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Kentucky Derby 2024 Latest News & Top Contenders | Fallout From Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial
Stronghold (Lindsay Affleck)

Kentucky Derby 2024 Latest News & Top Contenders | Fallout From Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial

Aaron discusses the latest 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) news after the results of the Blue Grass Stakes (G1), the Santa Anita Derby (G1), & the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2), then gives his updated top rankings.

Which horses are on the rise heading into the Lexington Stakes (G3)? Whose stocks plummeted?

Leave YOUR Kentucky Derby rankings in the Comments!


Visit our Kentucky Derby page for the latest news, rankings, prep race schedules, the Kentucky Derby point standings, and much more!

1. Fierceness

Pros: 110 Beyer is top amongst this group; no doubt the most talented horse in the crop

Cons: Incredibly inconsistent

Outlook: He put up another head-scratcher in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3), then rebounded with a breathtaking Florida Derby (G1) win. Which Fierceness will show up in the Kentucky Derby? That’s the only question mark.

2. Sierra Leone

Pros: Tremendous turn of foot; has lots of room to improve; winner of two straight preps

Cons: Running style could be troubling

Outlook: He backed up his Risen Star Stakes (G2) victory with another impressive win in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1). He’s getting better with each start for Chad Brown, who has his best chance yet to win the Kentucky Derby.

3. Catching Freedom

Pros: Seemed to improve in his last race; great connections

Cons: Running style is going to be a problem

Outlook: His Louisiana Derby (G2) victory was very impressive considering he was last up the back side. He’ll need to get better positioning in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but he has established himself as a prime contender.

4. Forever Young

Pros: Undefeated with 5 straight impressive victories

Cons: International horses are always a mystery

Outlook: The hype on this horse is massive, while he ran good enough to get the job done last time out in the UAE Derby (G2) once again. The international horses are always a mystery, though, so we’ll see if he is finally the one to break the mold.

5. Honor Marie

Pros: Improved greatly in his second start; has a stakes win a Churchill Downs

Cons: Had every chance to win the Louisiana Derby (G2) but got out-kicked

Outlook: After a poor run in the Risen Star Stakes (G2), this horse improved in a major way in the Louisiana Derby, finishing second to Catching Freedom. The Kentucky Derby (G1) will be his third race off of the layoff, which should lead to his best effort on the biggest day of his career.

6. Just a Touch

Pros: Continues to improve; look good stretching out in distance

Cons: Lightly raced; was defeated cleanly in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1)

Outlook: This horse is getting better with each start and has never finished worse than second in all three of his races so far. His running style is favorable as well, which will be a big help in a 20-horse field.

7. Endlessly

Pros: Rapidly improving for a solid trainer

Cons: Dirt is a major question mark

Outlook: This horse is in limbo as to what race they will choose for him. At first, it was back to the turf, but now there is talk he could run in the Kentucky Derby (G1). If he takes to the dirt, then he’ll have a chance, but he might be more of a threat on the turf.

8. Stronghold

Pros: Impressive wins in the Sunland Derby (G3) & Santa Anita Derby (G1)

Cons: Numbers are still pretty slow

Outlook: His Sunland Derby win was solid, but he really stamped himself as a contender with a win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). He’s gotten better with each start this season, which is good to see, but he still needs a step up from a speed figure standpoint to have a chance.

9. Just Steel

Pros: Consistent; plenty of experience

Cons: Speed figures our low; lacks finishing kick; hasn’t been closing to winning a prep

Outlook: D. Wayne Lukas is back in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after this horse finished second in 3 of the 4 prep races at Oaklawn Park. He is a prime candidate to hit the board; however, he must improve a bit if he wants to win the race.

10. Dornoch

Pros: Solid foundation; multiple graded stakes winner

Cons: Seems to be a bit green and needs to figure things out

Outlook: We didn’t learn much in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) after all of the scratches, but we did learn that he can’t set off the pace and win, as he finished off the board in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1). At this point, you probably just need to send him to the lead in the Kentucky Derby and hope for the best.

11. Resilience

Pros: Seems to be improving; solid win in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2)

Cons: Numbers are low

Outlook: This horse could be developing at the right time to make an impact in this race. He was a solid fourth in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) two starts back, which now has had three next out winners, while his Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) win was pretty impressive.

12. Domestic Product

Pros: Determined win in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3)

Cons: Numbers are still fairly low

Outlook: You have to give him credit for closing into a slow pace and winning the Tampa Bay Derby. While the time was slow and the speed figures came back light, at least he seems to be getting better with each start.

13. Mystik Dan

Pros: 101 Beyer for winning the Southwest Stakes (G3)

Cons: Inconsistent; best race was in the slop

Outlook: His Southwest Stakes win was among the most impressive that we’ve seen so far from Kentucky Derby-eligible horses. However, he couldn’t replicate it in the Arkansas Derby (G1), where he finished third. He’s a nice horse, but he may need the slop to reach an elite level.

14. Track Phantom

Pros: Solid running style; good connections

Cons: Numbers are consistently low

Outlook: This horse is almost like a robot at this point. He basically runs the same race every time, which is good, but not great. I love his running style and the way he goes about his business; however, he’s just not fast enough when the real running begins.

15. Deterministic

Pros: Two for three lifetime

Cons: Looked poor in his only start around two-turns.

Outlook: His Gotham Stakes (G3) win was impressive, considering the track was a mess and it was his first race since August. However, he was a major disappointment when finishing off the board in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2). He could have bounced, or perhaps he just hated going longer, but either way, it was not what you wanted to see.

16. West Saratoga

Pros: Great story; solid experience; has win at Churchill Downs

Cons: Doesn’t seem to be fast enough; hasn’t threatened to win this year

Outlook: This is a great story, which is what the Kentucky Derby (G1) is all about. From a speed figure standpoint, he looks a tad slow; however, we all know weird things can happen in this race.

17. No More Time

Pros: Won the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) in impressive fashion; second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3)

Cons: Low speed figures; inconsistent

Outlook: He showed improvement to win the Sam F. Davis, but the speed figures came back low. The Tampa Bay Derby was similar: he ran a solid second, but the speed figures once again came back low.

18. Catalytic

Pros: Seems to be improving with each race

Cons: Lightly race; low speed figures

Outlook: He earned his way here with a second-place effort in the Florida Derby (G1); however, he was a mile behind the winner. He’ll need to show major improvement to have a chance.

19. Society Man

Pros: Solid second in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2)

Cons: Hadn’t shown much until last start; numbers are low

Outlook: It’s a nice story to see this horse going into the Kentucky Derby (G1) after hitting the board at 99/1 in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2). We’ll see if the story can continue in the big one.

20. T O Password

Pros: Recent win in the Fukuryu Stakes

Cons: We don’t know much about him

Outlook: This rule really needs to be changed. He “earned” his way here by winning the biggest prep race in Japan, which gives him an automatic spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1). This is unfair because it keeps out a more deserving horse that has been running in the United States.