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Diamonds are Forever: Sierra Leone Headlines Kentucky Derby Selections

The 2024 Kentucky Derby runs at Churchill Downs on Saturday, and we have our best Kentucky Derby picks.

Headlining our picks is Sierra Leone, who we believe is the best horse in the race, and he could have a bright future.

Diamonds are Forever: Sierra Leone Headlines Kentucky Derby Selections
Sierra Leone - Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

He’s a potential Triple Crown winner, so the +300 odds are worth entertaining for the greatest race on the North American calendar.

Visit our updated betting odds page now.


Kentucky Derby Information

  • Event: 150th Kentucky Derby
  • Date/Time: May 4, 6:57 p.m. ET
  • Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.
  • Kentucky Derby Live Stream: TVG


Sierra Leone Firming to Win

Money has come for Sierra Leone throughout the week. He opened at +350 and he’s now into +300, which is a solid move for the second favorite.

The 3-year-old son of Gun Runner looks to give trainer Chad Brown his first Kentucky Derby winner, and we believe he has the horse to get the job done.

Getting post two could work in his favor. He’s not quickly away, so he’ll have time to drop back and find a nice spot in the running.

“Sierra Leone, he’s in just a touch further in than I wanted but he didn’t get the 1 hole so I’m OK with that,’’ Brown said. “With this particular horse, what I didn’t want was the 19 or 20. In fact, it would have been hard for him to drop over without losing ground, significant ground, around the first turn.”

He comes off a win in the Blue Grass Stakes when beating Just a Touch and Epic Ride. We’re happy with that form guide, and he appears to be getting stronger with racing under his belt.

He’s shaping up to make a great 4-year-old, and we’re happy to be on his back at +300 odds.

Horse Racing Pick: Sierra Leone (+300)


Unbeaten Form with Forever Young

If Forever Young came from an American stable, he would be one of the hot favorites.

Unbeaten runners are always heavily backed with Kentucky Derby odds, but the Japanese runner is a value +800 chance to win at Churchill Downs.

The well-bred son of Real Steel is 5 for 5 lifetime, including wins in the Saudi Derby and UAE Derby, which can’t be overlooked.



It’s always hard to line up international form when it comes to the Derby, but he’s the best international runner lining up in the Kentucky Derby in recent memory.

Japanese runners win some of the world’s biggest races in Australia, Hong Kong and Europe, so there’s no reason why the star colt can’t win in America.

He’s an excellent each-way bet at the current odds, and we are including him in our trifecta selections with Sierra Leone and race favorite Fierceness, who is also a top winning chance based on his last start win.

Horse Racing Pick: Forever Young (+800)


At the Wrong End of the Field

Horse racing betting markets have an open to bet on the horse to finish last, and our pick is West Saratoga.

We’re not wishing on his downfall, but one runner has to tail the field, and the 3-year-old son of Exaggerator is unlikely to figure in the finish.

He hasn’t won in 2024, and although he finished second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, that came behind Endlessly, so the form isn’t great.

His toughest run came in the Breeders’ Futurity where he finished fifth behind Locked, but his form hasn’t improved enough since.

There is room for an upset in this betting market as anything can happen in a race, but West Saratoga is a +625 chance to finish last and it’s worth the risk.

Horse Racing Pick: West Saratoga to Finish Last (+625)


Catching Freedom Attracting Attention

There has been solid betting support for Catching Freedom, who could give Brad Cox his second Derby win after Mandaloun was declared the winner in 2021.

Cox, who also lines up Just a Touch, has a good charge in the field, but Catching Freedom has been backed at +900.

The son of Constitution won the Louisiana Derby when beating Honor Marie last start. That’s a solid form guide, and there’s no reason why that race can’t stack up.

Kentucky Derby prep races aren’t what they used to be, so winners of the Louisiana Derby can take out the Churchill Downs feature.

Given the market move, we’re happy to have him in our selections on an each-way basis.

Horse Racing Pick: Catching Freedom (+900)


Mystik Dan Wants it Wet

There was some rain around Kentucky this week, so the track could be a bit off for the Kentucky Derby.

However, if the rain does fall, Mystik Dan is a leading chance to get through the conditions.

“When Mystik Dan won the Southwest it was ultra impressive,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “After that race we decided not to come back until the Arkansas Derby where he got turned sideways in the first turn. All that said he ran a good race. He’s a fresh horse and hasn’t been over-taxed in the preps. I think it sets him up well for the Kentucky Derby.”

Even if it’s not wet, Mystik Dan has good enough credentials to suggest taking the +2200 odds with horse racing betting markets is generous.

Horse RacingPick: Mystik Dan (+2200)



Questions of the Day

Who is the 2024 Kentucky Derby favorite?

Fierceness is the +275 favorite for the 2024 Kentucky Derby, narrowly ahead of Sierra Leone at +300.

Who is the best value bet for the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

Catching Freedom is a solid value bet at +900 following some tidy form in the Kentucky Derby prep races.

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