22.03.2023 - The Kentucky Derby is among the world's most prestigious horse racing events, and it's a race that attracts the best horses, jockeys, and trainers from around the globe. Every year, trainers dream of saddling the winner of the Kentucky Derby, and the 2023 edition is no exception.
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There have been some legends who had not just one but multiple Kentucky Derby titles. TwinSpires has selected the most successful trainers in history.
In this article, we will look at some of the horse racing trainers aiming to make an impact in the 2023 Kentucky Derby and one trainer that will be absent from Churchill Downs this year.
Trainers to Watch Out for
Below, we’ve highlighted four trainers whose horses are worth keeping a close eye on come Kentucky Derby day.
Todd Pletcher is an accomplished trainer who has won the Kentucky Derby twice. He is known for his ability to prepare horses for big races and has trained some of the best horses in recent history, including 2017 Derby winner Always Dreaming.
Pletcher trains the current favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, Forte, who landed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November. And he also trains the current second favorite for the race, Tapit Trice, who won the South Tampa Bay Derby in early March.
Steve Asmussen is one of the most successful trainers in horse racing, with over 9,000 career wins to his name and over $380 million in prize money. He has trained several successful horses in recent years, including the 2017 American Horse of the Year, Gun Runner.
Asmussen has not yet won the Kentucky Derby, but he has come close several times, including with Epicenter, who placed 2nd in last year's Derby behind the shock 80/1 winner Rich Strike.
Will 2023 finally be the year that Asmussen gets the career win that's eluded him?
Chad Brown is a highly respected horse racing trainer with significant success. He is known for his meticulous training approach and ability to get the best out of his horses on race day.
Despite his many accomplishments, Brown has not yet won a Kentucky Derby. However, he had come close several times, including when Good Magic finished second in the 2018 Derby.
However, Brown has succeeded in other Triple Crown races, winning the Preakness Stakes in 2017 with Cloud Computing and the Belmont Stakes with Tonalist in 2014.
Despite his lack of success in the Kentucky Derby, Brown's horses are always highly regarded by racing fans and experts alike. Brown's best chance of victory in this year's Kentucky Derby appears to be with Practical Move, who has won his last two races, including the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.
Brad Cox is a rising star in the horse racing world and has quickly made a name for himself as a top trainer. He has trained several successful horses in recent years, including the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Mandaloun.
Mandaloun was handed victory following the disqualification of Medina Spirit, and Cox will hope to land this year's race in less-controversial circumstances.
This year, his best chance of glory could be with Instant Coffee, who has won three of his four starts, including the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
A Churchill Downs Absentee
One trainer who won't be at Churchill Downs is Bob Baffert, who has landed the Kentucky Derby a record six times.
However, having won the race in 2021 with Medina Spirit, the horse subsequently tested for the banned substance betamethasone and was stripped of the race.
Churchill Downs also suspended Baffert and any of his horses until the end of this year's Spring Meet. However, this is a situation that is likely to roll on with numerous legal challenges underway.