Monday Kentucky Derby News: Betting Favorite Fierceness Arrives At Churchill Downs

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Kentucky Derby News

As we approach the home stretch for Kentucky Derby odds, with the 150th renewal of The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports set for May 4, there are many ongoing storylines at Churchhill Downs. We will have complete coverage over the next few weeks, including an update for Monday, April 22. Let’s hone in on the Kentucky Derby news for the betting favorites, courtesy of Churchill Downs Communications.

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Kentucky Derby news: fierceness takes center stage

Repole Stable’s Fierceness, the clear-cut victor at the Florida Derby (GI) in his most recent start for heralded trainer Todd Pletcher, set foot at Churchill Downs at 4:30 a.m. EST after traveling from Palm Beach Downs in South Florida. Per our horse-racing expert Dave Bontempo, Fierceness — the betting favorite as of this publication — boasts one of the all-time highest pre-Derby Beyer Speed Figures (110) ahead of the 2024 Run for the Roses.

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Meanwhile, Sierra Leone, behind Fierceness among Kentucky Derby odds, completed his first training day at Churchill Downs. Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg, and Brook Smith’s Sierra Leone, who won Blue Grass Stakes (GI) in his most recent outing, took on the track for a little under a mile.

For context, Sierra Leone’s BSF came in at 98, which ranks second in the field. Catching Freedom, ranking third in this metric (97), trained on Monday at 7:30 a.m. EST. Brad Cox’s other Derby contestants, Encino and Just A Touch, were also on the track. Catching Freedom and Just A Touch, who tallied workouts on Saturday, had less arduous training sessions than Encino.

Catching Freedom is tied for the third-shortest Derby odds with Susumu Fujita’s undefeated Forever Young (JPN), a three-year-old colt.

Forever Young appeared at Churchill Downs for 20 minutes in the mile chute before trotting a mile and a half with rider Yusaku Oka. Even though he doesn’t have an official BSF on his resume, his UAE Derby win on March 30 was reportedly closer to the lower 90s.

Dornoch, the full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby victor Mage, is positioned fifth on the odds board. He was also at the starting gate after jogging on Monday morning under Pricilla Schaefer. He’s scheduled for additional training on Saturday.

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