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

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Written By Dave Bontempo | Last Updated
louisiana derby bets

Does a sample size of four races project results of the fifth? That’s what nationwide bettors ponder for the $1 million Louisiana Derby, the first of 100-point prep races that will shape 2024 Kentucky Derby odds. It takes place Saturday at Fair Grounds, with post time at 6:42 p.m. ET. While the winner getting 100 qualifying points guarantees an invitation to the $5 million Kentucky Derby on May 4, the 50 points for finishing second is also a likely Derby berth. Find my full race handicap and Louisiana Derby bets below.

The early speed horse won three editions since the race stretched from 1 1/8 to 1 3/16 miles in 2020. The fourth horse finished second. That will put substantial focus on speed-favoring Track Phantom, listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. His odds may drop significantly.

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2024 Louisiana Derby Morning Line Odds

Bettors can enjoy this race’s largest purse offering of $3 million and an awesome four-race package:

  • The $500,000 New Orleans Classic, 5:04 p.m.
  • The $300,000 Muniz Memorial Classic, on Turf, 5:36 p.m.
  • The Fair Grounds Oaks, $400,000, 6:08 p.m.
  • The Louisiana Derby, $1 million, 6:42 p.m.

Here is a look at the Louisiana Derby post positions and the odds, updated Thursday night. Note that Triple Espresso, initially pegged for this race, was moved to the Jeff Ruby Steaks. This will also affect the early odds, slightly. Final odds for your bets won’t become official until the race begins, per parimutuel regulations.

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

1Triple EspressoSCRATCHED
2Hall of Fame8-1Steve AsmussenRicardo Santana Jr
3Antiquarian12-1Todd PletcherJohn Velazquez
4Agate Road8-1Todd PletcherIrad Ortiz
5Catching Freedom4-1Brad CoxFlavien Prat
6Awesome Ruta30-1Joseph FosterMitchell Murrill
7Honor Marie8-1Whitworth BeckmanBen Curtis
8Next Level30-1Keith DesormeauxJose Riquelme
9Real Men Violin20-1Kenneth McPeekCory Lanerie
10Common Defense6-1Kenneth McPeek Brian Hernandez Jr
11Tuscan Gold8-1Chad BrownTyler Gaffalione
12Track Phantom3-1Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario

Louisiana Derby Past Performances

2. Hall of Fame (8-1)

Takes another crack at high stakes company. Had everything he wanted in the Risen Star Stakes with an alert break and position to pounce around the turn. But came up empty and was beaten handily by Track Phantom and Chasing Freedom. Some would give him a mulligan for the slop at the Risen Star. But that’s a leap of faith. Nonetheless, may pepper Track Phantom early. Back Beyer speed figure of 94.

3. Antiquarian (12-1)

Another Pletcher entry, won impressively in his second outing, a 1 1/6-mile jaunt through the Fair Grounds slop. Showed heart rather than a putaway kick in holding off the field. Figures to be neat the pace early. Class hike is not in his favor. Win over the track is.

4. Agate Road (8-1)

A pretty good bit of respect is being offered to this late runner, who charged hard for second behind No More Time in the Sam Davis at Tampa Bay. No More Time then finished just behind Domestic Product in the Tampa Bay Derby. There could be a hot pace up front. If so, his chances go up.

5. Catching Freedom (4-1)

Unveiled an exceptional effort in the Risen Star, notching a gallant third behind Sierra Leone and Track Phantom. Strong stalking ride put him in position to win it down the stretch, but he was outgunned. Game. Backers have every reason to expect he’ll be there again, trying to turn the tables on Track Phantom. Likes to run late.

6. Awesome Ruta (30-1)

Long odds reflect the fact he hasn’t been able to win in allowance company, let alone stakes. He finished a distant sixth behind Sierra Leone, Track Phantom and Catching Freedom in the Risen Star. Can’t call him a live longshot.

7. Honor Marie (8-1)

Got a slow start in the Risen Star and tried to make up a double-digit deficit in the stretch. Got about halfway there and was moving well enough at the end to catch a spirited fifth. A better start could land him in the exotics picture. I would be surprised if he has enough to capture the race, but does sport a 92 Beyer, one of the tops in this field.

8. Next Level (30-1)

Ran dead last much of the way and finished in another zip code behind Track Phantom and Common Defense in the Rebel Stakes, finishing eight. His next level figures to be down into company at which he can compete. Toss.

9. Real Men Violin (20-1)

The last of the six finishers from the Risen Star to graduate to this race. Too much better competition. You’d figure this is not the spot for him. Unless you believe in that victory over Track Phantom in the slop last October. This is the second race back off a layoff.

10. Common Defense (6-1)

The curiosity in this race. Ran a threatening second to Timberlake in the Rebel at 27-1. Brian Hernandez made a gutsy rail move, squeezing into an opening that seemed no more than a couple of inches wider than his horse.

Common Defense could have finished second or 10th. But kudos to Hernandez, who also rode Mystik Dan to victory in the Southwest Stakes in a similar fashion. A longshot horse with an underrated jockey.

He figures to be close to the pace early and may have something late, provided he doesn’t get bottled up. Hernandez is a riverboat gambler regarding his rail tactics. Can he roll another 7? Has a back Beyer Speed Figure of 90, the same as Track Phantom.

11. Tuscan Gold (8-1)

Nice trajectory in finishing fourth to Sierra Leone in New York and returning to break maiden at Gulfstream Park. Chased a pace that was contentious, if not hot, and was much the best down the lane at 8-5.

Have to like the rallying effort on a speed track, as there will be plenty of speed in this race. Is he good enough to take this if a sizzling pace scenario falls into his lap? This horse is going to be good. We’ll see if this is the race that proves it. Improving sharply every race, just like Antiquarian.

12. Track Phantom (3-1)

There are two perspectives of his outside post:

  1. He will have to break sharply and be used early, which may compromise him down the lane.
  2. There is nobody outside of him and there’s a good chance he makes the lead.

Couldn’t bring it home in the Risen Star despite being allowed to usher the field through a soft pace in the slop. That could make him vulnerable. But in a big field, it’s also encouraging to get a trip free of traffic problems. Joel Rosario is one of the best in the irons. He won this race in 2021 with Hot Rod Charlie and in 2022 with Epicenter. Back Beyer of 90 puts him right there.

Handicapping Overview for Louisiana Derby Bets

Six horses come out of the Risen Star, the longest previous Derby prep at 1 1/8 miles. That race was in the slop, so backers of a horse on a fast track may give certain horses an excuse. The forecast is 71 degrees and sunny, perfect conditions.

Pace Scenario

Why are front-runners doing so well in this race? It could be that it’s the same length as the Preakness Stakes and is a career-long distance for all entries. As a result, frontrunners appear to be getting a chance to rate.

My Louisiana Derby Bets

My initial base conviction is that No. 12 Track Phantom and No. 5 Catching Freedom will finish in the top three. Here’s how I’m fanning out my Louisiana Derby bets:

  • Win bet on Track Phantom
  • Exacta box 5-12
  • $1 trifecta box 5-12-10, adding Common Defense

Cover bet:

I give many chances to others to hit the board underneath. That includes No. 3 Antiquarian, No. 7 Honor Marie, No. 11 Tuscan Gold, No. 4 Agate Road, and No. 2 Hall of Fame.

I’ll take a stand that the Risen Star second and third-place finishers to Sierra Leone are the two and hope to get lucky with another play with one of these in the trifecta or even the super.

Good luck with your Louisiana Derby bets. Bring home a winner!