2024 Kentucky Derby Odds: Examining Final Fractions Theory

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Final Fractions Theory

We’re inching closer to one of the calendar’s most popular sports betting events, the 150th Run for the Roses. Many take into account the Final Fractions Theory for their bets on Kentucky Derby odds. Let’s assess the numbers behind this concept and which horses stand out.

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Final Fractions explained

The Final Fractions Theory wouldn’t have existed without Jennie Rees, a former Louisville turf writer and publicist. It answers how fast the horse finished his most recent race. A horse’s last prep race of at least 1 1/8 miles is instrumental in determining whether he can compete at 1 1/4 miles in the Kentucky Derby. The same notion goes for his last three furlong times.

To meet the mark of the Final Fractions Theory, horses must either submit their final furlong in 13.0 seconds or less or their final three furlongs in 38.0 seconds or fewer.

In fact, 29 of the previous 33 Kentucky Derby winners have met this criteria, including 12 of the last 13 victors. Over the last two decades, the lone exception occurred in 2021. Mandaloun was crowned the Derby champion after Medina Spirit’s failed post-race drug test. But for wagering purposes, Medina Spirit tickets cashed on Derby Day.

One year later, Rich Strike won the Derby at 80-1 odds. He wasn’t even eligible until finishing 5 3/4 lengths behind Tiz the Bomb in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, tallying the 20 points necessary to qualify for the Run for the Roses.

2024 Final Fractions Theory Times

Below are the final and last three furlong times from each horse’s most recent prep race. Their latest Kentucky Derby odds are also listed.

All final fractions that fit the theory are in bold.

Post PositionHorseMorning-Line OddsLast 1fLast 3f
2.Sierra Leone3-1:13.02:38.08
3.Mystik Dan20-1:12.69:37.76
4.Catching Freedom8-1:12.05:36.58
6.Just Steel20-1:12.23:37.39
7.Honor Marie20-1:12.17:37.01
8.Just A Touch10-1:13.71:39.31
10.T O Password (JPN)30-1:13.28 (projected):38.12 (projected)
11.Forever Young10-1:12.70 (projected):36.63 (projected)
12.Track Phantom20-1:12.94:37.91
13.West Saratoga50-1:12.67:37.68
15.Domestic Product30-1:11.77:35.01
16.Grand Mo The First50-1:13.11:39.48
19.Resilience 20-1:12.93:37.81
20.Society Man50-1:12.95:38.13
21.Epic Ride30-1:14.11:39.83
22.Mugatu (AE)30-1N/AN/A
Derby Jackpot Challenge

Employing Final Fractions Theory

According to this resource, Fierceness, Catching Freedom, Forever Young, and Honor Marie are well-built Kentucky Derby contenders, and their odds reflect this. But a “closer,” like Catching Freedom, often has difficulty racing from behind in a jam-packed field. While a 20-horse field doesn’t necessarily suit him, exotics, including exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, make for an intriguing alternative.

Elsewhere, Domestic Product, and Endlessly also appear to be viable longshots to win. Endlessly isn’t a lock to participate, as he’s never run on dirt and his trainer would rather him run in the American Turf if the horse’s owners agree.

Remember that Rich Strike fit the same mold two years ago.

How Does 2024 Compare To Past Years?

The 2022 Derby saw eight horses with a final furlong and final three-furlong times meet the necessary qualifying times. Last year’s crop of eligible thoroughbreds featured 19 double qualifiers!

This year, 11 horses meet both cutoffs for the Final Fractions Theory. That may not help you decide which horse to bet to win, but it could be the starting point for horses to eliminate from consideration.

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