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2024 Kentucky Derby Tips - Free guide and two selections

jon-vine
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Last updated: 01 May 2024
jon-vine
Jon Vine 01 May 2024
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  • Free guide to the 2024 Kentucky Derby on May 6th
  • This famous Classic takes place at Churchill Downs on Saturday
  • Sierra Leone and Resilience feature in our selections
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kentucky derby
The Kentucky Derby. (Getty)

On the same day the 2000 Guineas takes place in Britain, the first Classic race of the US season will be run at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby was first run almost 150 years ago and racing fans from around the world will tune in to see who wins the 2024 renewal this famous race.

Here's our free guide to the 2024 Kentucky Derby, including the latest odds, the full draw and our best betting tips.

2024 Kentucky Derby Odds



2024 Kentucky Derby Tip 1 - Sierra Leone


There will be no shortage of early pace in this year's Kentucky Derby. Dornoch - a full brother to last year's Derby winner Mage - was held up for the first time in the Blue Grass last time out and he didn't seem to enjoy it. From stall one, he'll have to go forward early or risk getting swallowed by the pack.

Mystik Dan is a fast horse who's not guaranteed to see out this distance, so he'll want to take his chance from the front. Florent Geroux has ridden Just A Touch forward on all three of his career starts. Track Phantom is another confirmed front-runner from gate 12. First reserve, Epic Ride makes it into the field after Encino was scratched and he'll be fast out of the blocks from stall 20.

Second-favourite Fierceness made all to win at the Breeders' Cup in November and bolted up from the front in the Florida Derby when last seen, setting an excellent speed figure in the process. On the two occasions Todd Pletcher's star hasn't managed to grab an early lead, he's been well-beaten. Fierceness will have plenty of competition for the lead on Saturday and it could be tricky to find a good position from out in gate 17. Given his inconsistent form, I don't think he's worth risking at such a short price.

sierra leone
Sierra Leone runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (Getty)

SIERRA LEONE (3/1), on the other hand, has plenty going in his favour. Tyler Gaffalione's mount has improved with each of his four starts and might have entered this race unbeaten, had he not idled late on and allow Dornoch to pass him again in the Remsen.

Chad Brown's star ran down Track Phantom and Catching Freedom to win the Risen Star on a sloppy track. Sierra Leone then relished the fast pace set by Just A Touch and Epic Ride in the Blue Grass Stakes, running down his rivals from off the pace before kicking a length-and-a-half clear in the closing stages.

Tyler Gaffalione's mount is improving rapidly and he'll have no trouble at all in seeing out this extended distance. With a hot pace guaranteed, the Derby should set up perfectly for Sierra Leone. All closers need a little luck in running, but if he finds a clear path to the post, Sierra Leone is the one to beat.

2024 Kentucky Derby Draw


Draw
Name
Jockey
Trainer
1 Dornoch Luis Saez Danny Gargan
2 Sierra Leone Tyler Gaffalione Chad Brown
3 Mystik Dan Brian Hernandez Ken McPeek
4 Catching Freedom Flavien Prat Brad Cox
5 Catalytic Jose Ortiz Saffie Joseph
6 Just Steel Keith Asmussen D Wayne Lukas
7 Honor Marie Ben Curtis D Whitworth Beckman
8 Just A Touch Florent Geroux Brad Cox
9 T O Password Kazushi Kimura Daisuke Takayanagi
10 Forever Young Ryusei Sakai Yoshito Yahagi
11 Track Phantom Joel Rosario Steve Asmussen
12 West Saratoga Jesus Lopez Castanon Larry Demeritte
13 Endlessly Umberto Rispoli Michael McCarthy
14 Domestic Product Irad Ortiz Jnr Chad Brown
15 Grand Mo The First Emisael Jaramillo Victor Barboza Jnr
16 Fierceness John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
17 Stronghold Antonio Fresu Phil D'Amato
18 Resilience Junior Alvarado Billy Mott
19 Society Man Frankie Dettori Danny Gargan
20 Epic Ride Adam Beschizza John Ennis
R1 Mugatu Joseph Talamo Jeff Engler
Scr Encino


2024 Kentucky Derby Tip 2 - Resilience


Japan have two representative in the 2024 Kentucky Derby, but I'm not crazy about either of them. Word is that Forever Young was posted wide in the UAE Derby because he hates the kick-back and being crowded, so being drawn in the centre of a 20-horse field seems far from ideal. T O Password might be unbeaten, but the bare bones of his form leave him with tons of catching up to do.

Endlessly brings stacks of strong form to the table. All of his runs, however, have come on turf or a synthetic surface and his pedigree doesn't suggest that the dirt will be to his liking. Frankie Dettori's presence in the saddle will see Society Man backed, but I can't see Danny Gargan's second-string making much of an impact from a tricky wide draw.

Just A Touch and Dornoch both have plenty of class and could hold on to challenge from the front. Catching Freedom edged out Honor Marie to win the Louisianna Derby, with both coming from well off the pace. If this race is indeed run to suit a closer, then both make the each-way shortlist.

resilience
Resilience runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (Getty)

The one I like most at a lengthy price is RESILIENCE (25/1). Billy Mott's star finished third here at Churchill Downs when given an easy time of things on debut, before romping to victory on his second maiden start at Gulfstream Park on New Year's Day.

On his first start at Graded level, Resilience ran a decent enough race to finish fourth behind Sierra Leone in the Risen Star. Junior Alvarado's mount then got checked a couple of times as he moved forward against the rail early in the Wood Memorial. Having eventually settled in third, Resilience was angled wide going into the final bend and ran on well to beat Society Man by an easy three lengths.

Like Sierra Leone, Resilience has improved with each of his starts thus far and looks ready for his first Grade One assignment. Being drawn out wide in gate 18 isn't ideal, but Junior Alvarado navigated a potentially tricky situation in the Wood Memorial and if he can do the same on Saturday, I could see Resilience making the frame.

Live Stream


If you want to watch this Classic race on a mobile or tablet, then check out our Kentucky Derby Live Stream page.

Verdict

Sierra Leone is our best bet in the 2024 Kentucky Derby. We've also backed Resilience each-way at 25/1.
2023 Kentucky Derby Tips: Sierra Leone Straight Win @3/1 at bet365 - 15 Units
2023 Kentucky Derby Tips: Resilience Each-Way @25/1 at Star Sports - 5 Units
Sierra Leone
Straight Win
@3/1 - 15 Units
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with bonus code NEWBONUS

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Bet at bet365
Resilience
Each-Way
@25/1 - 5 Units
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