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Best Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta Picks for the Kentucky Derby

Written by: Brian Zipse
Published May 6, 2023
8 min read

Held each year on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby is easily the most prestigious and anticipated horse race in the United States. It is also an amazing wagering opportunity.

As usual, the 2023 edition of the $3 million Kentucky Derby will have 20 horses in the field. The run for the roses is truly one of a kind, and if you are both lucky and skilled enough to hit an exotic wager on the big race, the reward can be gigantic.

The game plan for cashing in big is to identify the horses I like the best in the Derby, which this year are Practical Move, Two Phil’s, and Forte.  

Next, we need to pick out the other horses that have a real chance to factor into the top two, top three, or top four. That list for me would include Tapit Trice, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, Skinner, Confidence Game, Disarm, and Hit Show.

Finally, we should structure our tickets to both cover the outcomes we think are most likely, but also give our chance to collect something substantial. Easy enough, right? 

Without further ado, these are my best exacta, trifecta, and superfecta picks for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Exacta Trifecta Superfecta Picks Kentucky Derby

Exacta

To win this bet, I will need to have the top two finishers on Saturday. This is the simplest of the three exotic wagers and will offer the smallest reward. But with 20 horses in the field, the winning combination can still pay off handsomely.

In this bet, I will use each of my top three picks in the first spot and my top eight horses in the second spot. The “Part Wheel” just signifies that I will be using multiple horses in each position.

This $5 Exacta Part Wheel will cost a total of $105

  • 1st: Practical Move, Two Phil's, Forte
  • 2nd: Practical Move, Two Phil's, Forte, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, Skinner, and Tapit Trice

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Trifecta 

To win this bet, I will need to have the top three finishers on Saturday. With 20 horses in the race, it will not be easy. With a 50-cent base bet, though, I can really spread my ticket and hope for at least one of my longshots to come in and create a very lucrative payoff.

Here is my play utilizing my top three choices in the first place, my top seven selections in the second spot, and my top 11 horses in the third position. 

This 50-cent Trifecta Part Wheel will cost a total of $81

  • 1st: Practical Move, Two Phil's, Forte
  • 2nd: Practical Move, Two Phil's, Forte, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, and Tapit Trice
  • 3rd: Practical Move, Two Phil's, Forte, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, Tapit Trice, and Skinner Confidence Game, Disarm, Hit Show

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Superfecta 

To win this bet, I will need to have the top four finishers on Saturday. This is a difficult enough proposition in a 10-horse field. The 20 horses of the Kentucky Derby make it exponentially more difficult, but the reward can be astronomical. 

This is a $2 minimum bet, so the combinations can add up quickly. To combat this, I will single my top pick for first, use only my next best three in the second position, and then have seven horses in both the third and fourth positions.

This $2 Superfecta Part Wheel  ticket will cost a total of $180

  • 1st: Practical Move
  • 2nd: Two Phil's, Forte, and Tapit Trice 
  • 3rd: Two Phil's, Forte, Tapit Trice, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, and Skinner
  • 4th: Two Phil's, Forte, Tapit Trice, Rocket Can, Derma Sotogake, Angel of Empire, and Skinner

Good luck, and if I hit the superfecta in this year’s Derby, drinks are on me! 

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AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

280 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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