Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby betting strategy from Ed DeRosa: Here are horses you should put money on

Kentucky Derby betting strategy from Ed DeRosa: Here are horses you should put money on

Location, location, location. It applies as much in horse racing as it does in real estate. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby post-position draw, connections are most concerned with which locations to avoid.

The rail is not ideal and, depending on running style, other inside posts can be less than ideal while far outside posts can be compromising for speed types.

When it comes to the 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the conversation starts and ends for me with champion 2-year-old Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Fierceness. He was so impressive in the Florida Derby in his second start as a 3-year-old, it is impossible to see anyone else winning IF Fierceness duplicates that effort.

That’s a big IF, of course, and the reason he will not necessarily be a good bet — especially if he draws to the far inside.

It is not that he cannot win from such a post, but his chances to do so would be so compromised that he would no longer be worth a bet.

So, while the post-position draw — which for the first time will be a full week before the race — is a key component to the final selection process, it should not stop you from considering a horse’s attributes and value when placing your bets.

My selection process includes placing horses in one of the following categories:

Can win, worth betting

Can win, not worth betting

Longshot threat to win

Longshot threat to be in superfecta

TOTAL TOSS

2024 Kentucky Derby contender Forever Young of Japan works out on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. April 20, 2024. Trainer is Yoshito Yahagi and jockey is Ryusei Sakai.

Currently, I am most excited about Fierceness and Forever Young in the top category. I will downgrade Fierceness if he draws one of the three inside posts but am willing to ride or die with UAE Derby winner Forever Young. The undefeated Japan-born wunderkind has impressed me in his two starts this year — almost as much as Fierceness impressed in the Florida Derby. Ah, but there’s the rub, Forever Young has had two solid performances while Fierceness can throw in a clunker.

Much is being said about this being a “two-horse race” for favoritism, between Fierceness and Sierra Leone, but I don’t see it that way. I’m glad they’ll be close in the betting because I think Fierceness is better. As impressive and imposing as Sierra Leone is off wins in the Risen Star and Blue Grass Stakes, he is in the “not worth betting” bucket for me.

As of right now, the longshots I’m excited about are Honor Marie, who already has a win over the track, and Epic Ride, who will be a gazillion to one if he gets in and is just a gritty tryer type who can sneak into the superfecta.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky Derby 2024 betting strategy, horses to bet on and expert tips

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