Kentucky Derby 2024: Roundup Heading into Race Day

As the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby is world-renowned as one of the most iconic annual horse races around. With the 2024 edition just around the corner now, the action is heating up with the top contenders all but confirmed. As the eyes of the horse racing world readies its attention for Churchill Downs on May 4, 2024, here’s a look at the latest roundup as we head into race day.

First Appearances and Work

By May 23, 2024, with race day just under two weeks away, 2-year-old Colt, Fierceness, got his first taste of the track. That Tuesday morning marked the first appearance of Fierceness at the main track, as he sought to get a feel of the legendary turf. Among the most prominent Kentucky Derby betting sites, Fierceness has emerged as the outright favorite, with odds of 5/2.

With sportsbooks analyzing a wealth of information covering everything from a horse’s previous performances, point standings, and their work prior to a race, picking a favorite isn’t mere guesswork. Experts like Adam Haynes note that by comparing the odds provided by different sportsbooks before the race, they can change based on factors like betting patterns in the lead-up to race day.

Whatever your preference, most expert handicappers have finalized their picks, with the bay-coated horse looking good as he got some exercise and training in. Another bay horse, Catalytic also got his first run at the main track that same morning. Having already had a showdown with Fierceness at the Florida Derby earlier in the year, Catalytic was transported in from Florida to get some track time in. Completing a full mile, he appeared to be in fine shape as he jogged the track under the stewardship of exercise rider Olaf Hernandez. His scheduled work took place later on Sunday, where the Kentucky-bred colt got in a four-furlong breeze.

Japanese Contingent 

By Wednesday morning, Forever Young (10/1) was also looking good as he took the track for the first time. Getting his work done with Jockey Ryuseu Sakai, the Dubai Turf (G1) winner got in a six-furlong breeze. A Japanese horse trained by the internationally renowned Yoshito Yahagi, Forever Young will look to invade the pack and pull off an upset.

With racehorse culture in Japan as strong as ever, the revered breeding nation has a second entrant. Having got in some work earlier, T O Password hasn’t received as much attention as his illustrious compatriot. The two recently put in their final work under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, each hoping to earn the distinction of being the first Japanese horse to win the Derby.

Other Notable Runs

Also getting his first run in by April 23, Catching Freedom (8/1) is the Louisiana Derby winner. Hailing from Albaugh Family Stables and bred by WinStar Farm, Catching Freedom is the son of Constitution and one of three horses in the field trained by Brad Cox. Joining him for a first run were Cox’s other two entrants, Encino, and Just a Touch, who both also commenced with a 1 ½ mile gallop before schooling in the paddock by 10:00 am.

Of the trio, it was Catching Freedom who caught the eye and really looked the business as he got his initial work in. As for Chad Brown’s two hopefuls, Sierra Leone (3/1) and Domestic Product (30/1), both looked solid as they completed a mile-and-a-half gallop during the 07:30 to 07:45 training session that same morning. With the world of online betting rapidly changing, punters can now bet on everything from traditional sports to eSports, and everything in between. Despite all the modernization horse racing is an old favorite that never gets old.

The Countdown Begins 

With just a few days to go now, excitement is mounting for the Derby, with the usual fanfare and glamor promising to be on full show. Whether it proves to be your lucky day or not, the changing landscape of gambling continues to evolve as online platforms keep growing and advancing.

Between horse racing platforms, sports betting, and online casinos, digital gambling platforms are now more easily accessible in a variety of ways. Among such sites, like those accepting Solana, gambling enthusiasts can now even play by using cryptocurrencies as their main payment method.

Given how many ways there are to access, follow, and bet on your favorite platforms now, this year’s Kentucky Derby will likely be enjoyed by one of the most expansive range of followers worldwide than the race has ever had. Whether Fierceness lives up to expectations remains to be seen. Either way, despite the points standings, there are still plenty of other terrific horses to back in this year’s lineup too.


Saturday, May 4, 2024, will see Churchill Downs host the iconic Kentucky Derby for the 150th time. A landmark running, the experts have already singled out the likes of Fierceness and Sierra Leone as the favorites. That being said, the chasing pack all look good in their own right too, with the work they have all been putting in highlighting just how good a lineup there is this year.