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2024 Kentucky Derby horses, futures, odds, date: Expert who nailed 10 Derby-Oaks Doubles explains picks

If the 2024 Kentucky Derby resembles recent editions, then spectators are in for suspense come Saturday, May 4. The last three Kentucky Derbys have all been decided by one length or shorter and the race has lived up to its moniker of “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. Churchill Downs will host the Kentucky Derby 2024, just as it has every year since the inaugural race in 1875. A field of 3-year-old horses will compete over 1 1/4 miles on a dirt track as Triple Crown season begins on the first Saturday in May.

Just two 2024 Kentucky Derby horses have single-digit 2024 Kentucky Derby odds, Sierra Leone (6-1) and Dornoch (9-1). The former won the Risen Star Stakes, but Dornoch edged out Sierra Leone in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. Timberlake, who tops all horses in points from 2024 Kentucky Derby prep races, is 15-1. Before making any 2024 Kentucky Derby picks, be sure to see the horse racing predictions and futures bets from SportsLine’s elite horse racing expert Jody Demling

A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the 2024 Kentucky Derby having nailed the winner of the Belmont Stakes four of the last six years, including an exacta in 2022 with Mo Donegal and Nest. He also called Flightline’s win at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November of that year. 

Demling is at his best in the biggest horse races in the world like the Kentucky Derby 2024. In fact, he has hit 10 of the last 15 Derby-Oaks doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both races all but five times in the last 15 years. He’s also called 10 of the last 19 Preakness winners, including nailing his Preakness winner, exacta and superfecta picks in 2023, keenly understanding when the Kentucky Derby winner was poised for victory or a massive upset. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.

Now, with the 2024 Kentucky Derby odds already on the board, Demling is sharing his picks and 2024 Kentucky Derby predictions over at SportsLine. Go here to see them.

Top 2024 Kentucky Derby predictions

One of Demling’s surprising 2024 Kentucky Derby picks: He is fading Fierceness, even though he’s one of the favorites at 16-1. Trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Mike Repole, Fierceness was the first horse in this crop to reach $1 million in career earnings thanks to his victory at the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. However, he hasn’t dazzled in his other opportunities in stakes races.

After breaking his maiden at Saratoga in August of his two-year-old season, Fierceness finished a disappointing seventh in the Champagne Stakes last October. He opened up his three-year-old season with a disappointing third-place run in the 2024 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The son of City of Light out of the Stay Thirsty mare Nonna Bella may need a top-five finish in the 2024 Florida Derby to qualify for the Run for the Roses. See which other 2024 Kentucky Derby horses to avoid at SportsLine.

Another stunner: Demling is high on Honor Marie, even though he’s a 36-1 longshot. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. He is trained by D. Whitworth Beckman, a Louisville native who is well-acquainted with Churchill Downs. His first horse racing job came at the venue and Beckman has assisted Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and four-time Trainer of the Year Chad Brown. Honor Marie also has pedigree in his favor as the son of Honor Code, who won four stakes races from 2013-15, two of which were Grade 1 races.

Honor Marie’s first three races were at Churchill Downs, where he had two victories, including in a Grade 2 race, as well as one runner-up. He then faltered in his fourth race at the Risen Star Stakes, finishing fifth, but that came on a new track for him at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He’s established a comfortability at Churchill Downs, and his most recent victory saw him rally from last, so he has the final kick to sustain a 1 1/4-mile distance. See which other horses to back at SportsLine

How to make 2024 Kentucky Derby picks, bets

2024 Kentucky Derby odds, futures

Horse Odds Projection
Agate Road 37-1 SEE PICKS
Amante Bianco 99-1 SEE PICKS
Born Noble 79-1 SEE PICKS
Capital Idea 99-1 SEE PICKS
Catching Freedom 31-1 SEE PICKS
Conquest Warrior 29-1 SEE PICKS
Deterministic 93-1 SEE PICKS
Dimatic 99-1 SEE PICKS
Domestic Product 80-1 SEE PICKS
Dornoch 9-1 SEE PICKS
El Grande O 99-1 SEE PICKS
Epic Ride 99-1 SEE PICKS
Fierceness 16-1 SEE PICKS
Forever Young 21-1 SEE PICKS
Hades 32-1 SEE PICKS
Hall of Fame 33-1 SEE PICKS
Honor Maine 36-1 SEE PICKS
Imperial Gun 57-1 SEE PICKS
Just Steel 79-1 SEE PICKS
Just a Touch 27-1 SEE PICKS
Knightsbridge 23-1 SEE PICKS
Lat Long 99-1 SEE PICKS
Liberal Arts 57-1 SEE PICKS
Locked 16-1 SEE PICKS
Lucky Jeremy 99-1 SEE PICKS
Mystik Dan 21-1 SEE PICKS
Nash 69-1 SEE PICKS
No More Time 99-1 SEE PICKS
Real Men Violin 99-1 SEE PICKS
Resilience 83-1 SEE PICKS
Sierra Leone 6-1 SEE PICKS
Speak Easy 41-1 SEE PICKS
Stronghold 99-1 SEE PICKS
Timberlake 15-1 SEE PICKS
Track Phantom 20-1 SEE PICKS
Tuscan Gold 92-1 SEE PICKS
Tuscan Sky 31-1 SEE PICKS
Under Heavy 72-1 SEE PICKS
West Saratoga 99-1 SEE PICKS
All other 3-year olds 5-1 SEE PICKS

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