2024 Kentucky Derby Closing Odds: Favorites To Win & Horse Previews

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Kentucky sports betting

One of the biggest sporting events of the year takes place on Saturday. Kentucky Derby odds continue to take shape as we get set for what’s often referred to as “the fastest two minutes in sports.” Fierceness is holding strong as the favorite, followed by Sierra Leone. Read on for a complete look at the field of contenders. 

Kentucky Derby closing odds 

PostHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line OddsCurrent Odds
1DornochLuis SaezDanny Gargan20-118-1
2Sierra LeoneTyler GaffalioneChad Brown3-19-2
3Mystik DanBrian HernandezKen McPeek20-118-1
4Catching FreedomFlavien PratBrad Cox8-18-1
5CatalyticJose OrtizSaffie Joseph, Jr.30-137-1
6Just SteelKeith AsmussenD. Wayne Lukas20-128-1
7Honor MarieBen CurtisWhit Beckman20-113-1
8Just a TouchFlorent GerouxBrad Cox10-113-1
9EncinoAxel ConcepcionBrad CoxSCRATCHEDSCRATCHED
10T O Password (JPN)Kazushi KimuraDaisuke Takayanagi30-156-1
11Forever Young (JPN)Ryusei SakaiYoshito Yahagi10-17-1
12Track PhantomJoel RosarioSteve Asmussen20-144-1
13West SaratogaJesus CastanonLarry Demeritte50-131-1
14EndlesslyUmberto RispoliMichael McCarthy30-150-1
15Domestic ProductIrad Ortiz, Jr.Chad Brown30-131-1
16Grand Mo the FirstEmisael JaramilloVictor Barboza50-155-1
17FiercenessJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher5-22-1
18StrongholdAntonio FresuPhil D’Amato20-135-1
19ResilienceJunior AlvaradoBill Mott20-127-1
20Society ManFrankie DettoriDanny Gargan50-160-1
21Epic RideAdam BeschizzaJohn Ennis30-155-1
22 (AE)MugatuJoe TalamoJeff EnglerSCRATCHEDSCRATCHED

*Kentucky Derby betting odds courtesy of FanDuel Racing. The current odds column has the latest lines at the time of writing. Odds are subject to change right up to post time.  

Fierceness leads the charge for Kentucky Derby favorites

When Kentucky Derby morning line odds came out earlier this week, they installed Fierceness as the early favorite. That’s still holding true in the run-up to the race. The winner of the Florida Derby, Fierceness was also the favorite in the final Kentucky Derby futures wager pool, which closed on April 6, at odds of 5-2. 

Sierra Leone was second in that pool at 7-1 and officially punched a ticket with a victory at the Blue Grass Stakes in April. Forever Young is five for five in lifetime career starts and also boasts the most lifetime earnings of all of the entrants in the field at over $2 million. Catching Freedom’s signature victory during prep season came at the Louisiana Derby.

Among the jockeys who will be riding the favorites, John Velazquez boasts the most experience. He’ll be saddling Fierceness for his 25th Derby start. Velazquez has won three times, most recently in 2020. Fierceness is trained by Todd Pletcher, who will be seeking his third Derby victory and first since 2017.  

Other Kentucky Derby contenders 

Over the past five runnings of the Kentucky Derby, four of the winners had post-time odds of 15-1 or greater. Among the entrants in the next tier of contenders, Dornoch had the shortest odds in the final futures pool at 12-1. He earned 75 points during prep season, 50 of which came with a victory at the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.   

On the experience front, Just Steel tops the field in this group with 11 career starts, finding victory just twice. He’s also tops in career earnings at $724,545, just ahead of Mystik Dan at $641,360. Mystik Dan is two for six in career starts, including a win at Oaklawn Park’s Southwest Stakes in February. 

West Saratoga is second in experience with 10 starts. He also has two wins, including a victory at last September’s Iroquois Stakes, which took place at Churchill Downs. Honor Marie has also tasted victory on this track, picking up the win at last November’s running of the Kentucky Jockey Club.  

Longshots to win the Kentucky Derby 

As we’ve seen twice in recent years, Kentucky Derby longshots can’t be simply dismissed while handicapping the race. In 2022, Rich Strike pulled out a stunning victory at odds of 80-1. Country House did the same in 2019 at 65-1. Interestingly, both of those horses were in post position 20. 

Those are two of the longest shots to ever win the derby, behind only Donerail, the 1913 winner at 91-1. Looking back to prep season, Stronghold was tied for third in the point standings with 125. He’s three for six in career starts, including a victory at the Santa Anita Derby, and he has lifetime earnings of $827,200. 

Endlessly earned 100 points with a win at the Jeff Ruby Steaks and is an impressive five of six in career starts. Epic Ride began the week as an also eligible entrant. Following the scratch of Encino due to injury, Epic Ride moved into the Derby field of 20. The other member of the also eligible list, Mugatu, has also been scratched.  

Kentucky Derby post time, weather, and TV/streaming 

The 2024 Kentucky Derby post time is set for 6:57 p.m. ET at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Friday is expected to be a rainy day in the area. The forecast calls for it to be dry for the early part of Saturday. However, there’s a chance of precipitation as the day moves along, setting up the potential for a muddy and slower track. You can watch the Kentucky Derby, the 12th of a 14-race card, on NBC and Peacock.