, your bet will be refunded, according to Twin Spiers.

For those who placed more advanced bets, 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 bet is live going into the leg from which your horse is scratched,” according to Twin Spiers.

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 bet is still live going into the second or third leg and your horse is scratched, you will receive a consolation payoff if your bet wins the other two legs of races, according to Twin Spiers. In these cases, there is no opportunity for betters to automatically receive the post time favorite horse.

more: Forte, 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite, reportedly scratched 10 hours before race at Churchill Downs

Gates open at Churchill Downs

The gates are officially open for Kentucky Derby 149 at Churchill Downs and the paddock area is filling up with fancy hats and sharp-dressed fans.

The post position for the first race is at 10:30 am

What to expect at Churchill Downs

The Kentucky Derby has an estimated post time of 6:57 pm, but a full day of races will take place before the big one.

Gates open at Churchill Downs at 9 am Saturday, and racetrack officials advise arriving as early as possible to beat the lines. The first race is set to start at 10:30 am

Heading to Churchill Downs? Print or save this Kentucky Derby betting guide before you go

Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s are in the forecast for much of the day, according to the National Weather Service’s local office. You may want to pack sunscreen (and plan ahead by checking the racetrack’s list of prohibited items).

The Kentucky Derby is race No. 12 on the day. Other notable Saturday races include the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (5:27 pm) and the Pat Day Mile (2:46 pm).

Expect high attendance. Last year just over 147,000 people attended the race. The attendance record was set in 2015, when 170,513 racing fans watched American Pharoah win the first leg of the Triple Crown.

What to expect in the Kentucky Derby race

The field keeps getting smaller, but the Kentucky Derby should feature plenty of talent.

Two horses from trainer Todd Pletcher are worth watching — Forte is your favorite, with 3-1 morning-line odds, but Tapit Trice has picked up steam recently at 5-1. Angel of Empire, one of four horses in the race from trainer Brad Cox, is another name he knows at 8-1.

Related: Don’t want to pick the Kentucky Derby favorite? Here are three horses who can beat Forte

What to know: When is the Kentucky Derby? Here’s your complete guide to the 2023 race

The lead up to Saturday’s race has been marred by multiple horse deaths at Churchill Downs. Four deaths have been reported at the racetrack since April 27, including Wild On Ice, a Kentucky Derby contender who was injured while training for the race. Additionally, four horses who were previously entered in the race — Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar and Skinner — have scratched, cutting the field to 19 contenders.

How to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby, with a $3 million purse, is set to begin at 6:57 pm and will air nationally on NBC. The network’s Peacock streaming service will also carry the race.

The 149th Kentucky Derby will also be available through Fubo and HuluHuluHulu.

More coverage: Kentucky Derby 2023: Meet the jockeys racing in 149th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs

Reach The Courier Journal’s breaking news team at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky Derby 2023 live updates: Forte scratches

Share this Article