Horse Racing: Road To The Kentucky Derby 2023 Races, Dates, Leaderboard & Winners

  • Kentucky Derby 2023 set for Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Churchill Downs
  • Prep races on the Road To The Kentucky Derby get underway in September, and are staged until April

There is nothing like the Kentucky Derby, and horse racing fans will already be counting down the days to the special occasion at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. However, the build-up to the opening Triple Crown race of 2023 gets underway in 2022, as the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2023 gets underway. You can learn more about the prep races and keep up to date with the recent winners here.

Kentucky Derby 2023 Schedule

  • When: Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 6:24 p.m ET
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Kentucky
  • How To Watch: NBC

Kentucky Derby 2023 Vegas Odds

HorseVegas Odds
Arabian Knight+800
Tapit Trice+1800
Cave Rock+2500
Instant Coffee+2500
Angel of Empire+2500

Road To The Kentucky Derby Information

As horse racing fans would be aware, the field for the Kentucky Derby 2023 will be determined based on the results of the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2023 races staged throughout the season. In total, over 40 prep races are set for horses eligible to run in the Triple Crown opener.

The number of points varies depending on the grade of the race, with some of the most lucrative being the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Blue Grass Stakes, which will take place early in 2023. Only eight races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2023 schedule offer 100 points, which will almost certainly assure a runner of a spot in the race at Churchill Downs.

However, the majority of races taking place in 2022 will offer just ten points, while the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile offers 20 points. Three different routes are available on the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2023: the Prep Season, Championship Series, and the European Road. Below, you can find out the races, dates, and points available for each.

ALSO SEE: Horse Racing: Breeders’ Cup 2022 Schedule, Challenge Series, Vegas Odds & How To Watch

Road To The Kentucky Derby 2023- Prep Season

The vast majority of the Prep Season races are run by Kentucky Derby hopefuls when they are aged two. However, eleven races are run by this year’s crop after they turn three. The races involved in this section can be found below.

IroquoisSeptember 17, 202210-4-3-2-1Curly Jack
ChampagneOctober 1, 202210-4-3-2-1Blazing Sevens
American PharoahOctober 8, 202210-4-3-2-1Cave Rock 
Breeders’ FuturityOctober 8, 202210-4-3-2-1Forte 
Breeders’ Cup JuvenileNovember 4, 202230-12-9-6-3Forte 
Kentucky Jockey ClubNovember 26, 202210-4-3-2-1Instant Coffee 
RemsenDecember 3, 202210-4-3-2-1Dubyuhnell 
Los Alamitos FuturityDecember 10, 202210-4-3-2-1Practical Move 
Springboard MileDecember 17, 202210-4-3-2-1 Wildatlanticstorm
Gun Runner StakesDecember 26, 202210-4-3-2-1Jace’s Road 
JeromeJanuary 7, 202310-4-3-2-1 Lugan Knight
Smarty JonesJanuary 1, 202310-4-3-2-1 Victory Formation
ShamJanuary 8, 202310-4-3-2-1 Reincarnate
LecomteJanuary 21, 202320-8-6-4-2Instant Coffee 
SouthwestJanuary 28, 202320-8-6-4-2Arabian Knight 
WithersFebruary 4, 202320-8-6-4-2Hit Show 
Holy BullFebruary 4, 202320-8-6-4-2Rocket Can 
Robert B. LewisFebruary 4, 202320-8-6-4-2Newgate 
Sam F. Davis StakesFebruary 11, 202320-8-6-4-2Litigate 
El Camino Real DerbyFebruary 11, 202310-4-3-2-1Chase The Chaos 
John Battaglia Memorial StakesFebruary 25, 202320-8-6-4-2Congruent 

Road To The Kentucky Derby 2023- Championship Series Events

The big races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby come in the Championship Series events, with even the smallest races offering 50 points to the winner. Races during this leg can be found below.

Risen StarFebruary 18, 202350-20-15-10-5Angel of Empire 
RebelFebruary 25, 202350-20-15-10-5Confidence Game 
Fountain of YouthMarch 4, 202350-20-15-10-5Forte 
GothamMarch 4, 202350-20-15-10-5 Raise Cain
San FelipeMarch 4, 202350-20-15-10-5 Practical Move
Tampa Bay DerbyMarch 11, 202350-20-15-10-5Tapit Trice 
Louisiana DerbyMarch 25, 2023100-40-30-20-10 Kingsbarns
UAE DerbyMarch 25, 2023100-40-30-20-10 Derma Sotogake
Jeff RubyMarch 25, 2023100-40-30-20-10Two Phil’s 
Sunland DerbyMarch 26, 202350-20-15-10-5 
Florida DerbyApril 1, 2023100-40-30-20-10 
Arkansas DerbyApril 1, 2023100-40-30-20-10 
Blue Grass StakesApril 8, 2023100-40-30-20-10 
Santa Anita DerbyApril 8, 2023100-40-30-20-10 
Wood MemorialApril 8, 2023100-40-30-20-10 
LexingtonApril 15, 202320-8-6-4-2 

Road To The Kentucky Derby 2023- European Road

While the vast majority of races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby are staged in the U.S., there are also several opportunities for European-trained runners. However, these races very rarely point towards likely runners at Churchill Downs.

Royal Lodge StakesSeptember 24, 202210-4-3-2-1The Foxes
Beresford StakesSeptember 24, 202210-4-3-2-1Crypto Force
Prix Jean-Luc LagardereOctober 2, 202210-4-3-2-1Belbek
Vertem Futurity TrophyOctober 22, 202210-4-3-2-1 Auguste Rodin
Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions StakesMarch 1, 202320-8-6-4-2 
Patton StakesMarch 3, 202320-8-6-4-2 
Cardinal StakesMarch 30, 202330-12-9-6-3 

The biggest Kentucky Derby contenders won’t be seen until the biggest races are staged in early 2023. However, some races that may be worth examining have proved to be solid prep races with Derby winners emerging. For example, the Florida Derby has seen 20 Kentucky Derby winners pass through that race, while Santa Anita Derby has produced three winners of the opening Triple Crown race in the previous six years.

However, some of the most illustrious races have poor records in the Derby. Those include the Blue Grass and Wood Memorial, which have yet to produce a Derby winner in over ten years.

Previous Kentucky Derby Winners & Prep Races

Before finding the selection to make your Kentucky Derby 2023 wager, it could be worth examining the path some recent winners took. It is also worth mentioning that the +8200 winner from the Kentucky Derby 2022 Rich Strike, passed through prep races that no previous Derby winner has gone through.

YearWinning HorseFinal Prep Run
2022Rich Strike3rd Jeff Ruby Stakes
2021Medina Spirit2nd Santa Anita Derby
2020Authentic2nd Santa Anita Derby
(1st Haskell Stakes)
2019Country House3rd Arkansas Derby
2018Justify1st Santa Anita Derby
2017Always Dreaming1st Florida Derby

Early Kentucky Derby 2023 Pick & Prediction

It’s very early to be making Kentucky Derby 2023 predictions, but two horses that have caught my attention are Forte and Arabian Knight. The latter is trained by Bob Baffert, and was exceptional on Breeders’ Cup weekend. Forte has also passed every test to this point, and could excel as a three-year-old in 2023.

Free Picks:

Alex has covered huge sporting events for various websites and publications. He has attended football European Championships, Rugby League and Union World Cups, and the Paralympics. Alex is dedicated to giving the most insightful tips for VegasOdds readers and specialises in horse racing, soccer, golf and basketball.

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