Horse Racing
2023 Kentucky Derby: Mage wins first leg of Triple Crown; Mattress Mack loses big
Horse Racing

2023 Kentucky Derby: Mage wins first leg of Triple Crown; Mattress Mack loses big

Updated May. 7, 2023 12:19 a.m. ET

Mage won the 2023 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday.

Mage had only one victory in three previous races before holding off Two Phil’s in the stretch while covering 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.57 under Javier Castellano. The Hall of Fame jockey snapped an 0-for-15 skid in the Derby. He and trainer Gustavo Delgado are from Venezuela.

[RELATED: Kentucky Derby experts' picks]

Forte, the early favorite, was scratched in the morning with a bruised foot, one of five horses that dropped out in the days leading to the race.


Two Phil’s was second and 4-1 favorite Angel of Empire was third in front of a crowd of 150,335 on a warm and partly cloudy day at Churchill Downs.

Mage went off at 15-1 and paid $32.42, $14.58 and $9.08.

Two Phil’s returned $10.44 and $6.52 at 9-1 odds. Angel of Empire (7-2) paid $4.70 to show.

Houston furniture store owner and noted sports gambler Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale put down $1.2 million to win on Angel of Empire at 9-2. McIngvale would've won $5.4 million in profit had Angel of Empire won.

McIngvale's bet helped make Angel of Empire the favorite at 4-1. Prior to his bet, Angel of Empire was the co-favorite with Tapit Trice at 9-2.

A $2 exacta (8-3) paid $330.44. A $1 trifecta (8-3-14) paid $982.36. A $1 superfecta (8-3-14-11) paid $15,643.60.

Mage earned $1.86 million. Runner-up Two Phil’s earned $600,000 and Angel of Empire earned $300,000 to show.

The 149th edition of the iconic event, also known as the "Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" and the "Run for the Roses" — named because of the blanket of roses awarded to the winner, featured 18 horses vying for the highly coveted title.

The Derby is the most prestigious horse race in the world and the first leg of the sport's Triple Crown races. The Preakness will be run on May 20, followed by the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

The Triple Crown of horse racing is considered one of the most difficult accomplishments in sports. Only 13 horses have achieved the feat, with the last being Justify in 2018.

The $3 million Derby is for top 3-year-olds.


  1. Mage (15-1)
  2. Two Phil’s (9-1)
  3. Angel of Empire (7-2)
  4. Disarm (26-1)
  5. Hit Show (24-1)
  6. Derma Sotogake (8-1)
  7. Tapit Trice (9-2)
  8. Raise Cain (32-1)
  9. Rocket Can (27-1)
  10. Confidence Game (20-1)
  11. Sun Thunder (32-1)
  12. Mandarin Hero (18-1)
  13. Reincarnate (14-1)
  14. Kingsbarns (11-1)
  15. King Russell (31-1)
  16. Verifying (14-1)
  17. Jace’s Road (32-1)
  18. Cyclone Mischief (28-1)

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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