Here Are All the 2023 Kentucky Derby Horse Names You Need to Know Before the Race

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

May 5 2023, Updated 3:28 p.m. ET

Kentucky Derby horse with handlers
Source: Getty

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is here, and boy are people excited! Many place their bets based on statistics or horse bloodlines, but for the majority of novices, it's all about how creative the horses' names are.

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This year's list of names boasts bravado and eccentricity. So without further ado, here are horses in the Kentucky Derby in 2023.

Here are the horse names in the Kentucky Derby 2023.

Many of the names for this year's batch of contenders have homages to the horse's sire or dam, marking an important bloodline or adding prestige to an already impressive moniker. Some, however, are cute nods to the owners' hometowns.

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The official rules regarding Kentucky Derby naming are as follows:

  • Names can be up to 18 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  • No names of actual persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with the Jockey Club.
  • No names that are suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political, or ethnic groups.
Kentucky Derby
Source: Getty Images
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Now, here are the 2023 Kentucky Derby competitors:

  • Hit Show
  • Verifying
  • Two Phil's
  • Confidence Game
  • Tapit Trice
  • Kingsbarns
  • Reincarnate
  • Mage
  • Disarm
  • Jace's Road
  • Sun Thunder
  • Angel of Empire
  • Forte
  • Raise Cain
  • Derma Sotogake (JPN)
  • Rocket Can
  • Cyclone Mischief
  • Mandarin Hero (JPN)
  • King Russell

Why are horses "scratched" from the Kentucky Derby? What does "scratched" mean?

Horses can get "scratched" from horse races, including the Kentucky Derby, right up until the race is supposed to start. This means that they get pulled from competing, and it happens for a variety of reasons ranging from elevated temperatures to injury to sickness.

Per Horse Racing Sense, the term "scratched" came about "because gamblers would take their pens and pencils and strike a mark through the horse’s name."

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In 2023, four horses were scratched from the Kentucky Derby as of Friday, May 5: Skinner, Practical Move, Lord Miles, and Continuar (JPN).

This is the first time four horses have been scratched from the derby since 2015.

Here's how to bet on the Kentucky Derby.

If you want to bet on horses online, the laws of online betting vary from state to state. If you're in a state that's got a casino that facilitates sports betting, you could always bet that way.

There are also legitimate sites that will handle your money as well. The official betting site of the Kentucky Derby and backed by the race itself is TwinSpires. To learn more about it, you can check it out here.

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Here's how to watch the Kentucky Derby 2022.

On Saturday, May 6 from 12 to 7:30 p.m. EST, the Kentucky Derby will air live on NBC.

You can stream the event online as well on Peacock or by going to NBC Sports Live or the NBC Sports app.

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