Forte, with Ira Ortiz Jr up, wins the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland

Forte, with Ira Ortiz Jr up, wins the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland on Friday, November 4, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky.


  • Three main Kentucky Derby prep races might be run on Saturday
  • The Fountain of Youth Stakes, San Felipe Stakes, and Gotham Stakes all have Triple Crown contenders
  • The place can we discover betting worth on the most important day of Derby preps to this point in 2023 in our horse racing predictions?

The Kentucky Derby is 2 months away. Who’re the contenders? What in regards to the pretenders? Saturday at Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, and Aqueduct some solutions will come into focus. The Fountain of Youth Stakes, San Felipe Stakes, and Gotham Stakes present 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying factors to the winner, successfully making them win and also you’re in races.

Off since successful the Breeders Cup Juvenile, Forte is the present Kentucky Derby favourite. His 2023 debut comes within the Fountain of Youth.

Coach Bob Baffert has gained the roses six occasions. His seventh victory got here in 2021, however Medina Spirit examined optimistic for betamethasone and was disqualified. That led to Baffert being suspended from Churchill Downs. A number of of his horses run this weekend, however they’ve been transferred into different trainers’ barns.

Let’s look fastidiously at Saturday’s three main Derby prep races and take into account the place we will discover betting worth.

Horse Racing Predictions for Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Race Choose Odds
Fountain of Youth Stakes Forte +140
San Felipe Stakes Hejazi +350
Gotham Stakes Slip Mahoney +500

The Fountain of Youth (5:43 pm EST) in South Florida and San Felipe (5:27 pm EST) in Southern California are mile-and-a-sixteenth two-turn challenges. The Gotham (4:56 pm EST) in New York is a one flip mile. No rain is predicted for the Fountain of Youth the place temperatures might be within the 80s. It needs to be dry in SoCal with highs within the 50s. There’s a 25% probability of rain in NYC with mid 40’s forecast.

All three of those races have produced Kentucky Derby winners. Many imagine that a number of of the highest candidates for this yr’s Triple Crown are working on Saturday.

Fountain of Youth Stakes Prediction

Rather a lot can occur between horses working on the age of two and three. They usually take important strides. If Forte (+140) will get higher, look out.

Forte gained 4 of 5 races final yr and earned practically $1.6 million. His pair of two flip races have been large. That stated, typically horses that win huge at age two are simply extra mature, and don’t take the leap that others do as three-year-olds. If Forte repeats or betters his Breeders Cup efficiency, another person would should be dramatically higher than we’ve ever seen earlier than to beat him.

Blazing Sevens (+350) didn’t get out effectively when ending fourth behind Forte within the Breeders Cup. He ran away with October’s Champagne Stakes in New York.

Normal Jim (+600) has three wins in six begins. His final race is by far the very best in his profession. Did he beat anybody first rate within the seven furlong Swale Stakes? Any enchancment can be fascinating.

Cyclone Mischief (+1200) appeared nice at Gulfstream in January. He was equally unhealthy final month within the Holy Bull Stakes. In case you can excuse the final efficiency, he might be an element within the Fountain of Youth odds.

Fountain of Youth Stakes Choose: Forte (+140)

San Felipe Stakes Prediction

Baffert’s house is Southern California and 4 of his horses are being conditioned by Tim Yakteen within the San Felipe. Nationwide Treasure (+300), Hejazi (+350), Fort Bragg (+800), and Mr Fisk (+1500) are all within the combine within the San Felipe odds.

Hejazi is a $3.55 million New York bred son of Bernardini. His solely two-turn race was okay however not nice, and Hejazi has solely overwhelmed maidens. That stated, he was third in opposition to this caliber of horses in October, and his 2023 debut in opposition to maidens was spectacular.

Nationwide Treasure beat Hejazi in October, however nonetheless completed greater than 5 lengths behind the winner. He was third behind Forte within the Breeders Cup. In January, he was third as the favourite within the Sham Stakes. Nationwide Treasure has raced in opposition to the highest horses and held his personal albeit with out successful.

Yakteen didn’t inherit Sensible Transfer (+400) from Baffert. Curiously, Yakteen is coaching this son of Sensible Joke who was bred by high coach Chad Brown. He beat what may be thought of lesser horses in December and misplaced to Nationwide Treasure in September, however might be working into kind.

Skinner (+500) ran large in opposition to maidens final month after three ho-hum efforts together with being effectively overwhelmed by Nationwide Treasure and Hejazi final yr.

Geaux Rocket Experience (+500) debuted with a scintillating six furlong effort in late January. His second race comes in opposition to higher horses working longer. He seems to be very gifted.

San Felipe Stakes Choose: Hejazi (+350)

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Gotham Stakes Prediction

Brad Cox challenges two former Baffert horses and several other different contenders in a 14 horse discipline within the Gotham Stakes odds.

Eyeing Clover (+400) is two-for-two for Cox, although this might be his first race going longer than six furlongs. The son of Preakness winner Lookin at Fortunate was not royally bred, however in idea, ought to like extra distance.

Whereas Eyeing Clover price $55,000, his stablemate Slip Mahoney (+500) price practically thrice that quantity. The son of Breeders Cup Traditional winner Arrogate missed by a neck in opposition to Derby contender Tapit Trice in December, after which got here again to win going a mile at Aqueduct on January 21.

Yakteen has Carmel Street (+600), who completed second behind Sensible Transfer in December. Carmel Street was nowhere near Forte within the Breeders Cup, although he had the skin publish in a discipline of 14.

Brittany Russell trains former Baffert runner Fort Warren (+1200). A $550,000 son of Breeders Cup Traditional winner Curlin, Fort Warren ran very effectively in his debut in October however was a distant third in a four-horse discipline at Santa Anita in a Derby prep in January. The value is intriguing on a horse that they clearly had excessive hopes for.

Brown has Uncorrelated (+1000). He gained his debut within the slop at Aqueduct in early January.

Lugan Knight (+600) ran his finest profession race January 7 on the Large A, taking the Jerome Stakes. Dylan Davis opts to journey Lugan Knight over Slip Mahoney.

Gotham Stakes Choose: Slip Mahoney (+500)

Dave F.

Sports activities Author