What Are The Best Kentucky Derby Trial Races?

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As horse racing fans gear-up for the 149th running of the Run for the Roses, we look at what are the best Kentucky Derby trial races to have on your radar.

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What Are the Best Kentucky Derby Trial Races?

We take a look at the leading 2023 Kentucky Derby trial races based on recent years. You can then put history on your side as you search for the big Churchill Downs winner on May 6.

The Florida Derby Has a Great Record Of Producing Kentucky Derby Winners

By far the best Kentucky Derby Trial race of late is the Florida Derby, which was run this year on April 1 and won by a certain Forte, who is the 2023 Kentucky Derby favourite for trainer Todd Pletcher. (Watch below)

The Grade One contest, which is run at Gulfstream Park, has seen five horses since 2006 win both the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

That’s a decent 31% return over that 16-year period. While this stat would have actually been a bit better if the 2019 Florida Derby winner Maximum Security hadn’t got disqualified at Churchill Downs.

Therefore, based on this top Florida Derby record, this year’s hero Forte will get a further feather in his cap, while the runner-up Mage and third Cyclone Mischief are also worth a mention.

Horses To Do The Florida/Kentucky Derby Double Since 2006

  • Barbaro (2006)
  • Big Brown (2008)
  • Orb (2013)
  • Nyquist (2016)
  • Always Dreaming (2017)

California Based Runners Have Done Well in Recent Years

Okay, not a trial race as such, but another pointer in trying to find the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner is to look for horses trained in California.

Why? Well, the Cali-shippers have won a massive 7 of the last 11 (64%) runnings of the Kentucky Derby. The horses in question were – Medina Spirit, Authentic, Justify, Nyquist, American Pharoah, California Chrome, and I’ll Have Another.

The state has also seen KY runners-up and place finishers in recent years, with Exaggerator (2016), Firing Line (2015) and Bodemeister (2012) all collecting silver medals and Battle Of Midway (2017) and Dortmund (2015) getting the bronze.

So, based on this cracking California stat this year’s horses to note coming over from the west coast state are the Tim Yakteen-trained pair Practical Move and Reincarnate, plus the John Shirreffs runner Skinner.

RELATED: 2023 Kentucky Derby Trends: Churchill Down Stats To Help Find The Kentucky Derby Winner

When is the Kentucky Derby 2023?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday May 6 at Churchill Downs racetrack.

📅Time/Date: 6:57pm, Saturday May 6, 2023
🏇Racecourse: Churchill Downs
💰 Purse/Winner: $3m / £1,860,000
📺 TV: NBC and Peacock
🎲 Kentucky Derby Odds: Forte 3/1 | Tapit Trice 5/1 | Angel Of Empire 8/1

RELATED: Which Horse Is Favorite For The 2023 Kentucky Derby? Churchill Downs Betting Odds

Kentucky Derby Trial Races to Be Cautious Of

In contrast to the great record the Florida Derby winner has – the Blue Grass Stakes, run at Keeneland and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct are both playing catch-up in recent times.

The last horse to have run the Toyota Blue Grass (came 2nd) and follow-up in the Kentucky Derby was Street Sense in 2007, while the last horse to land both races was Strike Gold way back in 1991.

This year’s Blue Grass winner was the Todd Pletcher runner Tapit Trice, with Verifying a neck back in second (watch below).

Then, the Wood Memorial doesn’t fare much better. You must go back to 2003 (Funny Cide) to find the last horse to have run in the Aqueduct race and win the Run for the Roses. And the last horse to take both races was the Neil Drysdale Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.

This year’s Wood Memorial Stakes was won by Lord Miles ,with Hit Show back in second (watch below).

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

See the latest 2023 Kentucky Derby odds that you can get by joining up with the best offshore sportsbooks in the US.

Note: Others on request and odds subject to change

WATCH: Rich Strike Winning The 2022 Kentucky Derby

 Recent Winners Of The Kentucky Derby

  • 2022 – RICH STRIKE (81/1)
  • 2021 – MANDALOUN (269/10)
  • 2020 – AUTHENTIC (84/10)
  • 2019 – COUNTRY HOUSE (65/1)
  • 2018 – JUSTIFY (29/10 fav)
  • 2017 – ALWAYS DREAMING (47/10 fav)
  • 2016 – NYQUIST (23/10 fav)
  • 2015 – AMERICAN PHAROAH (29/10 fav)
  • 2014 – CALIFORNIA CHROME (5/2 fav)
  • 2013 – ORB (11/2 fav)
  • 2012 – I’LL HAVE ANOTHER (153/10)
  • 2011 – ANIMAL KINGDOM (209/10)
  • 2010 – SUPER SAVER (8/1)
  • 2009 – MINE THAT BIRD (51/1)
  • 2008 – BIG BROWN (12/5 fav)
  • 2007 – STREET SENSE (49/10 fav)

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