Sports Illustrated Kentucky Derby Picks 2023: SI Experts Pick Tapit Trice, Mage As Best Bets

Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby-Thurby Day

We are closing in on the 149th Edition of the Kentucky Derby. “The Run for the Roses” is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 6. Which horse do experts believe will win? Mark Lammey of Sports Illustrated is handing out his expert picks and predictions for the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

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Sports Illustrated Kentucky Derby 2023 Picks and Predictions

The favorite remains unchanged as Forte (+325) heads into the weekend as the frontrunner. However, Lammey finds that Tapit Trice (+600) might be the better value play out of the favorites. For longshots, Sports Illustrated experts are focusing on Mage, who pushed Forte to his limit at the 2023 Curlin Florida Derby.

Tapit Trice (+600)

Out of the two contenders, Lammey prefers Tapit Trice. Lammey wrote, “If we were forced to pick one of the top favorites for the 2023 Kentucky Derby, we’d focus on Tapit Trice instead, who is also coming off four straight victories. One of which was less than a month ago at the Blue Grass Stakes.”

Like Forte, Tapit Trice is trained by Todd Pletcher, a two-time Derby-winning trainer who remains at the top of the sport. The most expensive horse in the field ($1.3 million auction price) has won its last four races, making it an intriguing option to include in your betting slips.

Mage (+1600)

One of the longshots that the experts at Sports Illustrated, including Lammey, are eyeing is Mage. As the son of Good Magic and Magical Dream, Mage is inexperienced, having only raced three times prior with one first and one second. However, its performance in Curlin Florida Derby is why many experts believe Mage could be a longshot winner. Mage was leading the Florida Derby before Forte came from behind to win the race.

Lammey wrote,” One aspect that fans are realizing makes Mage a serious contender is his ability to get out of the gates quickly. A strong start is essential at Churchill Downs on the mile-and-a-quarter track.” If Mage gets off to a fast start out of position No. 8, it has the tools to play spoiler and win.

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