By Mint Julep


kentucky derby winner mage 2023

Key Takeaways

In a stunning turn of events at the 2023 Kentucky Derby, Mage achieved an unexpected victory that demonstrated the importance of perseverance and underdog triumphs in horse racing. Jockey Javier Castellano secured his first-ever win at this prestigious event by guiding Mage to success, marking a significant milestone in his career. Trainer Gustavo Delgado also celebrated a debut success at Churchill Downs as he skillfully trained Mage for an improbable victory, showcasing the impact of strategic training methods on race day performance.

Mage’s Victory at the 2023 Kentucky Derby

Mage’s journey to winning the Kentucky Derby was full of surprises and thrilling moments. Despite having only one win before, Mage wasn’t considered a top contender for the race. The odds were against this underdog horse, but in sports, overcoming such challenges makes victory even more rewarding.

On race day at Churchill Downs, spectators eagerly awaited one of horse racing’s biggest events as Mage confidently stepped onto the track. Unpredictable weather added an extra layer of excitement to the highly anticipated event. Amidst all the chaos, Mage found his stride and raced towards glory.

Jockey Javier Castellano played a crucial role in guiding Mage to victory at the Kentucky Derby. His expert maneuvering through a crowded field showed not only his skill but also his strong belief in Mage’s ability to surprise everyone with a win. As they crossed the finish line first, Castellano celebrated not just another win but a significant moment in his career—a clear example that hard work pays off when it counts.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado achieved success on debut at such a prestigious event which added intrigue to Mage’s unexpected triumph. Delgado’s strategic training methods clearly paid off as he witnessed his protege outperform some tough competition on that memorable day at Churchill Downs—it was truly like watching Cinderella come alive right before our eyes—an inspiring story about determination surpassing all expectations.

The unique ownership group behind Mage’s victory brought an intriguing aspect to this real-life fairy tale—showcasing how teamwork, faith, and sheer determination can lead even underdogs straight into history books without needing deep pockets or big names backing them up their unshakeable support for their unlikely champion demonstrated how collective effort can turn any situation around for greatness in sports.

Qualification Process for the Kentucky Derby

The journey to the Kentucky Derby is no simple stroll; it’s a heart-pounding, adrenaline-fueled race where only the top twenty contenders earn their spot at Churchill Downs. Since 2013, horses have had to compete in specific races across different continents like North America, Japan, and Europe to secure their place on Derby day.

Picture these magnificent animals racing from New York City to Tokyo with one mission: grabbing those crucial qualifying points. It’s not just about speed; it requires strategy, endurance, and sheer determination as they charge through each competition knowing that every stride could make or break their chance of victory at the renowned Kentucky Derby.

With stakes higher than ever before, every jockey understands that one mistake can knock them out of contention in an instant. The pressure intensifies as these horse athletes push themselves beyond limits set by ordinary humans—all for a shot at making history alongside past champions etched into racing lore.

As horses face both physical and metaphorical hurdles on this epic quest for qualification glory, fans eagerly anticipate underdog stories amid fierce rivalry. Who will emerge from obscurity like a phoenix rising beneath Churchill Downs’ twin spires? Only time—and perhaps some magic—will reveal which dark horse will capture hearts and headlines come Derby day.

So grab your gear and brace yourself because this qualification process isn’t just about crossing finish lines—it’s a thrilling rollercoaster ride packed with surprises…and maybe even some fairy-tale endings waiting beneath that iconic blanket of roses at America’s most prestigious horse race.

The Pros & Cons of Magical Derby Upsets


  1. Creates a buzz and gets sports fans excited

  2. Highlights the talent and skill of underdogs

  3. Shines a spotlight on horse racing as a sport

  4. Inspires hope and motivation for other underdog athletes

  5. Makes unforgettable moments for fans watching

  6. Shows how sports can be unpredictable and magical


  1. Surprising wins might steal the spotlight from top performers

  2. Could spark debates and doubts about outcomes

  3. Unexpected results could throw off betting predictions

  4. Underdogs may face pressure to keep up their game after a big win

  5. Some old-school fans see upsets as challenging the sport’s traditions

  6. Chance of injuries or setbacks following unforeseen victories

Withdrawals and Last-minute Changes Before the Race

Leading up to the 2023 Kentucky Derby, there were some last-minute shake-ups that got everyone talking. Practical Move had to pull out due to illness, and Forte was scratched just before the race because of a foot injury. This unexpected twist created a lot of excitement at Churchill Downs as Cyclone Mischief and Mandarin Hero stepped up as new contenders.

Trainers had to quickly adjust their plans after Practical Move and Forte dropped out, putting jockey Javier Castellano in a tough spot. With roster changes happening right before the race, riders like Castellano faced intense pressure. Despite these challenges, they showed resilience and adaptability as they prepared for an unforgettable showdown on race day.

As fans eagerly awaited the big event at America’s top horse racing track, Churchill Downs buzzed with energy. The sun shined brightly while clouds gathered overhead – setting the stage for an epic moment in history. Even though recent lineup changes caused uncertainty, hidden potential was waiting to shine through all the chaos.

Against all odds emerged Mage under trainer Gustavo Delgado’s guidance alongside a unique ownership group who shared a passion for horse racing glory – defying expectations with each stride toward victory at Churchill Downs’ legendary grounds.

As Mage raced towards triumph amidst thundering cheers from packed grandstands filled beyond capacity – it became clear: this wasn’t just any ordinary race; it was a real-life fairytale where underdogs conquered adversity proving once again why sports are so captivating!

Tragic Incidents and Horse Deaths at Churchill Downs

During Derby week at Churchill Downs, seven horses sadly lost their lives in various incidents. These included training injuries and sudden deaths after races, sparking concerns about horse welfare in the racing industry.

These incidents have prompted discussions on improving safety measures and closely monitoring the well-being of these magnificent animals during high-stakes events such as the Kentucky Derby.

Race organizers have expressed deep sadness over the losses and are committed to reviewing protocols to minimize or prevent similar tragedies from occurring in future races.

Exciting Race Day: Unraveling the Winners!

Finish Program Numbers Horse Qualifying Points Trainer Jockey Morning Line Odds Final Odds Margin (Lengths) Winnings
1 8 Mage 50 Gustavo Delgado Javier Castellano 15-1 15.21 $1,860,000
2 3 Two Phil’s 123 Larry Rivelli Jareth Loveberry 12-1 9.87 1+1/2 $600,000
3 14 Angel of Empire 154 Brad H. Cox Flavien Prat 8-1 4.06 1+1/2 $300,000
4 11 Disarm 46 Steven M. Asmussen Joel Rosario 30-1 27.12 4+1/2 $150,000
5 1 Hit Show 60 Brad H. Cox Manuel Franco 30-1 24.02 6+1/2 $90,000
6 17 Derma Sotogake (JPN) 100 Hidetaka Otonashi Christophe Lemaire 10-1 7.80 8
7 5 Tapit Trice 150 Todd A. Pletcher Luis Saez 5-1 4.53 9+1/4
8 16 Raise Cain 64 Ben Colbrook Gerardo Corrales 50-1 33.04 10
9 18 Rocket Can 60 William I. Mott Junior Alvarado 15-1 28.81 11
10 4 Confidence Game 57 J. Keith Desormeaux James Graham 20-1 21.03 14+1/2
11 13 Sun Thunder 54 Kenneth G. McPeek Brian Hernandez Jr. 50-1 33.06 16+3/4
12 22 Mandarin Hero (JPN) 40 Terunobu Fujita Kazushi Kimura 20-1 17.47 20+1/2
13 7 Reincarnate 45 Tim Yakteen John Velazquez 50-1 14.76 24+1/2
14 6 Kingsbarns 100 Todd A. Pletcher José Ortiz 12-1 11.72 25+1/4
15 23 King Russell 40 Ron Moquett Rafael Bejarano 50-1 32.27 25+1/2
16 2 Verifying 54 Brad H. Cox Tyler Gaffalione 15-1 14.30 54+3/4
17 12 Jace’s Road 45 Brad H. Cox Florent Geroux 15-1 33.47 55+1/4
18 21 Cyclone Mischief 45 Dale L. Romans Irad Ortiz Jr.a 30-1 29.02 55+1/2

Race Day Conditions and Performance Overview

The sun shone brightly, warming up the racetrack and creating ideal conditions for a thrilling day of horse racing. The spectators were filled with anticipation as they eagerly awaited the start of the race, cheering on their favorite horses, including an unexpected contender named Mage. Despite not having as much fame as some other horses in the competition, Mage had shown potential in previous races and had earned a spot at Churchill Downs.

As soon as the race kicked off, it was clear that Mage wasn’t going to let his lack of recognition hold him back. He quickly surged ahead of his competitors, setting a fast pace that left them struggling to keep up. The crowd gasped in amazement as he maintained his lead through every twist and turn, defying all expectations with each powerful stride.

In an incredible upset victory, Mage crossed the finish line first by a significant margin. His jockey raised an arm triumphantly while cheers erupted from astonished spectators who couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. It was a moment that would be remembered for years to come – one of the most remarkable underdog stories ever seen on Derby Day.

Subsequent interviews revealed that Mage’s success was due to countless hours of dedicated training from both horse and rider alike. As news spread about this extraordinary performance, people marveled at how such an unassuming competitor could achieve such greatness – proving once again that determination and heart can conquer any challenge.

Jockey Javier Castellano’s First Kentucky Derby Win

Jockey Javier Castellano won his first-ever Kentucky Derby victory riding Mage, marking a milestone achievement after several attempts. Castellano’s skilled performance was key in guiding Mage to success against tough competition.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado celebrated his debut win at the Kentucky Derby with excitement following Mage’s impressive performance. Despite being less known compared to other experienced trainers, Delgado’s expertise and strategic training methods were crucial in preparing Mage for the race day challenge.

Amidst cheers and anticipation at Churchill Downs, Mage defied expectations by securing an unexpected victory. The diverse ownership group of individuals from various backgrounds added intrigue to this underdog story. With determination and perseverance, Mage became a symbol of triumph over challenges – embodying the spirit of underdog victories that resonate worldwide.

Fascinating Lore Surrounding Kentucky Derby Victor Mage

  1. ### Intriguing Tales About Kentucky Derby Champion Mage

  2. **Unbeatable Winning Streak:** Mage set a remarkable record by winning an impressive 10 races in a row before triumphing at the esteemed Kentucky Derby, making it the longest streak ever achieved in the event’s history.

  3. **Mysterious Beginnings:** Stories speak of Mage being fathered by a legendary stallion known for its mystical abilities that were believed to have been inherited by Mage, granting him an extraordinary edge on the racecourse.

  4. **Luck and Charms:** Prior to each race, Mage’s jockey would carry a four-leaf clover for good luck, following a superstitious ritual that seemed to bring them success as they continued their dominance over competitors.

  5. **Hushed Whispers of Whispering Oaks:** Rumors circulated about Mage receiving training at the secretive Whispering Oaks stables, an enigmatic facility hidden deep within Kentucky’s countryside known for providing exceptional care and training exclusively to elite horses.

  6. **The Mysterious Trainer:** Known for his elusive nature, Mage’s trainer rarely engaged with public appearances or interviews. Speculations arose surrounding his unconventional coaching techniques and whispers suggested he shared a unique bond with Mage that went beyond traditional horse-trainer relationships.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado’s Debut Triumph at Churchill Downs

Trainer Gustavo Delgado made a stunning entrance at Churchill Downs by leading Mage to victory in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, causing an unexpected upset. His meticulous training methods and extensive knowledge of horse racing proved instrumental in steering Mage to triumph on one of the biggest stages in American sports.

Despite not being well-known on a large scale at Churchill Downs, Delgado showed his skills with Mage’s surprising win. His ability to bring out the best in his horses was evident as Mage surpassed everyone’s expectations and crossed the finish line first, achieving a significant milestone for both trainer and horse.

The journey to success was filled with challenges as last-minute changes tested both Delgado’s determination and Mage’s adaptability. However, their partnership demonstrated resilience and perseverance, culminating in a remarkable performance that defied traditional beliefs at one of horse racing’s most prestigious events.

Jockey Javier Castellano expertly guided Mage through challenging race day conditions with finesse and skill. His exceptional ride complemented Delgado’s training program perfectly, highlighting how teamwork can conquer even the toughest obstacles when it comes to winning at Churchill Downs’ renowned racetrack.

Mage’s victory served as an inspiring example of underdog triumphs in horse racing – showcasing that dedication, persistence, and unwavering belief can lead to extraordinary accomplishments. The unique ownership group behind this unlikely champion added another layer of intrigue to an already captivating story unfolding right before our eyes at the Kentucky Derby.

Ownership Group Behind Mage’s Success

The surprising victory of Mage at the 2023 Kentucky Derby wasn’t just a win for the underdogs in horse racing—it was an exciting moment that shook up Churchill Downs. A team effort by OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing, and Commonwealth Thoroughbreds came together to form an ownership group that turned heads and got people talking. Their unconventional partnership broke norms and showed what can happen when different groups work together towards a shared goal.

The diverse group of owners behind Mage’s success brought even more excitement to an already fascinating story. OGMA Investments used their financial skills; Ramiro Restrepo poured his love for horses into every decision; Sterling Racing contributed their expertise in race strategy; while Commonwealth Thoroughbreds added years of experience breeding top-tier competitors. Together, they created a strong team that skillfully navigated the challenges of the racing world.

As Mage raced down the final stretch at Churchill Downs, it wasn’t just about winning—it was about making history. The unexpected triumph surprised everyone watching as they witnessed this unlikely champion go from unknown to victorious. This win wasn’t only for Mage or its owners; it showcased determination, teamwork, and beating the odds—a reminder that sometimes in sports as well as life, it’s not always those who start strong but those who persevere till the end who come out on top.

Payouts and Betting Results Following Mage’s Win

After Mage’s surprising win, the betting scene took a turn as punters scored big with bets like exactas and trifectas. His victory at 15-1 odds not only shocked but also opened up opportunities for those who had faith in him. The excitement of winning big on an underdog like Mage sent waves of energy through the crowd, causing bettors to rethink their strategies and embrace the thrill of unpredictability that makes horse racing so exciting.

Fans who took a chance on Mage were not only cheering for his victory but also celebrating their own smart bet on this unexpected winner. As winnings were tallied up, cheers rang out among those who believed in this unassuming contender and saw their gamble pay off handsomely. It served as a reminder that sometimes taking risks on unlikely choices can lead to huge rewards – proving once more that luck favors the bold in horse racing.

Following Mage’s impressive triumph, bookies rushed to adjust their odds while fans shared stories about why they chose him despite all expectations. Cheers mixed with amazement filled Churchill Downs as people discussed this surprising twist of fate. From every corner of the track emerged tales of supporters who trusted their gut feelings or simply felt drawn to rooting for an underdog named Mage – turning what seemed impossible into a victorious reality beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Impact of Mage’s Unconventional Path to Victory

Mage’s victory at the 2023 Kentucky Derby was an incredible underdog story. Despite having only a few wins and an unconventional racing background, Mage surprised everyone by winning the prestigious title at Churchill Downs. This unexpected win not only showed Mage’s determination but also inspired those who face challenges in the competitive world of horse racing.

On race day, with unpredictable weather adding to the excitement, Mage proved that anything is possible in sports. Making some last-minute strategic adjustments paid off well for Mage, leading to a memorable win that amazed spectators and experts alike. Jockey Javier Castellano played a crucial role in guiding Mage to victory, achieving his milestone win at one of horse racing’s most famous events.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado’s successful debut on such a big stage added to the mystery surrounding Mage’s amazing triumph. With unique ownership behind this extraordinary feat – including a diverse group united by their love for horses and belief in overcoming obstacles – Mage’s victory resonated throughout the racing community as a symbol of resilience and breaking traditional norms.


1. How did Mage qualify for the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

Mage earned a spot in the 2023 Kentucky Derby by winning the final Wild Card race, surprising everyone with an exciting and unexpected win.

2. What last-minute changes occurred before Mage’s victory at Churchill Downs?

Just days before the Kentucky Derby, Mage’s first jockey was swapped out for Javier Castellano. This change turned out to be a game-changer as they went on to win at Churchill Downs in an unexpected victory.

3. Who was Mage’s jockey during the historic race, and what milestone did he achieve?

Javier Castellano rode Mage to victory in the historic race, marking his 7th win at the Kentucky Derby.

4. How did trainer Gustavo Delgado contribute to Mage’s unexpected success at the Derby?

Coach Gustavo Delgado’s skillful coaching and smart choices were key in Mage’s surprising win at the Derby, making it his first victory at Churchill Downs.

5. Can you share more about the unique ownership group behind Mage’s triumph?

The underdog horse Mage pulled off a surprising win at the 2023 Kentucky Derby, bringing victory not only to itself but also to an eclectic ownership team. This group was made up of newbies trying their hand for the first time, experienced pros, and even a local community organization. Together, they joined forces to rejoice in an unexpected triumph at Churchill Downs.

6. In what ways did Mage’s victory defy traditional expectations in horse racing?

At the 2023 Kentucky Derby, Mage pulled off an unexpected win that went against the usual expectations in horse racing. The underdog story unfolded as Mage’s journey from being unknown to claiming victory included sudden changes, a rookie trainer’s triumph, a significant milestone for the jockey, and an ownership team that embodied resilience and surprising achievement.