Kentucky Derby 2024 Betting Odds, Predictions, And Best Bets

Kentucky Derby 2024 Betting Odds, Predictions, And Best Bets

The Kentucky Derby odds for the 150th Run for the Roses show how the best horse racing betting sites expect a tight race! With an abundance of opportunities on the board in 2024, I am making more than a few wagers on my Kentucky Derby betting card!

As the prep races draw to a conclusion and opportunities to qualify for the 2024 Kentucky Derby dwindle, the field of 20 horses is rounding out. The 2024 Triple Crown is set to begin with the running of the 150th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.

Below, I explore the latest odds for the top favorites and dark horses, before sharing my Kentucky Derby 2024 predictions and best bets!

Kentucky Derby 2024 Winner Odds

The following odds for the Kentucky Derby 2024 are courtesy of Bovada:

Fierceness (17)+250
Sierra Leone (2)+350
Forever Young (11)+850
Catching Freedom (4)+900
Just a Touch (8)+1100
Honor Marie (7)+1800
Mystik Dan (3)+2000
Dornoch (1)+2000
Stronghold (18)+2200
Just Steel (6)+2200

The 2024 Kentucky Derby odds have witnessed a slight shake-up since the post positions were announced. Fierceness (+250) remains the favorite to win the 150 Kentucky Derby. At +250, Fierceness has an implied probability of 28.6% to finish 1st.

The No. 17 horses’ odds have improved from +275 to +250 after it was announced he’d run from the 17th gate. Sierra Leone (+350) remains the second-shortest favorite, with no price change after drawing the No. 2 post position.

Just a Touch (+1100) and Dornoch (+2000) saw their odds to win shift the most. Dornoch regressed from +1200 to +2000, while Just a Touch moved up from +1800 to +1100! Just a Touch grabbed a favorable No. 8 post position to help give his KY Derby odds a significant jolt.

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Kentucky Derby 2024 Favorites

Why are Fierceness and Sierra Leone the clear favorites to win at Churchill Downs? Let’s delve into my Kentucky Derby betting guide and check out the prospects for the top runners in Louisville on Derby Day.

Fierceness (+250)

Three-time Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez is expected to be aboard Fierceness for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who is looking for his third Derby win and stands a pretty good chance with this horse.

The three-year-old colt was the star of the show at the 2024 Florida Derby (Gr. 1). Fierceness solidified his status as the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby with a jaw-dropping 13 ½ length win in the $1 million prep race at Gulfstream Park!

Catalytic did what he could to keep pace, but fell back after the ¾ pole. Fierceness extended his lead to 8 lengths at the top of the stretch and cleared handily for a win as the favorite on March 30.

The victory was an impressive response for Fierceness after he faltered in the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3). As an overwhelming favorite, the contestant faded for a 3 ½ length loss behind Domestic Product and Hades.

Fierceness recorded a paltry speed rating of 90, but looked much faster in Florida, clocking a 110. Fierceness posted a similar performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Gr. 1) in November, with a 6 ¼ length win in the $2,000,000 event1.

Overall, Fierceness is three for five in his career, which started at Saratoga on August 25, 2023. The Repole Stable-owned three-year-old is the clear favorite if he brings the same effort as he did at Gulfstream Park in March.

However, the 7th place in the Champagne Stakes (Gr. 1) and a lackluster performance in the Holy Bull leave the door open for a challenger. Consistency is a concern for Fierceness.

Fierceness’s post-position draw didn’t hurt his odds in the least. In fact, they improved from +275 to +250. Keep in mind, however, that Fierceness will have to make history as the first-ever horse to win from the No. 17 gate.

Pletcher’s Fierceness would be the first horse in the race’s 150-year history to win from the No. 17 post position. I would like to see better KY Derby odds on Fierceness before giving him the nod.

Going for Fierceness with your Kentucky Derby 2024 picks doesn’t make sense at the current odds. At +250, there isn’t much value on Fierceness at BetUS.

Sierra Leone (+350)

Trainer Chad Brown has hundreds of stakes wins in his career, but the Kentucky Derby crown has eluded him. Brown has one of the best chances he’s had to end the drought in 2024.

Grade 1 winner Sierra Leone has looked sharp through the first four starts of his career. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has piloted Sierra Leone to three wins in four events. The horse’s latest effort was his most impressive in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 1).

Following a half-length win in the $400,000 Risen Stakes (Gr. 2) in February, Sierra Leone saved his best for Keeneland on April 6. The contestant notched the best speed figure of his career at 107.

The $2.3 million colt surged and kicked free for a 1 ½ length victory over Just a Touch. It was the best speed figure of Sierra Leone’s career, and he should have more to offer in the future.

While Fierceness may have peaked too early in the Florida Derby, I don’t believe Sierra Leone has reached his best form. The kick in the stretch for Sierra Leone in the Toyota Blue Grass was quite promising.

It could be a prelude to what is to come at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. There are concerns with Fierceness’s consistency, but that hasn’t been the case for Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone drew the No. 2 post position, which could have been better. 1978 Kentucky Derby winner Affirmed is the most recent No. 2 horse to win.

Nevertheless, Sierra Leone is a fast horse, and his price did not move at all following the draw. This suggests that bettors have confidence in him for their KY Derby predictions, despite drawing No. 2.

In addition to 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 1st finishes in his career, his workouts have been consistent. Sierra Leone has been clocked at 49, 49, 48.60, 49.60, and 49.60 seconds in 4 furlongs since early March2.

Top Sleeper Picks For The Kentucky Derby 2024

Including a few sleepers in your 2024 Kentucky Derby best bets is reasonable horse racing betting strategy. Consider putting these top value picks on your card, as well!

  1. Catching Freedom comes to Kentucky after an impressive win in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2). It was the second win of Catching Freedom’s career, which includes a victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes in January. Brad Cox has a good one, and there aren’t many better than jockey Flavien Prat in the Derby.

    Since my initial pick on Catching Freedom weeks ago, his odds continue to move down. He has almost the third-shortest odds to win the Kentucky Derby 2024! By post-time, Catching Freedom is trending to have a shorter price, so consider betting on him soon if you like his chances.

    He drew a decent post position for the 150th Kentucky Derby. Five winners have come from the No. 4 post, most recently in 2010 with Super Saver. Catching Freedom isn’t as much of a sleeper anymore, but I have to signal him out with 2024 Kentucky Derby odds at +900 or higher.

  2. Despite Dornoch’s 4th place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 1), the $325,000 colt was running well with three consecutive wins from October 14, 2023, to March 2, 2024.

    In the $400,000 Coolmore Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2), Dornoch edged away for a 1 ¾ length win over Le Dom Bro as a strong favorite. He’s on the heels of a fast 47.25-second 4-furlong workout on March 303.

    Dornoch’s Kentucky Derby 2024 odds to win have been on a roller coaster. He was +2000, +1200, and now back to +2000 after drawing the No. 1 post position. There hasn’t been a Derby winner from No. 1 since 1986, though there have been a reasonable number of winners with eight all-time.

    With public bettors shying away from Dornoch after he drew the inside rail, value is back on the menu for Dornach at +2000.

  3. Steven Asmussen’s $500,000 Track Phantom always seems to be near the winner at the wire. He went through an impressive stretch, with a 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, and 2nd place finishes before going 4th in the Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2).

    Track Phantom was just a half-length behind Sierra Leone in the Risen Star Stakes (Gr. 2) on February 17. Even when Track Phantom finished 4th, he was with the lead pack and was less than 2 lengths away in a tight ending at Fair Grounds4.

    Track Phantom’s draw could have been better than No. 12, but it isn’t an impossible position to win from. Three Derby winners have started out of the No. 12 gate.

Kentucky Derby 2024 Best Bets

My best Kentucky Derby betting picks include a variety of different bet types. In addition to selecting a winner, I am exploring Kentucky Derby exacta and trifecta markets for my horse racing betting tips.

This is setting up to be a competitive Kentucky Derby. While Fierceness and Sierra Leone are the class of the field, the +275 favorite could blow this field away or not show up at all.

Will Fierceness be interested in running to his full potential on May 4? If so, he can clear the competition. As we saw in the Florida Derby (Gr. 1), Fierceness can make races look like a workout.

Alternatively, we have also seen the horse struggle, for instance, 3rd in the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3). Sierra Leone’s closing speed has to be a concern for Fierceness and the rest of the Kentucky Derby field.

2024 Kentucky Derby Winner Best Bet

Chad Brown’s Sierra Leone has been the most consistent stakes runner in this field. There is no denying how impressive Fierceness was in the Florida Derby (Gr. 1). However, I have confidence in Sierra Leone running his typical race.

He has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st in four career races. Most importantly, Sierra Leone has continued to show improvement and get faster since his debut in November.

In the Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 1), Brown’s colt showed off with the ability to weave through traffic, bump, and then turn on the juice when it was required in the stretch run. The pace runners didn’t have an answer to fend off Sierra Leone.

If Sierra Leone finds a lane down the stretch, he has a good chance of landing in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs. This is the most dependable horse in the field, so consider him when betting on the Kentucky Derby 2024.

The Bet
Sierra Leone

Best Exacta Bet For The Kentucky Derby 2024

For a winning Kentucky Derby exacta bet, the ticket must correctly predict which horses will finish 1st and 2nd in the race. Currently, the lowest payout for a Fierceness-Sierra Leone exacta.

However, that particular wager doesn’t have the best betting value, and I have Sierra Leone winning the Kentucky Derby. Therefore, look elsewhere for your best exacta bet.

As I noted for my sleeper Kentucky Derby 2024 picks, Catching Freedom is hot following a strong showing in the Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2). A similar effort would put Catching Freedom in contention.

Catching Freedom continued to attract attention from bettors after the post-position draw was announced. No. 4 isn’t the absolute best, but it’s above average. Additionally, Catching Freedom is right next to the No. 5 gate, which has produced the most Kentucky Derby winners in history.

Sierra Leone catches them all down the stretch, but Catching Freedom hangs in there to place 2nd. With that in mind, consider an exacta ticket on Sierra Leone finishing 1st and Catching Freedom 2nd.

The Bet
(2), (4)

Best Trifecta Bet For The Kentucky Derby 2024

The trifecta bet offers larger payouts, but the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place horses must be correct. Although I am not high on Fierceness’s Kentucky Derby 2024 betting odds at +275, he should be utilized on a trifecta or superfecta ticket.

With Sierra Leone and Catching Freedom finishing 1st and 2nd, I expect Fierceness to run well enough to hang around. Sierra Leone’s late kick should be the difference to overtake his foes in the final furlong.

That likely pushes Catching Freedom back to 2nd and Fierceness to 3rd. What’s more, the payout on this bet will be quite impressive if it hits on Derby Day.

Public money will pour in on Fierceness to win, so the odds will be favorable for a Sierra Leone, Catching Freedom, and Fierceness top-3 finish.

The Bet
(2), (4), (17)

Where To Bet On The Kentucky Derby 2024?

Highly rated betting site Bovada ranks at the top for the number of Kentucky Derby odds and exotic wagers to bet on. In addition to pari-mutuel wagering in the racebook, futures betting on the winner on fixed odds is currently available in the sportsbook. You can also find odds for the Kentucky Oaks, so everything is covered!

Bovada will also offer matchup wagers and props on May 4 at Churchill Downs. New customers can claim an impressive 50% match bonus of up to $250 that goes to 75% up to $750 for crypto deposits!

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  1. Horse Profile for Fierceness | Retrieved From “

  2. Horse Profile for Sierra Leone | Retrieved From “

  3. Horse Profile for Dornoch | Retrieved From “

  4. Horse Profile for Track Phantom | Retrieved From “

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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