Kentucky Derby Matchups: Head-to-Head Betting

Kentucky Derby Predictions on the Main Horses

The Kentucky Derby runs this Saturday at Churchill Downs and we look at the head-to-head matchups. Kentucky Derby predictions are available for the likes of Fierceness vs Sierra Leone and Catching Freedom vs Forever Young.

It’s a fun way to bet on Kentucky Derby wagering markets for the biggest race in North America.

Kentucky Derby

Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Distance: 1+1⁄4 miles (10 furlongs; 2 km)
Purse: US$5 million; 1st: $3.1 million
Record: 1:59.4, Secretariat (1973)

Sierra Leone to Beat Favorite

Our top pick with Kentucky Derby odds is Sierra Leone, and we fancy his chances to beat Fierceness at Churchill Downs. The three-year-old son of Gun Runner owns three wins from four starts, including wins in the Risen Star and the Blue Grass Stakes.

“He’s a very rare horse,” trainer Chad Brown said. “If he could just get over there and in the starting gate the right way, and get a good trip, he’s going to be tough to beat.”

Fierceness also has good form, including a big win last time out. However, he’s an inconsistent type, and it’s often the more reliable runners that perform best in the Kentucky Derby.

We love seeing the favorites battle it out, and the best part of these Kentucky Derby predictions is that it doesn’t matter where they run in the field. They could finish second-to-last and last, just as long as Sierra Leone beats Fierceness in the race, bettors cash.

We’re happy with the -110 odds for Sierra Leone, who is the second favorite in the matchup behind Fierceness at -120.

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Japanese Star Shooting for Success

Forever Young is a -115 chance to beat Catching Freedom, and they are paying similar odds to become the 2024 Kentucky Derby winner. The Japanese runner is unbeaten after five starts, having kicked off his career by winning at Kyoto. He then won two listed races before taking out the Saudi Derby and UAE Derby to prepare for this race.

It’s always hard to line up that form in America, but he’s bred to be better than average, and although Catching Freedom looks like a nice type, we don’t rate him better than Forever Young.

We’ll include the Japanese raider in our Kentucky Derby predictions, and his odds could firm on race day.

Take the Shorts with Honor Marie

Honor Marie has a legitimate chance of winning the Kentucky Derby, and he is pitted against Domestic Product in head-to-head matchups. The son of Honor Code ran second behind Catching Freedom in the Louisiana Derby, and although it wasn’t the strongest Grade II field, it was good enough. His best run came when winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs, and with wet weather expected, he should get conditions to suit.

Domestic Product won the Tampa Bay Derby last start, which was a solid win. It came at Grade III level, so it wasn’t the deepest field we’ve ever seen.

Honor Marie should have his measure, and there has been solid betting support at -155. It’s a short price, but he’s worth including in horse racing parlays.

Mystik Dan to Hold Off Dornoch

We don’t rate Dornoch very highly, and Mystik Dan is being included in our Kentucky Derby predictions. He is a son of Goldencents who won the Southwest Stakes in sloppy conditions, and if the weather forecast holds up, it could be a wet surface. His run for third in the Arkansas Derby behind Muth was solid in defeat. Muth would have been one of the favorites had he been allowed to race, so the form checks out nicely.

Dornoch won the Remsen and Fountain of Youth Stakes, and his win in the Remsen came over Sierra Leone. We’re not ignoring that form, but he was lengths behind them in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Based on that run, we have lost our confidence in this runner, so take Mystik Dan to beat him at -150 odds.

Odds for the 2024 Kentucky Derby
Sierra Leone3/1
Catching Freedom8/1
Forever Young10/1
Just a Touch10/1
Mystik Dan20/1
Just Steel20/1
Honor Marie20/1
Track Phantom20/1
T O Password30/1
Domestic Product30/1
Epic Ride30/1
Grand Mo the First50/1
Society Man50/1
West Saratoga50/1

For Horse Racing odds analysis, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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