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horse racing
Jockey Javier Castellano and Mage head to the winner's circle after the Kentucky Derby

2023 Kentucky Derby Results

Date: 05/06/2023

The 149th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve was contested on the first Saturday in May over the classic trip of 1 1/4 miles around the historic oval in Louisville, kicking off the Triple Crown series. Conditions were cool for early May for the 150,335 fans in attendance, with cloudy skies, a fast main track, and a race time temperature of 77 degrees. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was a new record of $188.7 million, beating the previous record of $179.0 million set in 2022.

23 horses made final entry (20 in the field and 3 also eligibles), but after an unprecedented five of the 20 scratched out, in order: Practical Move, Skinner, Lord Miles, Continuar, and morning line favorite Forte on Saturday morning - all the also-eligibles drew in and a field of 18 went to post. Angel Of Empire was sent off as the 4-1 favorite off his wins in the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds and the Arkansas Derby (G2) at Oaklawn. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Tapit Trice, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs and the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, and 15-2 third choice Derma Sotogake, third in the Saudi Derby (G3) in Riyadh before winning the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan.
horse racing
Mage (outside) battling with Two Phil's (rail) in the stretch as eventual 3rd place finisher and favorite Angel of Empire rallies late.
When the gate opened at 7:00PM ET, jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent 14-1 Verifying to the lead first time past the Spires through fractions of 22.35, 45.73, and 1:10.11 while pressed by 11-1 Kingsbarns and stalked by 14-1 Reincarnate and 10-1 fourth choice Two Phil's. Turning for home, Verifying tired badly allowing Two Phil's to inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.06. 15-1 Mage, 16th place and 13 lengths back early under Javier Castellano, came out 7 wide for room and collared Two Phil's at the 1/8 pole. In the final 1/16 Mage pulled away to win by a length in 2:01.57. It was another 1/2 length back to late-running favorite Angel of Empire third.

There were seven other graded stakes races on the card (and one ungraded) before the Derby. Full results for all of them with more photos are here.

horse racing
Mage winning the Kentucky Derby
Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place   Show
 8   Mage               Castellano   32.42   14.58   9.08
 3   Two Phil's         Loveberry            10.44   6.52
14   Angel of Empire    Prat                         4.70

Winning Time:  2:01.57

$2 Exacta  8-3                 165.22
$1 Trifecta  8-3-14            982.36
$1 Superfecta  8-3-14-11    15,643.60
$1 Super Hi-5  8-3-14-11-1 194,923.09
$1 Oaks/Derby Double 14-8      209.80
Results chart from DRF           Video replay - from NBC Sports

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Mage heads to the winner's circle wearing the Garland of Roses. Winning jockey Javier Casttelano, celebrating his first Derby win said, "I'm so thankful for the opportunity to ride the horse. The whole team gave me the opportunity to ride this horse in the biggest race in the world. I had a lot of confidence in myself this year would be the year. I thought this year would be the year. This horse was unbelievable today."

Right: Mage enters the winner's circle. Gustavo Delgado Jr., co-owner as well as assistant to his father trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr. said, "When I saw him started to make his move I felt very confident. When Javier started to asking I knew he'd sustain it. I felt so confident going into this race, because my dad was the trainer. And he was telling me step by step what he was doing with the horse. It was a masterpiece."

Left: Mage hosed off after the race. Delgado Jr. added, "I was asking for the wire, asking for the wire. Once he made the lead, it was how we had planned the race to happen. Everything went according to plan. This is the dream I have, a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote a note: ‘We're going to win the Derby next year.'  Not having the experience, he proved today that it didn't matter."

Right: Mage heads back to the barn with his winner's blanket. Castellano added, "It's amazing when somebody believes in you and they trust you and they put it in your hand and yourself. I think that's one thing I have always been grateful for, all the Delgado team and Mr. Herzberg, he give me the opportunity to ride the horse. I never forget that phone call I did to him and Gustavo and our team, Ramiro [Restrepo], and give me the opportunity to ride the horse in the biggest race in the world, basically."

Left: The trophy celebration. Delgado Jr. said, "I think my dad, with the success of Canonero II, as you know, Venezuelan connections that won the Derby, he grew up in a generation where everybody was talking about it. And he always felt like he could accomplish that. I remember when I was a kid, because when he was successful down in Venezuela, he would always tell me, "One day, we should go to the States and win one of those races."

Right: The celebration continues. Co-owner Ramiro Restrepo said, "The emotions are just through the roof, obviously. The amount of friends that we all have. The ownership group is four different groups from four different backgrounds, all different age ranges, nationalities. Myself as a bloodstock agent who has been trying to increase his profile as well, we kind of combined forces three years ago to start buying horses domestically and internationally and try to invest a little money and use the relationships that I have here to bring in people that are willing to have the faith to go forward with us and take the swing."

Left: Mage walks over from the barns to the paddock. Delgado Jr. added, "We faced Forte a couple times in Florida. We know his talent. We respected the horse a lot coming into this race. At the end of the day, I think the horse was going to be fine, from what we have been hearing. We will face him down the line."

Right: Mage in the post parade. Castellano added, "I have a lot of confidence because I knew I don't want to rush the horse in the beginning of the race. I just want to let him develop the horse and don't get panic, let him develop the horse. I know it's going to be a lot of speed. You have to be aware of all the horses that start backing up a little bit. You have to be aware, don't get in trouble. I think I was very aware of don't get struck between the horses and get a clear path and let him run the horse. Because I knew when I was going to ask him, I'm going to have a lot of horse. But I think in the end, I think the horse is going to give me the best run ever."

Left: Second place finisher Two Phil's returns after the race. Jockey Jareth Loveberry said, "In the turn, the whole opened up and I said I can't wait. He proved he is a world-class horse today." Trainer Larry Rivelli added, "Man, he tried so hard and ran his heart out. I'm so proud of this horse and everyone involved. He ran an incredible race."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Angel of Empire in the post parade. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "He ran great. I had a good trip. I was able to get myself behind the winner turning for home and we definitely had a great chance to win." Trainer Brad Cox added, "Angel of Empire ran well. It was a hot pace. Down the backside he had a few beat. I don't know where the winner was laying. We had a little bit of excitement down the lane. I thought he had a shot."

The start of the 149th Kentucky Derby. Tyler Gaffalione aboard pacesetter and eventual 16th place finisher Verifying (2) said, "We might have just gone a little too quick. Got to take a shot." Trainer Brad Cox added, "We were close, but we come here to win it, so I'm a little disappointed. Overall, very happy with the horses' performances. Off to Preakness with somebody. We have First Mission. This is demanding. I don't know if I'll run any of these horses back in two weeks."

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