2024 Kentucky Derby predictions, horses, contenders, odds: Surprising picks from proven horse racing insider

Japan-bred Forever Young and T O Password will attempt to end their country’s drought in the Run for the Roses when they leave the starting gate in the 2024 Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Four Japan-breds have previously run in the Kentucky Derby, and the best finish was sixth (Master Fencer in 2019 and Derma Sotogake last year). This year, Forever Young is 10-1 in the 2024 Kentucky Derby odds, while T O Password is a 30-1 longshot. Fierceness, who was bred in Kentucky, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 2024 Kentucky Derby field. 

The 2024 Kentucky Derby post time is 6:57 p.m. ET. With the Kentucky Derby annually featuring the largest field in North American racing, you’ll want to see what Santa Anita-based racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2024 Kentucky Derby picks, considering the success she’s had handicapping this race.

Few people in racing are as well-connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders’ Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.

Yu also has tremendous handicapping chops. In a wide-open Kentucky Derby in 2021, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1. In Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager two years ago, she suggested a play on All Other 3-Year-Olds, which cashed at a whopping 18-1 when Rich Strike won the Derby.

Yu enters this year’s Kentucky Derby on a roll. She correctly called National Treasure to win the Pegasus World Cup. In the month leading up to the Kentucky Derby, she predicted Stronghold’s upset win in the Santa Anita Derby and smashed the exacta in the Apple Blossom Handicap.

For the first leg of the Triple Crown, Yu has handicapped the 2024 Kentucky Derby lineup, made her picks and constructed her best bets. You can head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2024 Kentucky Derby predictions

One surprise: Yu is fading Fierceness, even though he is the 5-2 Kentucky Derby favorite. Bred and owned by Mike Repole, who owned last year’s Kentucky Derby favorite, Forte, before he was scratched the morning of the race, Fierceness has never been able to win back-to-back races. After winning his debut in August, he finished seventh in the Champagne Stakes. Then, after bouncing back with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he finished a dull third in the Holy Bull Stakes.

Fierceness enters th3 Kentucky Derby 2024 off a victory in the Florida Derby in which he had everything his own way, setting a friendly pace up front. “I can’t see him being a lonely leader again in the Derby, and he has thrown in the towel the two times someone eyeballed him,” Yu told SportsLine. See who else to fade here.

Another curveball: Yu is high on Just a Touch, even though he’s a longshot at 10-1 in the Kentucky Derby odds 2024. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. Just a Touch has raced just three times in his career. He won his career debut on January 27 at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Gotham Stakes on March 2.

In his last start, the Blue Grass Stakes, he took over the lead at the eighth pole, but could not hold off the late-running Sierra Leone. The runner-up finish earned him a career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure. “This is the kind of year that a horse with one lifetime win can capture the blanket of roses with the right trip,” Yu told SportsLine. You can see all of Yu’s 2024 Kentucky Derby bets here.

How to make 2024 Kentucky Derby picks

Moreover, Yu’s top pick is a horse who “will be happy to get the added ground” at Churchill Downs. She’s also high on a massive double-digit longshot who “blew my doors off.” She is including these horses in her 2024 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. She’s sharing which 2024 Kentucky Derby horses to back at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2024 Kentucky Derby? What double-digit longshot is a must-back? And how has Yu constructed her wagers? Visit SportsLine to see Yu’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the Santa Anita-based racing insider who has a long history of success in the Kentucky Derby, and find out. 

2024 Kentucky Derby odds, contenders