2024 Best Kentucky Derby Picks and Expert Predictions

“The most exciting two minutes in sport” is almost upon us. Around 150,000 people will descend upon Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 6, with many more watching around the world. But where will your money be going? If you need a little help making your Kentucky Derby picks, fear not!

On this page we’ll share a whole host of useful information to help you place a winning bet. We’ll discuss the various betting markets available, share our expert Derby day picks and reveal the best sites at which to bet.

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Who are the Favourites for 2024 Kentucky Derby?

This page is the place to be if you need help finding the best Kentucky Derby odds and picks. But, before we get onto the latter, we’d better have a look at the former.

Here are the current odds, hand-picked from a selection of our top-rated online sportsbooks for horse racing betting.

Horse BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada
Forte +300 +250 +250 +250 +300
Tapit Trice +500 +450 +450 +450 +550
Angel Of Empire +800 +600 +600 +600 +600
Derma Sotogake +1000 +900 +900 +900 +1000
Kingsbarns +1200 +1000 +1000 +1000 +1200
Verifying +1500 +1600 +1600 +1600 +1800
Mage +1500 +1400 +1400 +1400 +1500
Two Phil’s +1200 +1600 +1600 +1400 +1200
Skinner +2000 +1400 +1400 +1400 +1400
Hit Show +3000 +2500 +2500 +2500 +3000
Confidence Game +2000 +2500 +2500 +2500 +2000
Disarm +3000 +2500 +2500 +2500 +3300
Reincarnate +5000 +2500 +3000 +3300 +3000
Rocket Can +3000 +2500 +2500 +2500 +3300
Mandarin Hero +2000 +2000 +2000 +1600 +1600
Cyclone Mischief +3000 +4000 +4000 +4000 +4000
King Russell +5000 +5000 +5000 +5000 +6600
Jace’s Road +5000 +3300 +3300 +3300 +5000
Raise Cain +5000 +6600 +6600 +6600 +5000
Sun Thunder +5000 +5000 +5000 +5000 +5000
Practical Move N/R N/R N/R N/R N/R
Lord Miles N/R N/R N/R N/R N/R
Continuar N/R N/R N/R N/R N/R
 All prices quoted correct as of 09:00 EDT on Friday, May 5 2003.

The Sports Daily’s Kentucky Derby Expert Picks

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to reveal our Kentucky Derby expert picks! Let’s start at the beginning, with our tip to win the Churchill Downs showpiece event.

Our Kentucky Derby Pick to Win

The first of our Kentucky Derby picks is Forte to win the race. Already a Grade I winner four times for the Todd Pletcher barn, this Violence colt looks as though he’ll be even better when stepping up to the 2,000m distance at Churchill Downs.

Big races wins on Forte’s resume already include the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland last fall and the Florida Derby on his final prep run. He’s one of the top picks for the Kentucky Derby off the back of those victories.

Our top pick:

Forte to win the Kentucky Derby @ +330 with BetUS

Bet $10 with BetUS for $43 returns and $33 profit.

Kentucky Derby Top 3 Picks

Our next two Kentucky Derby predictions are horses that we expect to finish in and around the top 3, without actually winning the race. Another leading contender from the Pletcher barn is Tapit Trice. He features among expert picks on the Kentucky Derby for the simple reason that he’s less exposed than the favorite Forte.

Tapit Trice, who has stamina in his breeding for further with one eye on the Belmont Stakes down the line in the Triple Crown series, announced himself with success in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. He ran on real nice under pressure, shaping as though he’d be even better over further.

Angel Of Empire also has claims of making the show for the Brad Cox team. He’s taken his form to a new level when stepped up beyond a mile for the first time by winning two prep races. Some Kentucky Derby expert picks say to bet Angel Of Empire after wins in the Risen Star Stakes and Arkansas Derby.

These recognized trials do produce winners of the big one at Churchill Downs. Angel Of Empire is thus a solid wager to show after a very comfortable victory at Oaklawn Park. Bigger odds are available bar the first three in the betting.

Our picks:

Tapit Trice to place

Angel Of Empire to show

Longshot Picks for the Kentucky Derby

Next up, we’ll share a couple of 2024 Kentucky Derby picks at bigger prices. One that we really like the look of to potentially win the race is Sun Thunder. Kenneth McPeek fits first-time blinkers on this Into Mischief colt who just missed out on third place in the Blue Grass Stakes last time out.

Both Sun Thunder and the fifth, Raise Cain, shaped like an extra furlong should suit on this run. Winning recognised Kentucky Derby trials is great, but it’s about hitting your peak in the big race itself. Either could give Tapit Trice a run for his money over further by outrunning big odds.

In terms of Kentucky Derby sleeper picks, Japanese raider Derma Sotogake has already enjoyed big international race success in the UAE Derby at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night. This is turning into something of a golden era for thoroughbreds from the Far East, so he cannot be ruled out after such an impressive win.

Our picks:

Sun Thunder to win the Kentucky Derby @ +6600 with Bovada.

Derma Sotogake to win the Kentucky Derby @ +1200 with BetOnline

Exotic Kentucky Derby Predictions

No list of Kentucky Derby 2024 picks would be complete without some exotic bets! Although these are much harder to land, the payouts can be extraordinary. They are popular with punters who want to bet a small amount to try and win huge sums.

In this section, we’ll share our Kentucky Derby exotic picks for the 2024 race.

Exacta Kentucky Derby Picks for 2024

If you didn’t already know, an Exacta requires you to pick the race winner and the runner-up, in the exact order. There is a minimum stake of $2 and a dividend will be declared after the race is over.

Essentially, our Kentucky Derby Exacta picks itself, based on our earlier choices. We think that Forte is the right favorite to win, while Tapit Trice is likely to finish in the front two. So naturally, that’s our Exacta prediction too.

Our picks:

1st: Forte

2nd: Tapit Trice

Trifecta Picks for Kentucky Derby 2024

The Trifecta is much like an Exacta, only you need to find the top 3 finishers in the correct order. This makes it considerably harder, so the payouts tend to be greater as a result. A minimum stake of $0.50 is required.

Our prediction for the Kentucky Derby Trifecta picks itself too, based on our earlier analysis. We already know our first two picks. And since we fancy Angel Of Empire to show, he’ll round out our Trifecta.

Our picks:

1st: Forte

2nd: Tapit Trice

3rd: Angel Of Empire

Superfecta Kentucky Derby Picks 2024

With a minimum stake of just $0.10, the Superfecta is a fun way to try and win a huge prize. In order to do so, you’ll need a total of four Kentucky Derby picks. The aim is to try and predict the first four horses to cross the line, in the precise order.

Derma Sotogake is the choice to complete our four Kentucky Derby 2024 Superfecta picks. The horse has every chance of running a big race on the day and could spring a surprise. But we’ll be shocked if he doesn’t make the first four.

Our picks:

1st: Forte

2nd: Tapit Trice

3rd: Angel Of Empire

4th: Derma Sotogake

Super Hi-Five 2024 Kentucky Derby Picks

The Super Hi-Five is known for paying out massive, potentially life-changing jackpots. It sounds easy to pick the first five finishers in the exact order, but it’s an incredibly tough feat to accomplish. That’s why the 2021 Super Hi-Five Bet paid out nearly $300,000 for a $1 stake!

The last of our Kentucky Derby picks to complete our Super Hi-Five prediction is Kingsbarns after his win in the Louisiana Derby. Another big run is expected here, though a lack of big field experience might cost him a front three finish.

Our picks:

1st: Forte

2nd: Tapit Trice

3rd: Angel Of Empire

4th: Derma Sotogake

5th: Kingsbarns

Who are our Best 3 Kentucky Derby Picks for 2024

Okay, you’ve now seen all of our predictions, but which of these are our Kentucky Derby best picks? Let’s take a look.

Tip 1: Forte to win the Kentucky Derby

Our strongest fancy is Breeders’ Cup and Florida Derby hero Forte. He’s the proven Grade I horse in the field with four previous wins at the highest level and clear pick of three Todd Pletcher runners in the race this year.

Tip 2: Tapit Trice to Place

Based on our Exacta prediction, we expect Tapit Trice to place. While he’s one of the top picks for the Kentucky Derby with experts, there’s a clear hierarchy in the Pletcher barn. Forte is the main bullet they fire at the race, but Tapit Trice can still give him plenty to think about.

Tip 3: Angel Of Empire to Show

While most expert picks on the Kentucky Derby largely center around Pletcher, Brad Cox also has contenders. Angel Of Empire is the best of those, according to the market, and it’d be no surprise if he got in and amongst that rival barn’s big guns and made the show.

Latest Horse Racing News & Tips

Kentucky Derby Trends & Stats You Should Know

Ahead of any wagering on the Kentucky Derby, it’s good to know what the stats and data say. This info comes with no guarantees of picking the winner, but you can and should make better-informed decisions. Here are our top 5 Kentucky Derby trends ahead of this year’s race:

1. Jockeys & Trainers:

Following certain riders and barns can pay off. Although the joint-winningest trainer in Kentucky Derby history, Bob Baffert, currently serves a ban from training horses, there are others who know what it takes to win.

Both Doug O’Neill and Todd Pletcher have two victories in the big one at Churchill Downs since 2010. O’Neill doesn’t have a runner this year sadly. Pletcher saddles three with each among Kentucky Derby expert picks online: Forte, Tapit Trice and Kingsbarns.

The winningest active jockey, meanwhile, is John Velazquez with three successful rides since 2010. He is in the saddle aboard Reincarnate this year.

2. Post Position:

The luck of the draw is essential, because the gate number horses come out of at Churchill Downs can make or break their chances. Anything at the low end of post positions may struggle for a clear passage through the race.

Horses drawn in Gates 1-3 historically struggle with Kentucky Derby trends showing Gate 8 and above producing 64%, almost two-thirds, of winners this century. It is easier to get a clear run on the outer, even if that means a wider route around the bend into the home stretch.

A low draw (Gate 5) is one of the only negatives for Tapit Trice, but that doesn’t deter handicappers giving expert picks on the Kentucky Derby from putting him forward. Forte, meanwhile, shouldn’t have any issues from his stall wider out (Gate 15).

3. Favorites:

There have been times when the advice would be to avoid the Kentucky Derby favorite. The game has changed in recent years, though. Six consecutive favorites captured The Run For The Roses between 2013 and 2018, greatly enhancing their modern record in the race.

In fact, if you had wagered on the favorite every year from 2008 onwards, you would have a 50% hit rate of finding Kentucky Derby winners. That’s an even chance so oddsmakers’ market leader should always be respected.

Forte has a favorite’s chance this year, so that explains why top picks Kentucky Derby handicappers and experts make all respect him. It’s not unusual for big outsiders to spring a surprise either, though.

4. Winning Prep Races:

Ideally, every horse would come into an event as big as the Kentucky Derby off the back of victories. Data and stats support wagering on previous winners.

Some eight consecutive Kentucky Derby heroes from 2011 to 2018 all took their final prep race en route to Churchill Downs. That stat explains why four out of five horses (80%) in the last 11 years came into the main event off a win.

5. Key Trials:

Some prep races are better than others for producing Kentucky Derby winners, though. By far the best this century so far is the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park with six horses landing both races. This is why the winner of that race often features among top picks Kentucky Derby expert handicappers provide.

Across America in California, meanwhile, the Santa Anita Derby is responsible for four winners since 2012. Three of those won both races, while a second place in 2020 went one better at Churchill Downs, albeit in a year when Covid caused changes to the program.

Top Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

Now that you know our Kentucky Derby picks, it’s time for us to share our top rated horse racing betting sites around today:

  • XBet – Our top-rated site for betting on horse racing
  • MyBookie – Bet on all the top races from Churchill Downs
  • Sportsbetting.ag – Well respected US betting brand
  • BetUS – Plenty of bonuses to be found at this sportsbook
  • BetOnline – Easy to use app with Kentucky Derby futures odds
  • BUSR – One of the best Kentucky derby betting sites in the USA
  • Bovada – Global name is sports betting with racing streams
  • GT Bets – Strong rewards program at this top sportsbook
  • Everygame – Formerly the respected betting site Intertops
  • Betanysports – Enjoy cashback when betting on horses

What are Kentucky Derby Picks?

Kentucky Derby picks are just horses that have been chosen to win the big race. You are free to pick your own selections, of course. But if you’re not an experienced racing bettor, you might prefer to follow an expert’s picks.

Our own Kentucky Derby free picks are available to read right here on this page. We study form and analyse the odds to find the horses which offer the best value bets. Past experience at the track, the record of both the jockey and trainer, plus the horse’s pedigree all come into play.

Where can you Find Expert Predictions for the Kentucky Derby?

In addition to our own Kentucky Derby picks, there are plenty of other places to seek out expert advice. You can pay for services offered by racing analysts with experience in handicapping. Bob Weir is one such example.

Other sources of top Vegas picks for the Kentucky Derby in 2024 include Forbes, DRF.com, and the official Kentucky Derby website.

How do you Make Picks and Predictions for the Kentucky Derby?

So you’ve made your selections and now you need to know how to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Happily, we’re here to help. Simply follow the below steps to get started.

Step 1: Find the racecard

The first thing to do before making Kentucky Derby picks is find the racecard. You can get hold of this at many different places, including the official website of the Kentucky Derby.

Step 2: Study the form

Identify which horses ran well in the Kentucky Derby prep races. Check out the timings and see how they stack up to past winners of the big race. Look out for well-known trainers and jockeys who’ve previously tasted success. Try to find a horse with a running style that suits the Churchill Downs track.

Step 2 Study the Kentucky Derby form

Step 3: Compare the odds

Now you have an idea of some picks, compare the odds with the many different legal sportsbooks found online. You want to find the biggest price possible in order to get the maximum value.

Step 4: Choose your site

Select one of our top-rated betting apps or websites and register an account. The process will only take a couple of minutes. You’ll then need to fund the account using your preferred deposit method. BetUS is one of the best horse racing bookmakers.

Step 4 Choose your Kentucky Derby site

Step 5: Place your bets

Once your new account is ready to go, you’ll have to navigate to the racebook and find the Kentucky Derby odds. Pick out your horses, add them to the bet slip and enter the stake. Don’t forget that you can wager using any free bets earned as part of your welcome bonus.

Step 5 Place your kentucky derby bets

Kentucky Derby Picks and Parlays

The final section of our Kentucky Derby picks and analysis guide concerns parlays. A parlay is any kind of bet which contains two or more independent outcomes. For instance, if you bet on a horse to win the Kentucky Derby and a team to win the Superbowl, that would be a parlay. Both options have to win and the payout will be much greater as a result.

You will not be allowed to bet on multiple events within the same race, however. So if you think Forte will win and Angel Of Empire will show, you cannot bet those two picks as a parlay. That’s because one outcome influences the other.

Away from Kentucky Derby expert picks, bettors can also wager on other top races during the meet including the Kentucky Oaks for fillies run the previous day. That has become a popular parlay where you try to pick the winner of both feature races.

Example: Botanical to win the Kentucky Oaks and Forte to win the Kentucky Derby

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