2024 Kentucky Derby expert picks, post positions, odds, time: Insider fades Fierceness at Churchill Downs

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Encino became the first horse to scratch from the 2024 Kentucky Derby due to a soft tissue strain. He’s replaced by Epic Ride, who will take post No. 20. Epic Ride is 30-1 in the latest 2024 Kentucky Derby odds and most recently finished third at the Blue Grass Stakes. Epic Ride has two wins and two runner-ups in five career races, so should you include him in 2024 Kentucky Derby bets? Encino was post No. 9, meaning horses 10 to 20 will move inside one post position. Two Kentucky Derby horses have won from post No. 20 over 18 starts, so could Epic Ride become the latest longshot to win the Run for the Roses?

Fierceness is the 5-2 favorite for the 150th Kentucky Derby, followed by Sierra Leone (3-1) in the latest 2024 Kentucky Derby odds. Kentucky Derby 150 takes place Saturday from Churchill Downs, where Rich Strike won the 2022 Kentucky Derby from post 20 after being a late addition due to scratch. Post time for the first leg of the Triple Crown is set for 6:57 p.m. ET. With the Kentucky Derby offering arguably the best betting opportunity of any single sporting event of the year, you’ll want to see what Saratoga Springs-based racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2024 Kentucky Derby picks.

A member of the Beyer Speed Figure-making team since 2017, Weir is a two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. He has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014 and an $18,000 Pick 5 at Tampa Bay Downs in early April.

In April of last year, he hit a Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park for $641, the exacta in the Florida Derby, a Pick 5 at Keeneland and the exacta in the Lexington Stakes. He smashed the trifecta in the Belmont Stakes for $532.96, and later in June he crushed a Pick 4 at Belmont for $555. Those were just some of his scores from 2023.

For Saturday, he has handicapped the 2024 Kentucky Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2024 Kentucky Derby predictions

One surprise: Weir is fading Fierceness, even though he is the top favorite. Fierceness will start towards the outside, taking off from the No. 16 post position following the scratch of Encino. The favorite hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby since Justify in 2018. Justify was coming off an undefeated 3-0 start before capturing the Triple Crown and retiring at 6-0. Fierceness, however, has failed to win two of five career races, including a seventh-place finish over his career.

Fierceness has never run at Churchill Downs and although he’s coming off a dominant win at the Florida Derby, Weir doesn’t see him as worthy of being such a heavy favorite. None of the last three favorites that went on to win the Kentucky Derby had a finish worse than third to begin their careers, so Weir doesn’t view Fierceness as a horse to use in 2024 Kentucky Derby wagers.

Another curveball: Weir is high on the chances of Japanese invader Forever Young, even though he’s a 10-1 longshot. Forever Young is looking to become the first Japan-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Weir believes he has the makings of accomplishing that. Forever Young only knows winning, taking all five career races, including the Saudi Derby and UAE Derby to secure a spot in the 2024 Kentucky Derby field.

After Encino was scratched, Forever Young will now run from the No. 10 gate, which has produced nine Kentucky Derby champions. Only post No. 5 (10 winners) has more victors. Nearly 29% of all starters from post No. 10 have finished in the top three, which bolsters Forever Young’s chances of running and finishing at the front of the 2024 Kentucky Derby lineup. Forever Young is one of two 2024 Kentucky Derby horses who are undefeated and the only undefeated horse with at least three starts. Between his on-the-track success and good fortune with the starting gate, Weir likes Forever Young as a longshot in 2024 Kentucky Derby bets. You can see all of Weir’s 2024 Kentucky Derby bets here.

How to make 2024 Kentucky Derby picks

Moreover, Weir is high on a big double-digit longshot who “could be ready for his best.” Weir is including this surprising horse in his 2024 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. He’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.

So who wins the Kentucky Derby 2024, and what double-digit longshot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2024 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the horse racing insider who has had multiple five-figure days at the track and just hit an $18,000 payday, and find out. 

2024 Kentucky Derby odds, post positions

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