Kentucky Derby 2024: Time for Honor Marie to find top form

Kentucky Derby 2024: Time for Honor Marie to find top form

The 2024 Kentucky Derby is coming up on Saturday, May 4! Whether you bet on races at Churchill Downs all year long or if the Kentucky Derby is your first time placing a bet on this historic track, the Kentucky Derby is the best betting race of the year.

Betting on the Kentucky Derby is a uniquely profitable challenge because it features 20 horses, the biggest field in American horse racing, going 1 ¼ miles, a true test of stamina that none of the contenders has ever tried. And, the prizes are huge: a $5 million purse, the iconic blanket of roses, and a place in horse racing history. Anyone who solves this handicapping puzzle can get paid almost as handsomely as the winning horse’s connections!

Kentucky Derby Online Betting

Going to the Kentucky Derby is the thrill of a lifetimes, but we cannot all travel to Louisville to experience it every year. Fortunately, online sports betting lets you be a part of the Kentucky Derby action from your phone, tablet, or computer!

Online betting sites offer great benefits you’ll never find at the track, and our expert reviews will help you find the best one. All of our recommended sites offer market-leading odds and trusted payouts. They also offer great benefits like sign-up bonuses, deposit bonuses, and horse racing rebates that pay you for every bet you make!

Here are the leading sportsbooks for betting the Kentucky Derby online:

Kentucky Derby 2024 Field

This is the official field for the 2024 Kentucky Derby including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  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.

The morning line is a guide to what the track handicapper thinks betting will look like, but they are not guarantees of post time prices. Instead, make sure to place your bet at an online sportsbook, where you can lock in the best price just by placing a bet. Then, you can watch the race with complete confidence that you know what you’ll get when your horse wins!

Sierra Leone+400+300+250
Forever Young+850+900+550
Just a Touch+1100+1100+1400
Honor Marie+1600+1900+2000

Best Picks for the Kentucky Derby

Knowing the trends in modern runnings of the Kentucky Derby can help you pick winners effectively. In general, good things to keep in mind include the horse’s record coming into the race, the trainer and jockey records in the Kentucky Derby, and the odds on the tote board.

Remember that favorites often run well: they won the first six years that the Kentucky Derby used the qualification points system, and even though favorites have not won in the last five years, the betting favorite has never missed the superfecta during the points era.

Kentucky Derby winners run well in their final prep. All eleven winners since the beginning of the points system -- yes, even the likes of Rich Strike and Country House! -- have finished first, second, or third in their final prep race.

Kentucky Derby Best Bet

The best bet in the 2024 Kentucky Derby is Honor Marie. Though this second-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby (G2) has tables to turn on Catching Freedom, odds are good that he can, at an excellent price. He comes into the Kentucky Derby third off the lay, exactly when he found his best last year. He is a Grade 2 winner over the Churchill Downs course.

Honor Marie To win the Kentucky Derby

Furthermore, Honor Marie gets a plum pace setup. With Dornoch, Track Phantom, and Fierceness likely to get a red-hot pace going, it’ll set up better for Honor Marie than any of his races yet. And, his pedigree has solid 1 ¼-mile stamina: he is by Honor Code out of a half-sister to a horse who won a Group 1 at 1 ¾ miles.

Kentucky Derby Favorites

The Kentucky Derby favorites to consider on tickets are Sierra Leone and Catching Freedom. Both of these horses, like Honor Marie, will enjoy the crackling pace. Sierra Leone came out of an impressive sustained run to victory in the Blue Grass (G1), while Catching Freedom finished well to win the Louisiana Derby and his jockey Flavien Prat is as consistent as it gets in the Derby.

Sierra Leone To win the Kentucky Derby

The favorites to fade are Fierceness and Forever Young. Fierceness is excellent if he gets everything his own way, but even from a nice post outside the other speed he faltered in the much softer Holy Bull (G3) when things didn’t start his way. Forever Young is talented and undefeated in five starts, but has not faced top American dirt horses: at a relatively short price, it matters that the UAE Derby winners historically disappoint in Kentucky.

Kentucky Derby Price Horses for Exotics

Encino and Just Steel are the most interesting price horses to use in Kentucky Derby exotic wagers.

Encino is getting a class test and his jockey Axel Concepcion is less than a year removed from having his bug. However, Concepcion has been getting live mounts for trainer Brad Cox lately, and Encino is getting good at the right time. He is pace versatile, he proved in the Lexington that he can handle dirt, and his pedigree is nothing but classic-quality dirt stamina.

Just Steel is the consummate underneath sort: he has just two wins in 11 starts, but he has five other money finishes including a trio of second-place finishes in points races on the Arkansas spur of the Kentucky Derby trail. He probably gets the jump on the closers, and though a win would be a surprise, he is consistent, plucky, and stoutly enough bred to get a piece.

Kentucky Derby 2024 Picks

Free Kentucky Derby picks are here:

Honor Marie is likely to be a legitimate price horse. You can go ahead and bet to win if you like to just go for the gusto, but even a win-place or a win-place-show bet should be profitable given how many other contenders are likely to take more money in those pools than he will.

  • $20 win/place/show: #7 Honor Marie

Kentucky Derby 2024 Exotic Bets

Long shots often find the exotics, so this is a great way to go for a huge score in the Kentucky Derby!

The exacta is an easy bet to make. Though a straight exacta requires the horses to finish in order, you can box it and cash a ticket if they finish in any order. This is particularly effective if you put some prices in there, since you are paying for every combination.

  • $1 Exacta Box:  #7 Honor Marie, #2 Sierra Leone, #4 Catching Freedom

You can also key the bet, playing a few horses around one you think has a strong chance to be in the exacta and allowing for a bit more spread in the other spots:

  • $1 Exacta Key: #7 Honor Marie with #2 Sierra Leone, #4 Catching Freedom,, #6 Just Steel, #9 Encino

The trifecta and superfecta are more difficult to hit, but they typically pay even more when they hit! Given the number of combinations, it is a good idea to play these using a key horse, and playing a group of other horses around them to finish in the top three or four.

  • $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

Kentucky Derby Exotic Wagering Opportunities

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, it is worth looking at the races at Churchill Downs all week long. On Derby Day specifically, there will be a Kentucky Derby Pick 6. The bet, which requires you to pick six winners in a row, is traditionally an all-stakes Pick 6 that features the Kentucky Derby and five other stakes races on Kentucky Derby Day, with a $0.20 minimum.

The Kentucky Derby Day card at Churchill Downs will feature eight stakes races other than the Derby: the Knicks Go Overnight Stakes, the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1), the Derby City Distaff (G1), the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2), the American Turf (G2), the Pat Day Mile (G2), and the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1).

In addition to the Pick 6 wagers, Kentucky Derby Day also features five Pick 5 wagers, five Pick 4 wagers, and rolling Daily Double and Pick 3 wagers throughout the day. In addition to these conventional multi-race wagers, there will be an all-stakes, all-dirt Pick 5 and an all-three-year-old Pick 3. There will also be win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and super high five wagering all day long.

You can also play the Oaks-Derby Double on Friday. That wager, which you place on Friday, pays out if you pick the winners of both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.