Kentucky Derby 2024 Horses: Full List of Competitors, Odds & More

Everything you need to know about the field for the 2024 Kentucky Derby.
The 2023 Kentucky Derby
The 2023 Kentucky Derby / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

The 150th Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 4, at the famous Churchill Downs racecourse. The sesquicentennial celebration is shaping up to be a good one, with a loaded field of competitors backed by the always-high energy surrounding the Louisville race track. It should be a memorable race.

As post time approaches, it is important to take stock of the horses the audience will see on the racetrack and the odds each has to win. Part of what makes the Derby so popular is that there are very few regular competitors. The audience is annually introduced to a new grouping of horses and jockeys. There is comfort in the familiar, true, but there's always something special about the Derby and the horse that gets to capture lightning in the bottle yearly.

Here's what this year's crop looks like.

Kentucky Derby Horses 2024

Below is a full list of the 20 horses (and their morning line odds to win, as of time of publication) participating in this year's Kentucky Derby, as per the event's official website.

Fierceness: 5-2
Sierra Leone: 3-1
Catching Freedom: 8-1
Forever Young: 10-1
Just A Touch: 10-1
Dornoch: 20-1
Honor Marie: 20-1
Just Steel: 20-1
Track Phantom: 20-1
Stronghold: 20-1
Reilience: 20-1
Mystik Dan: 20-1
Catalyic: 30-1
T O Password: 30-1
Endlessly: 30-1
Domestic Product: 30-1
Epic Ride: 30-1
Grand Mo The First: 50-1
Society Man: 50-1
West Saratoga: 50-1

The group features horses with straightforward favorites and other underdogs and great storylines, like West Saratoga, whose trainer is battling cancer.

How Many Horses Race in the Kentucky Derby?

Each year, 20 horses are permitted to run in the Kentucky Derby. It was not always this way, however. The first Kentucky Derby, held 150 years ago, had 15 horses in the field and the number fluctuated from year to year until 1974. That year's Derby featured 23 horses, which prompted criticism from assembled media and the jockeys themselves. From 1974 on, the Derby was capped at 20 horses to ensure the field was competitive without putting too many bodies on the racetrack.

It's also part of what makes the Derby unique. Other major horse races, such as the Preakness and Belmot Stakes, have a maximum of 14 horses participating every year. When the question was raised a few years ago of why the Derby stuck with 20 instead of whittling down the field to match other events of its ilk, the length and popularity of the race was cited by Churchill Downs' senior director of communications, per the Courier-Journal.

In short, the Derby's 1 1/4-mile distance permits there to be more horses on the track, and as the capstone event of the year it can be afforded a larger field.

How Does a Horse Qualify For the Kentucky Derby?

To qualify for the 2024 Kentucky Derby, each horse in the field had to run in a series of designated races, titled The Road to the Kentucky Derby. These races, which number in the dozens, take place all over the world between each Derby. The top five horses in each race are awarded a certain number of points.

At the end of the racing season, the top 20 horses in terms of points totaled throughout the year are awarded a post at the Kentucky Derby.

Now you're primed and ready to engage in the horse racing discourse for this year's Kentucky Derby. Enjoy the race.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.