Kentucky Derby Odds: Bodog Previews the Big Race

Kentucky Derby Odds

We’re in the homestretch for the most exciting two minutes in sports. With just days to go before the 150th Kentucky Derby takes over Churchill Downs, now’s the time to check in with the top contenders and assess the Kentucky Derby odds board at Bodog. Post positions were drawn for the 20 contenders on Saturday, April 27, and the race favourite, Fierceness drew post No. 17—a post that has yet to produce a winner.


For the third straight year, world-renowned horse trainer Bob Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs after his two-year ban initially given in 2021 was extended through 2024. That means the Arkansas Derby winner Muth won’t be part of the lineup Saturday despite attempts to overturn the decision.

Baffert-trained horses have won six Kentucky Derby races over the years. In his recent absence, trainer Eric Reed won the 2022 Kentucky Derby with Rich Strike, and trainer Gustavo Delgado won the 2023 race with Mage.

This year’s race is significant as it’s the 150th anniversary. Trainer Brad Cox has a good shot of winning his second Kentucky Debry race in three years, given he’s got three horses competing. As for Chad Brown, he could get his very first Kentucky Derby win with second-favourite, Sierra Leone. We’ll assess their chances of winning with the 2024 Kentucky Derby odds at Bodog Racebook.

Kentucky Derby Post Positions

Post positions have long been debated between horse racing pundits with no straight answers to be had. On one end, you have horses saving ground when they start near the rail, but on the other end, you have open, clear running paths near the outside. Normally, this doesn’t amount to much, but the Kentucky Derby’s 20-horse lineup is big enough to warrant some consideration.

There’s no doubt that Post No. 5 has fared well with Kentucky Derby horses over the years. This post has produced 10 winners, more than any other post position. Always Dreaming won from Post No. 5 in 2017. Post 5 is also tied for producing the most runners up (eight). Perhaps this is the ideal distance to save some ground but not get sandwiched between competitors. This year, Catalytic (+4000) will break from the lucky post; the runner up at the Grade 1 Florida Derby is a long shot for the race and sits far outside of the top five contenders.

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds: The Top Five

Fierceness (+250)

Post No. 17

Todd Pletcher’s hopes of winning a second Kentucky Derby with jockey John Velazquez are pinned on Fierceness, a Kentucky-bred son of City of Light. Fierceness is an intriguing contender who’s either blown away the competition or struggled due to unfortunate circumstance. He suffered from a bumpy start in his first career race, the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes last October, and finished seventh.

He followed that with an explosive performance at the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile less than a month later. Fierceness positioned himself behind the pacesetter and passed in the homestretch, finishing 6 ¼ lengths in the lead.

We’ve seen Fierceness compete twice in 2024: he was at the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes and the Grade 1 Florida Derby. At the Holy Bull, he was pressured on both sides right out of the gate and Velazquez had to guide him to a better position; he recovered and finished third. At the Florida Derby, he encountered no such issues and set a new record for margin of victory at 13 ½ lengths. Fierceness took the lead at the first turn and never took his foot off the gas.

Sierra Leone (+400)

Post No. 2

At the top of the Kentucky Derby leaderboard we have the exciting brown colt, Sierra Leone. This Chad Brown-trained Thoroughbred was the most expensive purchase at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, netting $2.3 million from White Birch Farm and M.V. Magnier. Gun Runner is his sire and Heavenly Moon is his mare. Gun Runner was a force to reckon with in his time. In 19 starts from 2015 to 2018, he won 12 times, including the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He finished third at the 2016 Kentucky Derby, finishing behind Nyquist and Exaggerator.

Brown is still looking for his first Kentucky Derby win as a trainer; this will be his eighth try and of his two entries, Sierra Leone will give him the best chance. Sierra Leone is coming off the best race of his career, a victory at the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes where he clocked a Beyer Speed Figure (BSF) of 98. Sierra Leone made up nine lengths when he surged from ninth all the way to the front in the homestretch. Before the Blue Grass, he won the Grade 1 Risen Star Stakes, sporting blinkers for the first time, and placed second by a nose at the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes. The 2019 Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione will ride him.

Forever Young (+850)

Post. No. 11

Sixth on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 100 points, Forever Young is one of two Japanese-bred horses set to compete at Churchill Downs on Saturday. He has an internationally-renowned trainer in Yoshito Yahagi, who trained a Japanese Triple Crown winner and two Breeders’ Cup winners.

Forever Young may be Japan’s first Kentucky Derby winner. He’s a perfect 5 for 5 in his career that started with three victories in Japan before going international.

Forever Young’s first victory outside of Japan came at the G3 1-mile Saudi Derby in February. He had to recover from a rough start and managed to win by a head. In a post-race interview, Susumu Fujita, Forever Young’s owner, stated his desire to take the horse to Churchill Downs come May.

Forever Young’s next outing was at the G2 UAE Derby—the only international leg in the primary Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Ridden by jockey Ryusei Sakai, he lined up among the 12 competitors at Meydan Racecourse’s 1 3/16-mile course. They rode off the pace and made a push in the homestretch, where they passed the leader to secure their 100 qualification points for the Kentucky Derby.

Catching Freedom (+900)

Post No. 4

This Brad Cox-trained colt is a son of Constitution and Catch My Drift. His sire won the Grade 1 Florida Derby in 2014 and the Grade 1 Donn Handicap the year after.

Cox and jockey Flavien Prat, have each won one Kentucky Derby due to the winner being disqualified. Cox won with Mandaloun in 2021, and Prat with Country House in 2019. Both will be keen to win their first Kentucky Derby races without disqualification involved, and Catching Freedom gives them an excellent chance.

Catching Freedom has competed in two Grade 2 races this year: the Risen Star Stakes in February and the Louisiana Derby in March. He finished third at the Risen Star, just 1 ¾ lengths behind winner Sierra Leone, on a sloppy sealed track. The colt showed improvement at the Louisiana Derby the following month where he reached a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 at a 1 3/16-mile distance, taking victory by one length. Both outings saw him take on a deep closing style.

Churchill Downs will be a familiar venue for the Kentucky-bred colt. He’s competed there on two occasions and has been putting forth work there since April 5. On Saturday, April 27, he recorded the fastest breeze of the lot, going five furlongs in 59.20 seconds.

Just a Touch (+1100)

Post. No. 8

With Triple Crown winner Justify as his sire, Just a Touch has the pedigree of a champion. This Brad Cox trainee is one of three horses that will line up on the field with just three career outings to their name—just as Justify did in 2018.

After breaking his maiden in January, Just a Touch competed at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in March in sloppy conditions. Unfazed, he finished the one-mile race two lengths behind Deterministic in a spirited effort.

The Blue Grass Stakes had much better racing conditions with a fast track and good weather. Assuming his usual stalker position, Just a Touch managed to finish just 1 ½ lengths behind Sierra Leone and generated greater speed with the two turns. Reaching a 96 BSF in that race, he joined the top six Kentucky Derby contenders with the fastest figures.

It’s clear that Just a Touch is heating up at the right time to make a real bid for the Kentucky Derby. Last year, Mage had a similar lead-up to his championship run, including having just three starts under the saddle beforehand. Last Saturday, jockey Florent Geroux worked Just a Touch at Churchill Downs, breezing through five furlongs in 1:00.80.



This is just a sample of the Kentucky Derby lineup. 20 horses are set to compete on Saturday, and Bodog has all the top odds for the big race. Who do you think will be first past the post? Let us know over on X!