Kentucky Derby 2024 predictions & favorites: Full list of projected winners for all 14 races | Sporting News

Kentucky Derby 2024 predictions & favorites: Full list of projected winners for all 14 races | Sporting News

The biggest horse racing day of the calendar year, the 2024 Kentucky Derby finally arrives this Saturday. And while many bettors already know the odds for the 150th Run for the Roses, most don’t realize that 13 other races take place on the Derby-day undercard at Churchill Downs.

Don’t get swept up in the narratives around heavy betting favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone. Sure, those colts have been spectacular — but plenty of betting value can be found outside the favorites on FanDuel Racing, both within the Kentucky Derby outright winner boards and on the betting market for the other 13 events scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 8:35 p.m. ET.

WATCH: 2024 Kentucky Derby live on Fubo (free trial)

With a post time set for 6:57 p.m. ET, “the fastest two minutes in sports” obviously serves as the biggest draw — or main course, if you will. It’s the first leg of the Triple Crown, after all. But why skip the appetizers, desserts, and mint juleps!?

Here’s a comprehensive listing of the 2024 Kentucky Derby FanDuel Racing odds and the post times and best bets for all 14 races scheduled for Saturday.

Kentucky Derby 2024: Odds to win

All odds courtesy of FanDuel Racing. Pos = Post position.

Pos. Horse Odds
1 Dornoch 20-1
2 Sierra Leone 3-1
3 Mystik Dan 20-1
4 Catching Freedom 8-1
5 Catalytic 30-1
6 Just Steel 20-1
7 Honor Marie 20-1
8 Just a Touch 10-1
9 Encino (scratched) 20-1
10 T O Password 30-1
11 Forever Young 10-1
12 Track Phantom 20-1
13 West Saratoga 50-1
14 Endlessly 30-1
15 Domestic Product 30-1
16 Grand Mo the First 50-1
17 Fierceness 5-2
18 Stronghold 20-1
19 Resilience 20-1
20 Society Man 50-1
21 Epic Ride 30-1

BUY NOW: Cheapest tickets for 2024 Kentucky Derby on StubHub

Kentucky Derby 2024 (Race 12, 6:57 p.m. ET): Favorites

The clear favorites in the 2024 Kentucky Derby field are Fierceness (5-2) and Sierra Leone (7-1), the two most dominant horses in the world right now.

No horse is faster than Fierceness, but he has a tough post position at 17. No horse has ever won the Run for the Roses from Gate 17. Sierra Leone, meanwhile, drew a much more favorable post at two (which has won seven times). 

Fierceness (5-2)

The odds-on favorite and talk of the racing world has been Fierceness, coming off a big win at the 1-and-1/8-mile Florida Derby.

The 2023 Juvenile Champion, Fierceness has won three of his five races and has arguably established himself as the fastest horse in the nation. He should easily compete for the biggest betting handle to win the Run for the Roses.

Sierra Leone (7-1)

Sierra Leone’s reputation continues to ascend, and he enters the weekend ranked No. 1 in racing. Leone enters the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports fresh off a commanding win at the Blue Grass Stakes.

In four career starts, he has racked up three first-place finishes and one second. He’s a fighter with a ton of heart, and he should garner a ton of betting interest between now and May 4. 

MORE KENTUCKY DERBY: Who will win? | Latest weather updates

Kentucky Derby 2024: Best bet

Honor Marie (20-1)

Honor Marie has speed, stamina, pedigree, and plenty of experience at Churchill Downs. He finished second in his last start at the Louisiana Derby and has two career wins and a second in three starts at Churchill. 

Honor Marie’s rise to stardom has been thanks in large part to trainer and Louisville product, Whit Beckman, the former assistant to racing legends Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown. Don’t be surprised if Honor Marie keeps pace and explodes into a first-place finish at the Derby.

Another thing to love about Honor Marie is his post position. Eight horses have won the Kentucky Derby from the seventh post, tied for the third-most wins from any opening position. 

Race 1: First post (10:30 a.m. ET)

Top value bet: Lou’s Legacy (6-1)

Everyone seems to be on Evan on Earth here, but at 3-to-1 odds the value just isn’t there. Lou’s Legacy has solid speed figures and impressive pacing, not to mention experience at Churchill Downs. Over the three-year-old colt’s past three starts, he has two second-place finishes and one third.

Race 2: Second post (11:01 a.m.)

Best bet: Scylla (6-5)

The value is not there, but Scylla is the best horse in this field. With a Hall-of-Fame trainer in Bill Mott and a couple weeks rest entering this weekend, this filly has raced like a bona fide star since arriving on the racing scene last year. In four career starts, Scylla has two wins, one second and one third.

MORE: List of celebrities attending 2024 Kentucky Derby

Race 3: Third post (11:31 a.m.)

Best bet: Mindframe (2-1)

Again, the value is lacking — but we must remember that Races 1-3 are not graded stakes so the clear favorite often emerges victorious in these. Mindframe blitzed the competition in his career debut on Florida Derby day at Gulfstream, and many view him as a rising star in the sport.

Race 4: Knicks Go Stakes (G2, 12:04 p.m.)

Best bet: Kupuna (6-1) 

Kupuna has plenty of experience at Churchill Downs — six career races, to be exact — and he’ll be running from the seventh post this Saturday at noon. He came very close to winning this same race last year, ultimately falling short to powerhouse Zozos. 

Combined with his experience on this track, Kupuna also enters this weekend hot. He won the Evangeline Mile by 5.5 lengths last month, having rushed up the rail to pass by Five Star General.

Race 5: Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2, 12:36 p.m.)

Best bet: Cogburn (8-1)

Like Fierceness in the main event (#17), Cogburn is a dominant horse that drew a very poor post position (#14). Still, he should be able to overcome the tough starting spot and storm through the field. Cogburn has brilliant tactical speed and runs like a fighter like he has a score to settle. 

With three wins in his past four starts, Cogburn stands out in this G2 field. He loves running on turf, a realization that his trainers made last year before his breakout. Running under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Cogburn’s the best bet to take down the Turf Sprint.

Race 6: Derby City Distaff (G1, 1:14 p.m.)

Best bet: Three Witches (8-1)

A $1 million race of fillies, Derby City seems like a great opportunity for Three Witches to take down a big win.

The daughter of Into Mischief has won three of her last four with her only loss coming in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint when she ran a solid third. She dominated the Santa Maria Stakes (G2) in her first start for trainer Michael McCarthy and has never been better. She has great versatility and is being overlooked in a field that lacks a superstar.

Race 7: Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (1:56 p.m.)

Best bet: Chili Flag 

Trainer Chad Brown has won three consecutive Distaff Turf Mile starts, and Chili Flag should be able to make it a commanding four in a row. Sired by Citiscape, Chili Flag has made the board in seven of eight career starts.

A swift sprinter with superb mile-length stamina, Chili Flag seems head-and-shoulders above her competition in this field. Racing under Irad Ortiz Jr., the five-year-old mare should take care of business this Saturday.

MORE: Kentucky Derby race schedule 2024: Post times, TV channels for Churchill Downs horse racing

Race 8: Pat Day Mile (G2, 2:46 p.m.)

Best bet: Who Dey, 10-1, race 8, Pat Day Mile (G2)

Who Dey has the breakaway speed and stamina to take advantage of some inexperienced opponents. A first-rate closer, this three-year-old colt won each of his first four races and finished second in the Lafayette Stakes. This feels like the strongest bet to win.

Best value pick: Top Conor

A Chad Brown horse, Top Conor bagged its first career victory at Gulfstream two months ago. He has an underrated speed profile and should turn some heads this weekend if he starts strong out of the gate.

Race 9: American Turf Stakes (G2, 3:40 p.m.)

Best bet: Legend of Time (7-2)

Legend of Time has established himself as a dominant winner, taking down four of his five career races under trainer Charlie Appleby. Horses trained by Appleby have won nearly 40 percent of their North American races, so it will be tough to go against Legend of Time here.

Top sleeper: Can Group (15-1)

This might be a good spot to bet a win-place prop, as Can Group stands out as a great value pick here. With good positional speed and tremendous stamina, the three-year-old colt has pulled off some big victories and should contend for another one here as long as the track conditions are satisfactory.

Race 10: Churchill Downs Stakes (G1, 4:31 p.m.)

Best bet: Tejano Twist (4-1)

Tejano Twist finished third in this same race last year, with 2023 Horse of the Year Cody’s Wish emerging victorious. Don’t judge a book by its cover with this colt — he may have zero victories in three tries this year, but he has certainly been one of the more consistent performers in the undercard field.

Of his three races so far in 2024, Tejano Twist has placed second three times. Racing under five-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., consider betting Tejano Twist to come away with an overdue win.

Top value bet: Bo Cruz (10-1)

Bo Cruz enters this weekend red-hot after a commanding victory in the Commonwealth Stakes. He has won on this track before, as the conditions and length fit his speed profile and running style to a tee. Consider betting Tejano Twist and Bo Cruz in a boxed exacta, meaning you win if both horses finish as the top two in either order.

Race 11: Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1, 5:27 p.m.)

Best bet: Far Bridge (8-1)

Far Bridge is a beautiful runner and a consistent performer in graded stakes. He won the Belmont Derby last year and the Gulfstream Park earlier this season. When he kicks into high gear, he can leave the rest of the field in the dust. The 8-to-1 outright odds feel like strong value here. 

Top exacta pairing: Naval Power (7-2)

Yet another strong Charlie Appleby-trained horse, Naval Power has six graded-stakes wins over the past two years. The four-year-old gelding enters this weekend coming off a win and a second-place finish over the past three months. It’s hard to resist putting Naval Power on a ticket one way or another ahead of Saturday’s festivities.

Race 13: 13th post (8:00 p.m.)

Best bet: General Partner (2-1)

Out of the ninth post, General Partner should be able to take down a win here. GP had an impressive showing at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall, holding his own with a sixth-place finish against the likes of Kentucky Derby favorite Fierceness and elite sprinter Muth. 

A Chad Brown-trained colt, General Partner has raced and won at Belmont at Aqueduct, Santa Anita, and Saratoga.

Race 14: 14th post (8:35 p.m.)

Best bet: Gun Party (7-2)

The 14th race closes out the day with a one-mile sprint, and Gun Party should blast to the finish line. Trained by Hall-of-Famer Steve Asmussen, this three-year-old colt has demonstrated a remarkable ability to deftly split opponents and cruise to top finishes. The final race should be his to lose.

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