Kentucky Derby 2024: Churchill Downs brings out best in Honor Marie

Kentucky Derby 2024: Churchill Downs brings out best in Honor Marie

The 2024 Kentucky Derby is coming up Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs! It is the most iconic horse race of the year in America: 20 horses go 1 ¼ miles for the chance at a $5 million purse, the iconic blanket of roses, and a place in horse racing history.

Betting the Kentucky Derby is also an unmatched opportunity for you.  With 20 horses in the starting gate, it offers the biggest field in American horse racing. There are always some long shots who finish in the money as well, meaning that anyone who solves the puzzle of handicapping the Kentucky Derby can get paid almost as handsomely as the winner!

Keep reading to find out the best horses in the 2024 Kentucky Derby, and the best places to bet the race online.

Betting the Kentucky Derby Online

You can be a part of the Kentucky Derby action anywhere by betting the race at an online sportsbook! Though there are a lot of options, our expert online sportsbook reviews will help make the decision of where to be the race easy and profitable. Every site we recommend has the basics: market-leading odds, smooth user interface, and trusted money management.

Every site also has its own structure of benefits like sign-up bonuses, referral incentives, and horse racing rebates that pay you for every wager you make. Each site benefits different bettors more, so taking a few minutes now to find the best bonuses for your betting style can help you build your bankroll by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

These are the best places to bet the 2024 Kentucky Derby online:

Kentucky Derby Field and Odds

These are the official entrants for the 2024 Kentucky Derby, along with their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning line odds:

  1. Dornoch (Danny Gargan/Luis Saez) - 20/1
  2. Sierra Leone (Chad Brown/Tyler Gaffalione) - 3/1
  3. Mystik Dan (Kenny McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.) - 20/1
  4. Catching Freedom (Brad Cox/Flavien Prat) - 8/1
  5. Catalytic (Saffie Joseph, Jr./Jose Ortiz) - 30/1
  6. Just Steel (D. Wayne Lukas/Keith Asmussen) - 20/1
  7. Honor Marie (Whit Beckman/Ben Curtis) - 20/1
  8. Just a Touch (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) - 10/1
  9. Encino (Brad Cox/Axel Concepcion) - 20/1
  10. T O Password (Daisuke Takayanagi/Kazushi Kimura) - 30/1
  11. Forever Young (Yoshito Yahagi/Ryusei Sakei) - 10/1
  12. Track Phantom (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 20-1
  13. West Saratoga (Larry Demeritte/Jesus Castanon) - 50/1
  14. Endlessly (Michael McCarthy/Umberto Rispoli) - 30/1
  15. Domestic Product (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz) - 30/1
  16. Grand Mo the First (Victor Barboza, Jr./Emisael Jaramillo) - 50/1
  17. Fierceness (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 5/2
  18. Stronghold (Phil D'Amato/Antonio Fresu) - 20/1
  19. Resilience (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado) - 20/1
  20. Society Man (Danny Gargan/Frankie Dettori) - 50/1
  21. Epic Ride (John Ennis/Adam Beschizza) - ALSO ELIGIBLE
  22. Mugatu (Jeff Engler/Joe Talamo) - ALSO ELIGIBLE

Epic Ride and Mugatu will only draw in, in that order of priority, if horses scratch from the main field before 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, when Kentucky Derby betting begins.

Keep in mind that the morning line can be a great index to which horses are expected to take a lot of money or not, but they are no guarantee of a price. Your best bet is to play the Kentucky Derby at an online sportsbook, since they offer fixed-odds wagering on major races. If you see an overlay on a horse who can win, lock in those odds just by placing a bet: it’s that simple!

These are the Kentucky Derby odds on leading contenders in the race:

Sierra Leone+400+330+250
Forever Young+850+1000+550
Just a Touch+1100+1200+1400
Honor Marie+1600+2000+2000

Kentucky Derby Best Bet

Honor Marie is the best bet in the 2024 Kentucky Derby. The son of Honor Code is not only well-bred for distance, but he’s at the perfect spot in his form cycle, coming in third off the layoff. That’s when he found his best last year as well, winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over the Churchill Downs dirt, the same track as the Derby. He also comes into the Derby off of a good-looking work, suggesting he is finding his Churchill mojo again.

Honor Marie To win the Kentucky Derby

He will get a great pace setup, too: with rail-drawn Dornoch, Track Phantom adding blinkers, and the always-forward Fierceness, there will be a strong pace for the 1 ¼-mile trip. With Honor Marie’s smart moves into more middling paces, a truly fast one will only help his case.

Kentucky Derby Favorites

Among the favorites in the Kentucky Derby, Sierra Leone and Catching Freedom merit serious consideration. Both of them are also off-pace types who will get an advantageous run of things.

Sierra Leone To win the Kentucky Derby

Sierra Leone, just a nose shy of perfect, has been excellent in two prep races at age three and his imposing, sustained run to win the Blue Grass (G1) was particularly impressive. Catching Freedom, the only horse who finished ahead of the aforementioned Honor Marie in the Louisiana Derby, has never run a bad race in five starts, likes the Churchill Downs footing, and has consistent Kentucky Derby rider Flavien Prat aboard.

Kentucky Derby Bet-Againsts

Take a stand against Fierceness and Forever Young. Fierceness is excellent on his best, but he tends to disappoint if anything does not go his way. Even though he drew well, he faltered from a similarly great gate for his running style in a much easier race earlier this year, the Holy Bull. This is not what you want from a betting favorite.

As for Forever Young, he may be the most talented Japan-based Kentucky Derby horse yet, but he hasn’t faced the same class of dirt horses as the top end of the Kentucky Derby. Furthermore, horses from the UAE Derby (G2) have always underperformed in the Kentucky Derby: it has yet to produce a horse that even hit the board in the Run for the Roses.

Kentucky Derby Longshots

When building exotic tickets, keep Encino and Just Steel in mind. Encino has class to prove, but he’s the right price to bet on, especially since he has shown pace versatility and his pedigree is all classic dirt stamina. Just Steel finished second in three of the four prep races at Oaklawn; expect him to settle a few lengths off the pace, get the jump on the closers, and box on for a piece.

Free Kentucky Derby Bets

Now that you know the best places to bet on the Kentucky Derby online and the most interesting horses to wager on, there’s just one thing to do: place your bets!

Here are your best bets for the 2024 Kentucky Derby!

  • $20 win/place/show: #7 Honor Marie
  • $1 Exacta Key: #7 Honor Marie with #2 Sierra Leone, #4 Catching Freedom
  • $1 Trifecta Key: #7 Honor Marie with #2 Sierra Leone, #4 Catching Freedom, #6 Just Steel, #9 Encino
  • $1 Superfecta Key: #7 Honor Marie with #2 Sierra Leone, #4 Catching Freedom, #6 Just Steel, #9 Encino
Honor Marie To win the Kentucky Derby