Horse Racing Odds: 2024 Florida Derby Bets On Road To The Kentucky Derby

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Written By Dave Bontempo | Last Updated

The Florida Derby is more than a major Kentucky Derby prep race. It is often a dress rehearsal.

The Florida Derby has produced 25 Kentucky Derby winners, more than any other race on the prep circuit. Mage, the Florida Derby runner-up, added to that list last year by winning the Kentucky Derby at 15-1 betting odds.

The next Derby preview unfolds on Saturday, at 6:42 p.m. at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. That’s when 11 Derby contenders vie for 1 1-8 miles in the 73rd running of this $1 million race.

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2024 Florida Derby Morning Line Odds

This is one of the top wagering weekends of the year, at any race track. Gamblers can access a stellar 14-race action card worth $2,754,000, starting at 11:30 a.m.

There will be a $1 million pool guarantee Saturday for the Late Pick 4 (Races 11-14) and a $750,000 guaranteed pool for the Late Pick 5 (Races 10-14).

Saturday handle spills into a massive mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 on Sunday, with a presumed pool of several million dollars.

Click on the odds in the table below to bet on the Florida Derby now, and join free sports betting Discord channel to talk horse racing.

1Frankie’s Empire12-1Michael YatesMiguel Vasquez
2Hades7-2Joe OrsenoPaco Lopez
3Bail Us Out15-1Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz
4Grand Mo the First15-1Victor Barboza JrEmilsael Jaramillo
5Real Macho20-1Roman CrichtonJavier Castellano
6Le Dom Bro15-1Eniel CorderoEdwin Gonzalez
7Catalytic20-1Saffie Joseph JrJulien Leparoux
8Seminole Chief30-1Jack SistersonJoel Rosario
9Conquest Warrior3-1Shug McGaugheyJose Ortiz
10Fierceness8-5Todd PletcherJohn Velazquez
11Iris’ Dream8-1Cheryl WinebaughJorge Ruiz

Florida Derby Expert Evaluation Of Past Performances

1 . Frankie’s Empire (12-1)

I am surprised Frankie’s Empire could not get past Le Dom Bro in the Fountain of Youth. Nonetheless, he stretched to a career-long 1 1-16 miles and was running well at the end. He may like the extra distance.

He won on the lower circuits of Monmouth Park, Parx, and Delaware Park before giving two hard-knocking efforts at Gulfstream Park. He’s good enough to hit the board.

2. Hades (7-2)

Hades authored a beautiful heist in the Holy Bull at 9-1. He took command early and was allowed to dawdle through early fractions of 25 seconds for the quarter mile and 50.53 seconds for the half mile.

He allowed 1-5 Fierceness to get the jump outside but then stormed back inside, burying the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ. Hades had just enough to fend off Domestic Product, who has since won the Tampa Bay Derby.

It was a sweet ride from Paco Lopez in that one. He gets Paco again, but may labor for the lead this time, with Le Dom Bro projected to break sharply.

3. Bail Us Out (15-1)

Bail Us Out may prefer longer races. He was off the board in his seven-furlong debut before winning at 1-1-16 miles. He showed heart down the lane to outlast a tough challenge and win at even money.

Late stride hints that he can handle 1 1-8 miles. Can he do that while stepping up? Bail Us Out gets Irad Ortiz for this race, the masterful jockey who guided Forte to victory here in 2023.

We’ll see. He’s best suited for stalk-and-attack style.

4. Grand Mo the First (15-1)

Grand Mo the First finished a strong closing third in the Tampa Bay Derby, behind Domestic Product and No More Time.

He should have more pace to run at than the 51-second place he stalked that day from fourth. Graduating the Tampa Bay Derby does not usually project well for this race, however.

5. Real Macho (20-1)

Real Macho finished fourth in the five-horse Fountain of Youth. He had nothing left by the time he hit the far turn.

It’s hard to see him having something left here.

6. Le Dom Bro (15-1)

Le Dom Bro’s spirited run enabled him to steal second in the four-horse Fountain of Youth over the same track at a whopping 25-1.

He held off charging Frankie’s Empire to secure the place. Frankie’s Empire had beaten LeDom Bro at a seven-furlong allowance race.

Nice trajectory, maybe not enough to win, but connections should expect a good stalking ride from him.

7. Catalytic (20-1)

Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Catalytic is a hot commodity at this track. But the colt could not win at allowance company. He must stretch out to 1 1-8 miles and meet a big field packed with stakes winners. Other than that, no problem. He’s ambitiously placed.

8. Seminole Chief (30-1)

Seminole Chief was dead last in the Withers and was sent back to allowance level, where he did his job and prevailed at 1 1-16 miles.

He goes back to stakes company and new distance. His owners must feel he was bothered in the Withers and brought him back here.

9. Conquest Warrior (3-1)

Conquest Warrior is the only horse in this field to win at this distance. He kicked up a world of excitement in Florida by winning a 1 1-8 allowance race in 1:50.2, breezing the last 100 yards. A full-out sprint would have brushed him up against the 1:49.37 winning time authored by Forte in this race last year.

He toyed with the field at 3-5 betting odds down the stretch. Although this is a step up, the last race was geared to bring him here. He gets jockey Jose Ortiz for this race.

Backers may believe he has more upside potential than Hades and Fierceness.

10. Fierceness (8-5)

Fierceness is the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde horse who has been beyond predictability. He’s flopped twice as a 1-5 favorite. In between those efforts, he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile championship by six authoritative lengths at 15-1 odds.

Who is he? More answers come in his rematch against Hades.

Backers of the favorite may attribute his Holy Bull setback to a three-month layoff, which is a fair point. As well as the fact he was bumped at the start. He’s had three solid workouts in Florida.

11. Iris’ Dream (30-1)

Will turf surface obscure his potential improvement to bettors? Iris’ Dream had a second on the dirt before an impressive pullaway victory on turf his next time out.

That was maiden optional claiming. There are no options here. He must beat seasoned foes in a $1 million race. I can’t endorse him in this spot, but his versatility is worth considering when he drops to lower levels.


Let’s take a look below at pace considerations and how I am personally betting on the Florida Derby.

Pace Considerations

Hades and Fierceness want to go early, just as they did in the Holy Bull. LeDom Bro could compromise one or both of them.

Conquest Warrior figures to ramp it up from the back of the pack. What type of pace he runs at may determine this outcome.

How I’m Betting the Florida Derby

Selectively. I expect the favorites to run well and be bet down.

I’m betting a $1 trifecta box with Conquest Warrior, Fierceness, and Hades. (2-9-10).

I will throw a couple of bucks to win on Conquest Warrior (9) on the strength of his win at the distance, Ortiz’s credentials, and being the best closer in a race that should have speed. Cover bet on any of these three if their odds hit 4-1. Hades, for example, may gain a generous price with all the hype regarding Fierceness.

I will throw Frankie’s Empire (1) and LeDom Bro (6) underneath in some tickets.

Good luck with your Florida Derby bets!