Who won the 2023 Kentucky Derby? How much prize money does the jockey get?
It’s one of the most important titles in horse racing and many clever punters were counting their winnings as an outsider galloped across the line.
In an upset victory, Mage won the first leg of the Triple Crown at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening. The chestnut colt, who was considered an outsider at 15-1 odds, crossed the finish line ahead of Two Phil’s and Angel of Empire to claim the coveted prize.
Mage victorious in Kentucky Derby
Venezuelan trainer Gustavo Delgado and jockey Javier Castellano guided Mage to the win, marking their first Kentucky Derby victory after 16 attempts. Castellano spoke after the race.
“I never give up, I always try hard, took a lot to get here I finally get it. I’m blessed. Thank you for the opportunity to run this horse, that has a lot of heart.”
Seven die in Kentucky Derby
While the triumph was cause for celebration, the Kentucky Derby was also marred by tragedy. Seven horses died in the lead-up to the race, prompting animal rights group PETA to call for Churchill Downs to close the track and implement stronger safety protocols.
“Churchill Downs is a killing field,” said PETA’s senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo in a statement.
Despite the concerns, the race went ahead with 18 horses, the smallest field since 2020 due to several withdrawals, including favorite Forte. Two horses, Chloe’s Dream and Freezing Point, were euthanized hours before the race, prompting Churchill Downs to reaffirm its commitment to equine safety.
The second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, will take place on 20 May at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, followed by the Belmont Stakes three weeks later on June 10.
Prize money in the Kentucky Derby
The purse for the 2023 Kentucky Derby was $3 million, the highest purse of the Triple Crown races. $1.86 million of that amount, will be for the winning horse’s owner, Gustavo Delgado, while winning jockey Javier Castellano will take 10% of that amount, $186,000.
The remaining purse is shared among the second through fifth-place finishers. The second and third-placed horses earn $600,000 and $300,000, respectively, while the fourth and fifth-best horses get $150,000 and $90,000.
The prize money has exponentially increased since the race began. The winner of the first Kentucky Derby in 1875 received $2,850, while the runner-up got $200.
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