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Kentucky Derby 2024 Latest News & Top Contenders | Fierceness, Muth, Forever Young All Win Big
Forever Young (left), Fierceness (center), Muth (right)

Kentucky Derby 2024 Latest News & Top Contenders | Fierceness, Muth, Forever Young All Win Big

Aaron discusses the latest 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) news after the results of the Florida Derby (G1), the Arkansas Derby (G1), & the UAE Derby (G2), then gives his updated top rankings.

Where did Derby-eligible winners Fierceness & Forever Young land?

Which horses are on the rise heading into the Blue Grass Stakes (G1), the Santa Anita Derby (G1), & the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2)?

Leave YOUR Kentucky Derby rankings in the Comments section!


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

Cons: Running style could be troubling; numbers still low

Outlook: He stormed home to win the Risen Star Stakes (G2) despite a slow pace and should get better in his next start; we’ve seen Chad Brown do this many times in the past. We’ll see him this weekend in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

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 he back side. He made a long and sustained rally while running straight in the stretch, which has previously been a big problem for him. He’ll need to get better positioning in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but he has established himself as a prime contender.

4. Dornoch

Pros: Getting better with each race; solid foundation

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 the scratches; however, he got the job done with a win. He needs to improve in his next start, which is going to be in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

5. Deterministic

Pros: Two for two to start his career; great trainer

Cons: Only two races; yet to go 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. He should be able to handle two turns, and if he does, he is going to become a major contender. We’ll see him this weekend in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2).

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Tuscan Sky

Pros: Two solid wins in a row

Cons: Lightly raced and behind from a timing prospective

Outlook: Even though he only had to beat basically one horse, his allowance win at Fair Grounds was very impressive. He earned a 95 Beyer for the win, which is 5 points higher than the winner of the Risen Star Stakes (G2). We’ll see him this weekend in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2).

9. Encino

Pros: Two straight wins; getting better with each start

Cons: All races on the synthetic surface; numbers are a tad low

Outlook: This horse is progressing nicely for Brad Cox at Turfway Park and is flying under the radar. That circuit has given us some good horses the last couple of years and this could be the next one to come from that track. We’ll see him this weekend in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

10. 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.

11. 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 three of the four 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.

12. Stronghold

Pros: Impressive Sunland Derby (G3) win

Cons: Numbers are still pretty slow

Outlook: His Sunland Derby win should have earned him enough points to make the Kentucky Derby gate. However, he’ll need to keep improving if he hopes to contend. We’ll see him this weekend in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

13. Timberlake

Pros: Solid class; grade 1 winner; nice 3-year-old debut

Cons: Longer distances are in question

Outlook: He defeated a weak group in the Rebel Stakes (G2) but didn’t run that well when facing tougher in the Arkansas Derby (G1), finishing fourth.

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 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.

16. West Saratoga

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

Cons: Doesn’t seem to be fast enough; hasn’t threaten 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. 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.

18. 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.

19. Grand Mo the First

Pros: Back to back third place efforts in prep races

Cons: Speed figures are lacking

Outlook: He’s earned his way here with two solid efforts in prep races, but he needs to show some solid improvement to have a chance in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

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.

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