Kentucky Derby 2023 Preview: Here's Who ChatGPT Picks To Win The Race

Zinger Key Points
  • The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 6.
  • While ChatGPT can't predict the exact outcome of a sporting event, it can be fed data and predict how likely the outcome will be.

The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 6, and will see 19 horses compete to win the prestigious horse race. Given the rise of artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT, here’s a look at what it says about the derby.

What Happened: While ChatGPT and other chatbots can't predict the exact outcome of a sporting event, they can be fed data and predict how likely the outcome will be, as Benzinga noted in its report on the NFL playoffs.

The 149th Kentucky Derby is set to take place around 6:50 p.m. ET. The event will be televised on NBC and the Peacock streaming app, both of which are units of Comcast Corporation.

To see if ChatGPT could predict the winner of the 2023 Kentucky Derby, TwinSpires took a look at what the artificial intelligence technology would have predicted for previous races. TwinSpires is owned by Churchill Downs Inc, which also owns the historic racetrack where Saturday’s race will take place. TwinSpires' report revealed that, while ChatGPT could not predict the future, it could narrow down potential winners of the derby.

Because many factors can impact a horse's chances of winning a race (including the horse's health, the jockey, and track and weather conditions), TwinSpires noted that ChatGPT's predictive model depends heavily on how those factors are prioritized. 

In its case, TwinSpires used performances in graded stakes race, Brisnet Speed figures, and information about trainers, jockeys and post position as determining factors. 

Fed with past racing data, ChatGPT recreated the 2005 Kentucky Derby and simulated the results 1,000 times. According to TwinSpires, the chatbot predicted that Bellamy Road would have won the 2005 Kentucky Derby as the winner in most simulations. While Bellamy Road was the favorite for the race, it, in fact, finished in seventh place. That year, Giacomo, a 50-to-1 long shot, won the race. While ChatGPT didn’t correctly predict that Giacomo would win in most simulations, the horse was the winner in 105 of the 10,000 simulated races or about 6.2% of the simulated races. 

ChatGPT also predicted a strong showing for Afleet Alex, which was a 4.5-to-one favorite ahead of the 2005 race and ended up third in the Kentucky Derby and winning the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes that year.

According to TwinSpires, when directly asked who would win the 2023 Kentucky Derby, ChatGPT said it couldn't "predict future events or outcome with certainty, including the winner of the 2023 Kentucky Derby.” 

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Predicting a Winner:  The Sports Daily, on the other hand, fed its own data to ChatGPT in late April to predict a winner of the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Sports editor David Evans wrote that he input betting odds, along with information about the horses, jockeys, trainers and owners, to predict the winner.

In response, ChatGPT reportedly said that “[as] the race entered its final stretch, it was Forte who found another gear and surged ahead, followed closely by Angel of Empire and Tapi Trice. The trio battled fiercely in last furlong, with the crowd roaring in anticipation of the photo finish.”

The final results, according to Evans' predictive model, were:

  • 1. Forte
  • 2. Angel of Empire
  • 3. Tapit Trice
  • 4. Practical Move
  • 5. Skinner

Finishing last was Sun Thunder.

Readers should, however, take this prediction with a grain of salt, as two of the expected top five horses, Practical Move and Skinner, were scratched ahead of the race.

Currently, Forte is the betting favorite to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby, with odds ranging from +250 to +300.

Instead of using ChatGPT to predict a winner, Benzinga’s resident horse-racing expert Joel Elconin analyzed past data to come up with a victor this year. Find out who he picked to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby and which horses he likes to watch.

For more on the sports betting landscape and what could be next for popular betting segments and legislation, tune in to the Benzinga Sports Betting Titans virtual event on May 24.

Photo: Shutterstock

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