Kentucky Derby Odds: Favorite Horses and Contenders for 2024

It can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the packed Kentucky Derby field, but we're here to help as we analyze the chances of Sierra Leone, Fierceness, Track Phantom, and more.

TwinSpires - Contributor at
May 4, 2024 • 10:49 ET • 4 min read
Track Phantom Kentucky Derby horse racing
Photo By - Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Today's Kentucky Derby always represents a challenge for handicappers, and a strong field of 20 is shaping up for the 150th edition of the 1 1/4-mile race on May 4.

As we count down to the running, let's preview the Top 10 contenders in the Kentucky Derby odds

Kentucky Derby favorites and contenders for 2024

These 10 Kentucky Derby horses have to be considered when making picks this weekend, regardless of where they drew in the Kentucky Derby post positions.

Odds as of 5-2-2024

FanDuel Racing odds are available in AZ, CO, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, WY

bet365 Kentucky Derby odds are not available in the United States

Sierra Leone

A powerful late runner, Sierra Leone has thrived since adding blinkers this year, getting up dramatically to win the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds and rallying to a convincing score in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland, and defeated deep fields in both starts. The long-striding colt appears to be still figuring things out, with seemingly more to offer in future starts, and Sierra Leone looks poised to make a major impact if he receives the trip from off the pace.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
3/1 +300 +250


A smashing winner of the Florida Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Fierceness brings star quality to the Kentucky Derby. He’s run the fastest races, earning whopping triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings, and the brilliant frontrunner projects as the Kentucky Derby favorite. One caveat, Fierceness has yet to string together wins during a five-race career, twice delivering clunkers as an odds-on favorite after a poor start, and now faces a challenging environment at Churchill Downs. There’s other speed entered as well. Fierceness is the type bettors should be either be “all in” with, or willing to take a stand against. There is no value in “saving” with the favorite.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
5/2 +250 +300

Catching Freedom

He didn’t attract much attention capturing the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on New Year’s Day, receiving a modest Speed rating winning an early-season event that’s had no impact upon the Kentucky Derby, but Catching Freedom has improved significantly in a pair of starts since. After a fast-closing third to Sierra Leone in the Risen Star, the late runner recorded a sharp win in the Louisiana Derby (G2), and Catching Freedom has continued to train forwardly during the interim. Don’t be surprised to see him coming charging in the latter stages.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
8/1 +800 +1,000

Forever Young

Perfect from five starts, Forever Young is the highest-rated ever dirt two-year-old in Japan. And he’s shown his versatility winning over five different tracks, opening 2024 with nice wins in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. An up-close stalker, Forever Young exudes class and merits serious respect as a win contender, but no international shipper has won the Kentucky Derby since 1971.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
10/1 +1,000 +800

Honor Marie

Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in late November, Honor Marie waited too long to uncork his rally in the 2024 opener, rallying belatedly for fifth in the Risen Star. But he’ll enter the Kentucky Derby off an encouraging showing, closing strongly for second in the Louisiana Derby, and Honor Marie appears to be training forwardly under the Twin Spires in preparation. One to consider for at least a top-three finish. 

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
20/1 +2,000 +2,000

Just a Touch

He was no match late for Sierra Leone after chasing a fast pace in the Blue Grass, but Just a Touch held admirably to be a clear second in his first start at two turns and on a fast track. The up-and-comer has made fine progress since his career debut in late January, displaying improved speed in the last two starts, and Just a Touch rates as a legitimate contender if he takes another step forward.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
10/1 +1,000 +1,400

Just Steel

Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up owns the most career starts (11) and appears to be coming on presently for four-time Kentucky Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas. Overlooked at 32-1 following a disappointing seventh in the Rebel (G2) in late February, Just Steel kept trying hard all the wire while giving the winner everything he could handle in the Arkansas Derby, registering a career-best Speed figure, and it may be a sign of better things to come for the son of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. An appealing longshot option.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
20-1 +2,000 +2,500


Fourth when making his stakes debut in the Risen Star (G2), Resilience added blinkers and stepped forward with a convincing win in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct. That wasn’t the strongest prep race, but Resilience owns the positional speed to make his own trip just off the early leaders and appears to be discovering his best form. Dismiss him at your own risk.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
20-1 +2,000 +2,000


A Grade 2 winner last December, Dornoch has not gone on at age three, recording a slow win in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and a fourth in the Blue Grass, but his speed remains dangerous. A full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage, Dornoch will look to pop from the starting gate and lead all the way, and he rates as least a puncher’s chance to steal it.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
20/1 +2,000 +2,500

Track Phantom

This speedy colt recorded a pair of nice stakes wins over the winter, but Track Phantom came up short in the next two starts at longer distances, weakening to second in the Risen Star and fourth in the Louisiana Derby. He may want less ground, but Track Phantom remains a hard-trying individual and trainer Steve Asmussen will add blinkers to try to help his pupil finish better.

Morning Line Odds FanDuel bet365
20/1 +2,000 +2,500

More Kentucky Derby picks and predictions

Our experts are making Kentucky Derby picks and building bets all week.

Where can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Several legal horse racing betting sites allow you to wager on the Kentucky Derby, but not every sportsbook is allowed to offer Derby odds. We have created a guide outlining the best Kentucky Derby betting sites available in your area.

Which states have legal betting on the Kentucky Derby?

Sports bettors can enjoy some form of online or retail wagering in 34 states (+ DC), but horse racing enthusiasts have even more legal options. Check out our list of legal states for betting on horse racing to see if wagering on horse racing is legal in your state via the FanDuel Racing app.

Canada (excluding Ontario)

Almost all sports betting sites offer fixed-odds wagering on horse racing. Discover the best sports betting sites in Canada, or sign up now with one of our top partners, bet365, and earn up to $200 in bet credits!


Following the changes to the iGaming regulations on April 4, 2022, horse racing betting is no longer available at sportsbooks. Those in Ontario who are looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby will need to sign up at one of Woodbine's two online offerings, HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets.

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