11 to toss: These horses will not win Kentucky Derby 2023

11 to toss: These horses will not win Kentucky Derby 2023
Photo: Pat McDonogh / Eclipse Sportswire

When navigating a 20-horse field, many handicappers begin their process by eliminating horses before zeroing in on the main contenders. This strategy could prove fruitful in a wide-open Kentucky Derby 2023.

Here are 11 horses who will not win this year's race in alphabetical order.

Confidence GameSince 1929, the longest layoff for any Kentucky Derby winner has been seven weeks. He will be entering the Kentucky Derby off of a 10-week layoff. His best race came in the Rebel Stakes (G2) over a sloppy track at 18-1. The layoff likely will prove too much to overcome for a runner a step below the elite of his crop. 

ContinuarHorses exiting the UAE Derby (G2) are 0-for-18 lifetime in the Kentucky Derby. Not only would he have to buck historical trends, but he has proven multiple times that he is not quite as good as fellow Japan import Derma Sotogake. It is hard to imagine him turning the tables on Derma Sotogake, not to mention defeating the rest of the field. 

Disarm: His Louisiana Derby (G2) was a decent effort when rallying behind a slow pace, but his Lexington Stakes (G3) effort was very disappointing. He has yet to defeat a solid 3-year-old and appears to be a notch below the cream of this crop.

Hit Show: He had the most potential of any runner entered in the Wood Memorial (G2) and was expected to win comfortably against a soft field. Instead he was defeated by a 59-1 shot while narrowly holding off a maiden for second. The Wood Memorial has been a very poor prep race in recent memory, and this year is no exception. 

Jace's Road: He looked good winning the Gun Runner Stakes, but three of his last four races have been subpar performances as he has not shown the ability to pass horses. There is no reason to expect dramatic improvement in this spot.

Lord Miles: His win in the Wood Memorial was the product of a good trip against a subpar field. He was non-competitive in two prior preps and even a repeat of his surprising Wood Memorial win would not be good enough to contend. 

Raise Cain: He looked good against a below-average field in the slop in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at 23-1, but the rest of his fast-track form shows that this runner can not compete with the best of his crop. His recent fifth-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) left plenty to be desired. 

Reincarnate: This honest and consistent horse was defeated by Confidence Game and Angel of Empire in his last two races, and the competition only gets tougher here. He had no real excuse when finishing in a blanket finish for minor awards in the Arkansas Derby (G1) behind the runaway winner.

Sun Thunder: He will come running late to pass a few horses, but he is hard to endorse off of his fourth in the Louisiana Derby and his fifth in the Rebel. He does not seem to be improving enough to contend. 

Two Phil'sThough he was ultra impressive in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on a synthetic track, he repeatedly has shown that he is not as effective on dirt. With his two best races coming over a sloppy track and a synthetic surface, it is hard to trust the strength of his main track form.

Verifying: This colt is the most talented runner on this list, but he is coming off of a grueling effort. If he could not hold off Tapit Trice with a perfect trip in the Blue Grass, it is hard to imagine him defeating that runner at a longer distance with more pace pressure. 


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