How Staff Is Betting $100 On The 2024 Kentucky Derby

Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
kentucky derby bets

The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports are nearly upon us as 2024 Kentucky Derby odds are open for betting. Annually one of the most-bet on sporting events in the world, staff tries its hand at Derby bets. How would we wager $100 on the Run for the Roses? We compiled some betting cards below.

You may find a few bets below that you hadn’t considered betting, or you might just get confirmation of a direction you were leaning. Barring any more scratches, let’s dive in.

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How TheLines Staff Is Betting $100 On The Kentucky Derby

With all our horse racing handicapping in mind, TheLines staff was asked how we each would spend $100 on the Kentucky Derby. Check out our answers below:

Stephen Andress

I think Fierceness either runs his race and wins or runs off the board. If we get a wet track or a contentious pace, I’m ready to take some shots at a monster payout if I’m right and the favorite fails to finish in the top three.

I will have a $1 trifecta with Fierceness singled on top in case it’s a slower pace and nobody can catch him, but I think the outside post and potential wet weather increases the chance he needs to use too much early and the closers come storming by him.

No. 4 Catching Freedom fits all the same Derby betting trends I look for that Fierceness does, and he may be four or five times the odds. You will see him featured on my tickets.

  • $20 Win Bet: No. 4 Catching Freedom
  • $2 Exacta: 4,7/2,3,6,8; ticket cost $20
  • $1 Trifecta: 17/2,3,4,6,7,8/2,3,4,6,7,8; ticket cost $30
  • $0.50 Trifecta: 4,6,7/2,3,4,6,7,8/2,3,4,6,7,8; ticket cost $30

Dave Bontempo

Looking for our lead horse racing handicapper’s Kentucky Derby expert picks?

Brett Gibbons

A savvy bettor would browse my picks below and bet each horse down a spot, as last year continued my streak of Oh-So-Close wagers. Ultimately, it resulted in $0 back and a bruised ego. But, like any NBA team in the Playoffs, you have to come up short first in order to win. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

So here’s this year’s second, third, and fourth-place horses:

$20 Win Bet: Just A Touch

Just A Touch has incredible pedigree – whose sire is Triple Crown winner Justify – and has two 97 Brisnets, plus a 100 and show at the Blue Grass Stakes. With all eyes on the two favorites, I like Just A Touch to stay at or above 15-1. I’ll be adding him to almost every bet Saturday.

$10 Exacta Box: 2-8; ticket cost: $20

As of Thursday, it looks like it might rain Saturday. Sierra Leone has a better track record in messy conditions than Fierceness does. So, I’m pairing my favorite medium-shot with the favorite I think is better set for success Saturday.

$2 Superfecta Box: 1-2-8-17; ticket cost: $48

To hopefully avoid another miss by one spot, I’m boxing most of my exotics this year. Starting on the rail would be a concern for many horses, but not Dornoch, who likes to jump out to the lead. Given the field this year, I’m expecting a plodding pace, perhaps set by Dornoch. He has a high Brisnet of 98, plenty fast enough to keep the lead and finish on the board.

If there’s a slow pace, that plays into the hand of favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone.

$2 Trifecta Box: 2-3-4; ticket cost: $12

I’d like to have some stock in the top horses who have a history thriving on messy tracks, specifically Mystik Dan and Catching Freedom (h/t to Dave for the lead). This is more or less an insurance policy in case the track takes a turn for the worse.

Derby Jackpot Challenge

Mo Nuwwarah

I don’t know what to think because I’m bad at this and every piece of research (writing, reading, podcast listening) I do contradicts everything else. So I’ll just boil it down to a $1 trifecta box with five horses for $60 total.

Fierceness goes in the because he’s by far the fastest horse at his peak. I’m a little worried that people seem low on his competitive drive, since this is a 20-horse field. Someone’s bound to give him a run even if he has a good performance. But he seems like a rightful favorite.

Sierra Leone is the other favorite and goes in because he seems like a consistently strong horse. Consistently good Thoro-Graph numbers. He should be ready for this one.

Same for Forever Young. The results, the distance, the hype. He’s got it all, except for starting in a post where he’ll see some early traffic. Sounds like he doesn’t handle that the best, but maybe he charges in late.

Just Steel and Honor Marie are my dad’s longshots. He’s been doing this for 40 years so I’m guessing he’s got a better handle on it than me, and I haven’t seen anything that tells me they don’t have a chance. So I’ll throw them in too.

I need the other $40 for my phone bill since I can’t pick a baseball winner.

Eli Hershkovich

I spoke with two handicappers this week to lean on their expertise for this year’s Run for the Roses. One offered a potential Derby longshot that has fit in the past if the track is sloppy. Another likes one of the two sons of Triple Crown winner Justify.

2024 Kentucky Derby BEtting Odds

Post PositionHorseMorning line oddsUpdated Kentucky
Derby odds
1.Dornoch20-122-1Danny GarganLuis Saez
2.Sierra Leone3-15-1Chad BrownTyler Gaffalione
3.Mystik Dan20-116-1Kenny McPeekBrian Hernandez
4.Catching Freedom8-18-1Brad CoxFlavien Prat
5.Catalytic30-132-1Saffie JosephJose Ortiz
6. Just Steel20-122-1D. Wayne LukasKeith Asmussen
7.Honor Marie20-113-1Whit BeckmanBen Curtis
8.Just A Touch10-110-1Brad CoxFlorent Geroux
9. EncinoScratchedScratchedBrad CoxAxel Concepcion
10.T O Passowrd (JPN)30-147-1Daisuke TakayanagiKazushi Kimura
11.Forever Young (JPN)10-16-1Yoshito YahagiRyusei Sakai
12.Track Phantom20-140-1Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario
13.West Saratoga50-123-1Larry DemeritteJesus Castanon
14.Endlessly30-147-1Michael McCarthyUmberto Rispoli
15.Domestic Product30-128-1Chad BrownIrad Ortiz
16. Grand Mo The First50-145-1Victor BarbozaEmisael Jaramillo
17.Fierceness5-27-2Todd PletcherJohn Velazquez
18.Stronghold20-135-1Philip D’AmatoAntonio Fresu
19.Resilience20-129-1Bill MottJunior Alvarado
20.Society Man50-146-1Danny GarganFrankie Dettori
21.Epic Ride50-144-1John EnnisAdam Beschizza
22. MugatuScratchedScratchedJeff EnglerJoseph Talamo