2024 Kentucky Derby prediction, odds, horses, best contenders: Surprising picks from horse racing insider

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The first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown will take place on Saturday, May 4 when the nation’s best 3-year-olds leave the starting gate in the 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The Triple Crown continues on May 18 with the Preakness Stakes and concludes on June 8 with the Belmont Stakes. Fierceness, who dominated the Florida Derby by 13½ lengths, is the future book favorite in the 2024 Kentucky Derby odds at 3-1. Blue Grass Stakes champ Sierra Leone is not far behind at 7-2. Louisiana Derby winner Catching Freedom (8-1), Japanese invader Forever Young (10-1) and Fountain of Youth Stakes hero Dornoch (12-1) round out the top five choices in the 20-horse 2024 Kentucky Derby field.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby post time is 6:57 p.m. ET. With the Kentucky Derby annually featuring the largest field in North American racing, you’ll want to see what Santa Anita-based racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2024 Kentucky Derby picks, considering the success she’s had handicapping this race.

Few people in racing are as well-connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders’ Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.

Yu also has tremendous handicapping chops. In a wide-open Kentucky Derby in 2021, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1. In Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager two years ago, she suggested a play on All Other 3-Year-Olds, which cashed at a whopping 18-1 when Rich Strike won the Derby.

Yu enters this year’s Kentucky Derby on a roll. She correctly called National Treasure to win the Pegasus World Cup. In the month leading up to the Kentucky Derby, she predicted Stronghold’s upset win in the Santa Anita Derby and smashed the exacta in the Apple Blossom Handicap.

For the first leg of the Triple Crown, Yu has handicapped the 2024 Kentucky Derby lineup, made her picks and constructed her best bets. You can head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2024 Kentucky Derby predictions

One surprise: Yu is fading Fierceness, even though he is the 3-1 Kentucky Derby favorite. A son of 2019 Pegasus World Cup winner City of Light, Fierceness already has earned more than $1.7 million in his career, the second most in the field, behind only UAE Derby winner Forever Young ($2.0 million).

He is coming off a wire-to-wire win in the Florida Derby in which he was able to dictate the running from the start. But Yu expects a different scenario on the first Saturday in May. “I can’t see him being a lonely leader again in the Derby, and he has thrown in the towel the two times someone eyeballed him,” Yu told SportsLine.

Another curveball: Yu is high on Just a Touch, even though he’s a huge longshot at 20-1 in the Kentucky Derby odds 2024. A $300,000 purchase a year ago, Just a Touch has earned more than $281,000 in just three career starts. After breaking his maiden in his debut, he has finished second in back-to-back races.

He is coming off a runner-up finish to Sierra Leone in the Blue Grass Stakes in which he chased a fast pace. Yu believes that his tactical speed will be beneficial in the Kentucky Derby 2024. “This is the kind of year that a horse with one lifetime win can capture the blanket of roses with the right trip,” Yu told SportsLine. You can see all of Yu’s 2024 Kentucky Derby bets here.

How to make 2024 Kentucky Derby picks

Moreover, Yu’s top pick is a horse who “will be happy to get the added ground” at Churchill Downs. She’s also high on a massive double-digit longshot who “showed some grit” in his last race. She is including these horses in her 2024 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. She’s sharing which 2024 Kentucky Derby horses to back at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2024 Kentucky Derby? What double-digit longshot is a must-back? And how has Yu constructed her wagers? Visit SportsLine to see Yu’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the Santa Anita-based racing insider who has a long history of success in the Kentucky Derby, and find out. 

2024 Kentucky Derby odds, contenders

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