Gotham Stakes Odds & Picks: Bets to Make on Saturday’s Derby Prep Race

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Saturday’s running of the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, New York marks another stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.  

This will be a loaded field with 15 horses vying for Derby qualifying points. Morello captured the victory in last year’s Gotham Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen, who later withdrew his horse from the Kentucky Derby due to a foot injury.

Here we examine Gotham Stakes odds and picks ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby prep race, which will be contested over a one-turn mile on dirt.

Morning-Line Odds to Win Gotham Stakes

Here are the post positions, morning-line odds, jockeys, and trainers for the 2023 Gotham Stakes. Post time is 4:56 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the race can be viewed on CNBC and FanDuel TV.

PPHorseML OddsJockey Trainer
1Lord Miles10-1Paco LopezSaffie Joseph, Jr.
2Classic Car Wash8-1Emisael JaramilloMark Casse
3Classic Legacy6-1Irad Ortiz, Jr.William Mott
4Groveland8-1Daniel CentenoEoin Harty
5Mikey Bananas20-1Pablo MoralesTimothy Hamm
6Tapit Trice8-5Luis SaezTodd Pletcher
7Freedom Road20-1Hector Diaz, Jr.Gregory Sacco
8Dreaming of Kona20-1Scott SpiethAldana Spieth
9Shesterkin10-1Edgard ZayasTodd Pletcher
10Champions Dream15-1Antonio GallardoMark Casse
11Zydeceaux20-1Samuel MarinRamon Minguet
12Prairie Hawk20-1Samy CamachoSaffie Joseph, Jr.

Editor’s note: Morning-line odds are simply a prediction by track handicappers of what each horse’s price will be. They have no bearing on the odds a bettor ultimately receives on a bet. With pari-mutuel wagering, odds are determined by the amount of money bet on each entry, and closing odds are the prices at which each bet is effective.

Top Contenders in 2023 Gotham Stakes

Trainer Brad Cox has two of the top contenders to win the 2023 Gotham Stakes in morning-line favorite Eyeing Clover and Slip Mahoney. Cox has been a force on the Road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby with six wins in Derby prep races to date.

Eyeing Clover is undefeated in two career starts, but will be making his stakes debut at Aqueduct. Eyeing Clover is coming off a dominant victory at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans that saw him win by almost 10 lengths. The chestnut colt will be tasked with starting from the 13th post position.

Trainer Brad Cox will have his eyes on Eyeing Clover and Slip Mahoney during Saturday’s Gotham Stakes. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Slip Mahoney, another lightly raced colt getting his first taste of stakes competition, has three career starts with all of them coming at Aqueduct. He won his last time out in January covering the same mile distance of the Gotham Stakes. That effort followed a near-win last December when Slip Mahoney was beaten by a neck by Tapit Trice in the slop at Aqueduct.

Lugan Knight is coming off a stakes-winning effort in the Jerome for trainer Michael McCarthy. Lugan Knight outdueled morning-line favorite Arctic Arrogance in that one-mile race at Aqueduct. Arctic Arrogance will not compete in the Gotham due to a recent illness outbreak at his Belmont Park barn.

Other horses to consider: 

Carmel Road: Looking for his first stakes victory under the direction of trainer Tim Yakteen after transferring from Bob Baffert’s barn. Baffert remains on suspension from the Kentucky Derby. This will mark Carmel Road’s first attempt at a one-turn mile.

Fort Warren – Sired by Carlin, Fort Warren should be in good stead at this distance. He’s won one of two career starts at Santa Anita and never finished off the board.

Recruiter – Comfortable setting or stalking the pace, Recruiter has won all four of his career starts including his lone outing this year at Philadelphia Park.

Howgreatisnate – Also 4-for-4 in his career, but stepping up in class here. The 3-year-old gelding is trained by Andrew Simoff.

Mr. Swagger – A winner in his only career start over six-and-a-half furlongs at Aqueduct.

Uncorrelated – The Chad Brown-trained colt is coming off his maiden race in January, a win over six furlongs at Aqueduct.

Transect – Two wins in two starts came on synthetic turf at Turfway Park. Can he repeat that success in debut on dirt?

Gotham Stakes Picks

This overflow field helps contribute to a solid betting race, as does the absence of Arctic Arrogance. We’re betting on three horses to win, and also using them in a boxed triple.

Win bets: Lugan Knight, Howgreatisnate, Slip Mahoney

Trifecta box: Lugan Knight, Howgreatisnate, Fort Warren, Slip Mahoney

Updated Kentucky Derby Point Standings & Odds

The top-five finishers in the Gotham Stakes will receive Kentucky Derby qualifying points in the amount of 50-20-15-10-5.

Confidence Game leads the Derby points race after his win in last weekend’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Lugan Knight, General Banker, and Raise Cain are the only Gotham entrants to win points to date. Here’s the updated leaderboard heading into the Gotham Stakes.

Lastly, here are Circa’s 2023 Kentucky Derby futures odds for horses competing in the Gotham Stakes. Slip Mahoney has the best odds of that group at +8500.

HorseCirca Kentucky Derby Futures Odds
Clear The AirN/A
Howgreatisnate+25000
Mr. SwaggerN/A
Uncorrelated+20000
Carmel Road+12500
General Banker+22500
TransectN/A
Fort Warren+20000
Clubhouse+25000
Lugan Knight+20000
Slip Mahoney+8500
Raise Cain+30000
Eyeing Clover+10000
Recruiter+25000
Radio RedN/A

Also read: Fountain of Youth Stakes Odds & Picks | Fountain of Youth Stakes Field & Top Contenders | What is the Triple Crown of horse racing?

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About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Senior Writer
Kris Johnson is a senior writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Johnson's work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and other publications. He also authored a sports betting novel titled The Endgame.

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