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Kentucky Derby Preview 2024

Kentucky Derby Preview 2024

The Road to the Derby is upon us. The 20 Kentucky Derby qualifiers have been picked with assigned posts. This is the first leg of the triple crown of horse racing and will take place at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4th.

Kentucky Derby Preview 2024

Fierceness 5-2

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s horse, Fierceness, has the shortest odds of the Derby. If Fierceness can win, Pletcher will be only the third trainer to have won the Kentucky Derby three times. But Fierceness is not a consistent runner. His finish could depend on whether a bigger horse bumps him off his rhythm before the first turn.

As trainer Todd Pletcher jokingly stated, “Sixty percent of the time, he wins every time.” (Paraphrased from a line in the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.)

Sierra Leone 3-1

Dornoch is the only horse to beat Sierra Leone, and it was by a nose. This race could come down to Sierra Leone and Fierceness. The former is more consistent and should be able to win the 150th Kentucky Derby unless Dornoch sticks his nose in it again.

Catching Freedom 8-1

Both trainer Brad Cox and jockey Flavien Prat are shooting for their second win at the Kentucky Derby. Cox has three shots at it, but Catching Freedom may be his best chance. He’s a late runner who won in the Louisiana Derby and the Smarty Jones.

Dornoch 20-1

At 20-1, Dornoch is a long shot but has the potential to win. He has won three of his last four races and finished first or second in five of his previous six. In the 2023 Remsen Stakes, he edged out Sierra Leone for the win.

Encino 20-1

Trainer Brad Cox has three horses in the race. Encino barely qualified with the lowest points (40). Cox took Encino out of the Blue Grass Stakes so he could race in the Lexington Stakes on April 13. That was a smart move, as Encino won his first start on conventional dirt and got enough points to qualify for Kentucky.

Just Steel 20-1

This is the most experienced horse in the Derby with 11 races and an unmatched 112 maximum Speed Score. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has 14 Triple Crown victories and four Kentucky Derby wins but has not raced here since 2018. Jockey Keith Asmussen will ride for his first time in the Derby.

Catalytic 30-1

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. was suspended from racing at Churchill Downs in 2023. He’s back with rider Jose Ortiz in post No. 5. This post has the record for producing ten winners at the Kentucky Derby.

Catalytic made all three of his starts in Florida with a maiden victory at Gulfstream. In the Florida Derby, he was second in the entire race, well ahead of the third-place horse. But he could not keep up with Fierceness.

Horse Racing Betting Refresher

In case you’re wondering how much money can be made at the Kentucky Derby even if you’re not a horse or its owner, here are some stats from last year’s race.

Kentucky Derby Exacta: Correctly pick the first and second-place finishers in order (win and place). In 2023, a $2 exacta wager with Mage and Two Phil’s won $330.44.

Kentucky Derby Trifecta: Correctly pick first, second, and third place finishers in order (win, place, and show). In 2023, a $1 trifecta returned $982.36 with Mage, Two Phil’s, and Angel of Empire.

Kentucky Derby Superfecta: Correctly pick first, second, third, and fourth-place finishers in order. In 2023, a $1 superfecta wager won $15,643.65 with Mage, Two Phil’s, Angel of Empire, and Disarm.

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