150th Kentucky Derby Prediction, Odds and Post Positions

The betting nuggets you will need as we look at the field in the annual "Run For The Roses" in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky Derby contender Fierceness works with jockey John Velazquez during a morning workout at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby contender Fierceness works with jockey John Velazquez during a morning workout at Churchill Downs. / Matt Stone / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s the first Saturday of May and once again the eyes of the nation shift to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Coined as “the most thrilling two minutes in all of sports,” the Kentucky Derby has become a marquee event on the sports calendar as one of the most magnificent horse racing events. 

It’s the beginning of the Triple Crown, one of the most significant and distinguished awards in all of sports, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. It’s a special anniversary as we prepare for the 150th “Run For the Roses.”

With so many different ways to play the race, here’s what you’ll want to pay attention to.

150th Kentucky Derby: How To Watch

  • Date: Saturday, May 4th
  • Post Time: 6:57 PM
  • Venue: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
  • How To Watch (TV, Streaming): NBC, Peacock

Kentucky Derby Post Positions

  1. Dornoch
  2. Sierra Leone
  3. Mystik Dan
  4. Catching Freedom
  5. Catalytic
  6. Just Steel
  7. Honor Marie
  8. Just A Touch
  9. Encino (Scratched)
  10.  T O Password
  11.  Forever Young
  12.  Track Phantom
  13.  West Saratoga
  14.  Endlessly
  15.  Domestic Product
  16.  Grand Mo The First
  17.  Fierceness
  18.  Stronghold
  19.  Resilience
  20.  Society Man
  21.  Epic Ride
  22.  Mugatu

The Kentucky Derby field remains very large heading into the 2024 edition. Currently, there are 21 horses slated to run in this marquee event that completely takes the top spot in horse racing. As always, be sure to check your state’s rules for wagering on horse racing. It varies significantly and you may only have limited options.

If you’re looking for jockey experience, look no further than John Velazquez, who has three Derby wins under his belt.

Velazquez has been on the back of Animal Kingdom (2011), Always Dreaming (2017) and Authentic (2020) to victory at Churchill Downs. This year, he’ll be on the back of Fierceness out of the No. 17 gate who is amongst the favorites. To be fair, Fierceness doesn't draw my attention outside of the win, show, place exotics as he should finish top three. Based on his history, he runs exceptionally well when it's dry but a slight risk of rain before the Derby is holding me back.

Kentucky Derby Prediction and Pick

A Japanese horse has never won the Kentucky Derby and just maybe the trend can be broken with Forever Young.

Donning the No. 11 silk in this race, his track record (a perfect 5-0 mark) is very strong with lots of confidence entering the first leg of the Triple Crown. Yoshito Yahagi has trained in Japan for 20 years and took Japanese triple crown winner Contrail to victory in 2020. In my opinion this is a perfect spot for win, place, show bets for this import as he should run within the top three positions and be in the mix for the win.

In the No. 7 gate, another contender that is intriguing to watch will be Honor Marie. There is a lot of experience on her resume, including a pair of wins at Churchill Downs in September and November of 2023 and a second place finish in October. With the weather looking to be relatively dry, she won both races in fast conditions. In an extra 1.5 furlong race (990 feet), this is a good distance for Honor Marie to find her way through traffic to the front of the pack. I would consider a sprinkle on this horse to win hovering around 12-1 or maybe in an exacta/trifecta play which would increase value and payouts. 

When it comes down to the winner, my eyes are really locked on Sierra Leone.

At a halfway decent 5-1 price, this horse has proved that it can be a major player in the big spotlight. He’s won in three of four races over the past calendar year at the Aqueduct, Fair Grounds and Keeneland. Out of the No. 2 post in the Derby, he’s acquired the 3rd most career earnings out of any entry in the field ($918,000). This is a hometown horse from Kentucky as well that is set to put on a show in front of 150,000 plus. Trainer Chad Brown and jockey Tyler Gaffalione are trying to win the big one at Churchill Downs for the first time together. I have faith they will don the roses on Sierra Leone come the end of this year’s Derby. There’s a little juice in the overnight lines and this play and is worth the squeeze.

Pick: Sierra Leone to WIN

Note: Odds are subject to change.