Latest Odds for the Kentucky Derby 2024: Key Contenders and Surprises
Thoroughbred Daily News

Latest Odds for the Kentucky Derby 2024: Key Contenders and Surprises

This year's derby is packed with strong contenders, but there are a few that stand out to us. Here are a few horses that should catch your attention for your bets.

The Kentucky Derby is an iconic event in not just horse racing but sports altogether. This wild 2 minutes brings together the fastest three-year-old thoroughbreds for a dash for the roses that captivates audiences worldwide. It's the pinnacle event of horse racing, even if you don't necessarily follow it regularly.

As the 2024 Kentucky Derby approaches, bettors are scouring the latest predictions and odds. So, with that, we are breaking down the top contenders and some surprising picks that could impact your betting strategy.

A Favorite with Questionable Consistency: Fierceness

  • Odds to Win: 9-5

  • Post: 16

Despite being one of the top favorites for the 2024 Kentucky Derby, Fierceness presents a challenge to bettors.

Trained by one of the best in the industry, Todd Pletcher, and jockeyed by a seasoned rider, John Velazquez, Fierceness won the Florida Derby in his last outing in March, but his performance prior to that big win has been a mixed bag. 

This might be a deal-breaker for a lot of bettors, but we get it.

With a washy pattern of wins and losses over five starts and a third-place finish in his race at Gulfstream Park, his reliability should be questioned. That's not to say he can't win out in Kentucky; we're just saying he might not be the sure shot many are making him out to be.

Interestingly enough, Fierceness was defeated by a horse not even in the Derby field, which to some, may be all they need to know to not bet on him.

Since 2019, none of Pletcher's 12 starters have hit the board, with an average finish of 12.5. This pattern makes Fierceness a risky bet in our book despite many looking to him as the favorite. We're still hoping he comes out on top.

A Longshot Worth Watching: Dornoch

  • Odds to Win: 15-1

  • Post: 1

On the other end of the spectrum from Fierceness, Dornoch emerges as an interesting longshot at 15-1. He's not at the bottom of the field, but we feel that, with 15-1 odds, he still stands a decent chance of winning it all.

This horse has demonstrated versatility and resilience, securing victories across various tracks and a multitude of conditions. With wins at Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, and Keeneland — and a notable performance in muddy conditions during the Remsen Stakes — Dornoch has shown he can adapt and overcome whatever is thrown at him.

That's a good thing because there is a rain forecast for the Louisville area on Saturday.

Trainer Danny Gargan is tweaking strategies, moving away from a rated race in the Blue Grass where Dornoch finished fourth. 

Positioned in the No. 1 spot, Dornoch is set to be a "live long shot," as they say. His ability to surprise bettors makes him a tempting pick for those eyeing a massive return on their investment.

Don't sleep on this one; you might want to add Dornoch to your bet slip.

A Dark Horse with Promise: Mystik Dan

  • Odds to Win: 20-1

  • Post: 3

In the tightly contested lineup of this year's Kentucky Derby, Mystik Dan will trot onto the track as a horse with a rich background and a challenging post position.

Positioned in post 3, he faces a tough race from the very beginning, to say the least. He's flanked by thoroughbreds Sierra Leone and Catching Freedom, both of which are heavy hitters in the race. However, this situation, we feel, might just be exactly what he needs to get his hooves in gear.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, an one of the most experienced pros with a knack for preparing horses for big races like the Kentucky Derby, Mystik Dan benefits from his trainer's expertise.

McPeek, who previously led Swiss Skydiver to a Preakness Stakes victory in 2020 and Sarava to a Belmont Stakes win in 2002, is also hungry for his first Kentucky Derby triumph. This might be his big chance.

Whether or not Mystik Dan and his jockey Brian Hernandez Jr can defy the odds may depend on a perfect storm of circumstances come race day, but one thing is certain — he will be one to watch.

Betting Implications and Strategies

When sifting through bets for the Kentucky Derby, the historical performance of trainers and horses in similar conditions can provide insights and give you an edge.

For Fierceness, the consistent underperformance of Pletcher's horses at the Derby and the ownership's track record may steer most bettors to look elsewhere despite what we feel is the horse's potential. On the other hand, Dornoch's adaptability and recent strategy shifts suggest a potential upset, making him an appealing choice for risk-tolerant bettors. 

You can always look to the top favorites in the race if your risk appetite isn't quite there. The current odds are that Sierra Leone and Forever Young will win it all at 6-1 and 8-1, respectively. These are your safe bets, but if you want to really win some money, you might want to consider our picks.

The fluctuating odds and predictions highlight the importance of staying updated with the latest insights on these ponies. You'll also want to stay in tune with shifts in betting lines as they can move around quite a bit up to race day. Watching the market's reaction to these horses' past performances, the local weather in Kentucky, and any changes in their training approaches or physical condition leading up to the race can be pivotal.

Fun Fact: Post 5 is the Most Winning Post

Something to consider as you place your bets for Saturday's race is that post 5 has historically been the most winning post in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

So, who's in Post 5?

It'll be none other than Catalytic with his jockey, Jose Ortiz.  

Despite holding the coveted post, Catalytic is still a long shot to trot away with the roses. He's currently standing at 42-1 odds for winning out, but it could be a good bet if you're willing to risk it.

Place Your Bets and Get Ready for The Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports!

As the 2024 Kentucky Derby gets underway, bettors and enthusiasts are getting excited to see who comes out on top.

With a mix of established favorites and intriguing long shots, the track is set for quite a showdown.

While Fierceness offers a solid mix of pedigree and power, his inconsistent track record might sway some to look elsewhere — and we don't blame them. Consistency is key. Meanwhile, Dornoch's resilience and adaptability make him an underdog to keep an eye on, especially given the unpredictable weather forecast. Then there's Mystik Dan, who, with a touch of strategic brilliance and a bit of luck, might just end up surprising us all.

For those placing bets, considering the nuances of each contender — from the historical patterns at the Derby to the latest training updates — will be essential. Balance your risk appetite and your wallet, and hopefully, you will come out on top with a big win on Saturday.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Bettors Insider