2023 Ky Derby Winner: Mage takes the Triple Crown 1st leg

It’s not often that a horse makes his stakes breakthrough in the Kentucky Derby but that’s what 15-1 shot Mage did at Churchill Downs today, coming with an irrepressible stretch run to win America’s greatest race on just the fourth start of his life, giving trainer-jockey combo Gustavo Delgado and Javier Castellano their first taste of Derby glory.

The 149th Kentucky Derby

G1, $3,000,000, 1m 2f dirt, 3yo

Mage makes a major splash

Out of chaos came order – but even as Mage made himself the most famous horse in America by winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, making his stakes breakthrough in the Run for the Roses ahead of Two Phil’s and the favourite Angel Of Empire, thoughts inevitably returned to the events of the morning.

The long-time favourite Forte was scratched, and then the horse he beat in the Florida Derby came through to win America’s greatest race for trainer Gustavo Delgado and Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, an unsurpassable day for Venezuela. Mage, one of the most inexperienced horses ever to win the Derby, having just his fourth start, took the Roses at 15-1 – but what might have been?

“This is a dream for any jockey,” said Castellano, winning his first Derby at the 16th time of trying. “He’s a horse with a lot of heart.”

2023 Kentucky Derby Race Video


Mage produced a superb finishing at the 2023 Kentucky Derby #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

Verifying and Kingsbarns towed the field through fierce fractions, rolling through the half-mile in 45 and three-fifths, with favourite Angel Of Empire and second-choice Tapit Trice sharing last place and Mage a spot or two ahead of that pair.

But they were going too fast on the lead, setting the race up for closers. Two Phil’s, who fared best of those close up at halfway, surged into the lead around the turn as Mage came six wide to deliver his challenge, and Mage ran down Two Phil’s at the eighth-pole and kept on gamely to win by a length, with Angel Of Empire finishing best of all for third, beaten another half-length. Disarm was fourth and Hit Show fifth, while Tapit Trice plugged on late to be seventh.

Mage, a son of Derby runner-up Good Magic, only made his debut on January 28, winning a maiden at Gulfstream Park. He then ran fourth behind Forte in the G2 Fountain of Youth and was runner-up to the same horse in the G1 Florida Derby. Delgado will make a decision in the next day or two regarding whether Mage heads for the G1 Preakness at Pimlico on May 20.

2023 Kentucky Derby Payouts

1. Mage32.4214.589.08
2. Two Phil’s 10.446.52
3. Angel Of Empire  4.70

Winning time: 2m 01.57s

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