It’s hard to predict what will happen in the Sport of Kings in 2024 except that Bob Baffert won’t be allowed to enter a horse in the Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s ban was extended through 2024, so the six-time winner of horse racing’s biggest event remains out of the biggest spotlight. Who will take center stage? The horse racing odds always seem to reveal ample opportunities for owners, trainers and players alike to leave their mark and shine bright.
Road to the Kentucky Derby
The Road to the Kentucky Derby is underway with 10 races in the books. The running for a spot in the gate on the first Saturday in May begins in earnest on January 20 with the Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
Fierceness, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion, is the 8-1 favorite in horse racing betting in the form of the latest Kentucky Derby future wager pool. If the son of City of Light keeps winning, that price could be a steal when betting online.
There is a good chance that we haven’t heard of the 2024 Kentucky Derby winner, though. Thirty-eight horses were listed as betting options, but “all other 3-year-olds” was the 6-5 favorite. Patience is paramount before heading for BetUS sportsbook to bet your Derby horse.
Up Next on the Road to the 150th Kentucky Derby! 🌹
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) December 27, 2023
Belmont Movin’ On Upstate to Saratoga
The Belmont Stakes has been contested at 1½ miles since 1926 with the exception of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the race to be run first in the Triple Crown series. So, it was decided to make that race 1¼ miles, a less grueling distance to start.
It will be 10 furlongs again in 2024 because the race will be run at Saratoga Race Course as construction continues at Belmont Park. The race will be part of a special four-day meet in upstate New York that will feature 23 stakes. The typical 40-day summer meet at the Spa starts on July 11.
Odds and Ends
- Baffert was banned from Churchill Downs after Medina Spirit, who crossed the wire first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, was found to have illegal drugs in his system. Baffert has been fighting the decision since to no avail. He will likely be allowed back in 2025.
- Golden Gate Fields is set to close in the summer of 2024, leaving Northern California with only fair tracks. How this will affect racing in Southern California remains to be seen, but the circuit has already been decimated with short fields and fewer racing dates.
- Jena Antonucci and Linda Rice had big years in 2023. Antonucci became the first female trainer to win the Belmont Stakes and the second to win the Travers. Rice tied Chad Brown for the coveted training title at Saratoga, saddling 35 winners with 36 fewer starters than her male counterpart. Will girl power continue in 2024? You can bet on it.
Questions of the Day
How do you place a bet on horse racing?
Go to the BetUS Racebook, and discover the options that include win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and daily double wagering.
What are the most common mistakes when betting on horse racing?
Managing money and betting too many favorites. Players must be disciplined when utilizing their bankrolls, and should always demand value in the odds.