Brad Thomas Kentucky Derby 2023 Expert Picks & Predictions: Angel of Empire Looks Like Winning Horse

Brad Thomas Kentucky Derby

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will be held at Churchill Downs in Lousiville, Kentucky, on Saturday, May 6. Post time for the race is 6:57 p.m. ET. Brad Thomas (@BradShadesOff) has released his expert picks and predictions for the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

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Brad Thomas Kentucky Derby 2023 Picks and Predictions

Forte (+325) remains the favorite at BetOnline. The Todd Pletcher-trained horse has won six of seven races and will look to etch his name in history on Saturday. Though he believes Forte is a good horse, Thomas is looking at three other options to include on his tickets: Angel of Empire (+1000), Tapit Trice (+600), and Hit Show (+3300).

Angel of Empire (+1000)

“I think Angel of Empire (+1000) is the likeliest winner. I don’t say it with a ton of confidence, because I don’t think his edge is great,” Thomas told Mike Francesa on The Mike Francesa Podcast. “He looks like a Derby horse to me, and all things being equal, that matters.”

Breaking from the No. 14 post, Angel of Empire is the third-winningest horse in the field. The colt is coming off a win at the Arkansas Derby (Gr. 1) on April 1, winning by 4 ¼ lengths. Angel of Empire will be ridden by Flavien Prat, who won this race in 2019 on the back of Country House.

Tapit Trice (+600)

“Tapit Trice is a really good horse, but he still has some handiness issues. He still has some greenness issues,” Thomas said. However, Thomas still thinks he’s the co-likeliest winner alongside Angel of Empire.

Trainer Todd Pletcher brings a winning pedigree to Tapit Trice’s corner, having previously won two Kentucky Derbys (2010 and 2017). Add Luis Saez, the Belmont Stakes winning jockey in 2021, to the mix, and Tapit Trice has experience in two vital positions. Tapit Trice will look to stay undefeated in 2023 with a win in the Derby.

Hit Show (+3300)

When looking for long shots to include in your trifectas and superfectas, Thomas likes Hit Show (+3300), who will start on the rail. “Hit Show, I’m using him underneath,” Thomas said. “I might be laughing at myself underneath with him breaking from the No. 1 post, but I think he’s going to be vastly, vastly under regarded odds-wise.”

Two other horses Thomas will include underneath his top horses are Skinner (+2500) and Forte (+325). “Key uses underneath are going to be Skinner, who I think will pick up the pieces,” Thomas said. “Forte, just out of respect. I know this horse is a gamer.”

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