New Jersey May Not Have A Horse Of Its Own In Kentucky Derby, But Dornoch Is The Tie That Bonds

Written By Hill Kerby on May 3, 2024
Horses make the first turn at the 2011 Kentucky Derby for a story on the 2024 preview of the Run for the Roses and New Jersey's tie to the race: Dornoch.

Saturday marks the 150th running of the legendary Kentucky Derby. The race has a 6:57 p.m. post from Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville.

Twenty horses run the race, known as “The Run for the Roses” and the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” One of those horses has New Jersey ties.

Morning line odds came out on Saturday, April 27, a week before the race’s post. Keep reading to learn about the horses competing in the 2024 Kentucky Derby.

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Fierceness, Sierra Leone lead the field heading into 150th Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the largest horse race of the year. Its opening odds, or morning odds, signify early favorites to win the race.

Remember, Kentucky Derby odds are pari-mutuel. The lines (and your odds) change until the race begins, based on how much money is wagered on each horse. Unlike sports betting, the odds when you place a wager can differ from the finalized odds.

2024 Kentucky Derby morning odds:

Post PositionHorseMorning Line Odds
2Sierra Leone3-1
3Mystik Dan20-1
4Catching Freedom8-1
6Just Steel20-1
7Honor Marie20-1
8Just A Touch10-1
10T O Password30-1
11Forever Young10-1
12Track Phantom20-1
13West Saratoga50-1
15Domestic Product30-1
16Grand Mo The First50-1
20Society Man50-1
21Epic Ride50-1
Mugatu (Alternate)

Dornoch: New Jersey’s link to the Kentucky Derby

Ninety years have passed since a New Jersey horse, Cavalcade, won the Kentucky Derby in 1915. Next year will be 91 since none qualified for this year’s race.

The last hopeful came in 2017 when Irish War Cry finished in 10th place. The only other New Jersey winner was Regret in 1934.

But New Jerseyans still have a horse in the race, and you only need to look as far as the first post to see him. 

Dornoch (20-1 morning line odds), a full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage, earned a berth in the Kentucky Derby after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland last month. 

Dornoch’s owners include two New Jerseyans from the list of five. 

  • R. A. Hill Stable: Owner Raymond Hill III is from Franklin Lakes
  • Belmar Racing and Breeding: Founder Vito Cucci is the chef and owner of Nanina’s in the Park Restaurant in Belville.

Fittingly for New Jersey, another owner is Jayson Werth, a World Series champion with the Philadelphia Phillies, which PlayPennsylvania delved into further.

Breaking down the 2024 Kentucky Derby field

The Kentucky Derby is the biggest New Jersey horse betting event of the year. If you’re in the Garden State, you can wager on the race at FanDuel Racing as long as you have an internet connection.

New members can join FanDuel Racing and receive a $500 No Sweat First Bet for the Kentucky Derby. If your bet loses, you receive a refund of up to $500 in horse race credits to wager on future contests.

Additionally, FanDuel is offering a $20 No Sweat Bet to every customer. Even existing customers can get their first $20 in bets credited if the wager loses.

As for the field, eight horses have race experience at Churchill Downs from 2023.

  • Mystik Dan (20-1 odds): two races, one win
  • Catching Freedom (8-1 odds): two races, one win
  • Just Steel (20-1 odds): two races, one win
  • Honor Marie (20-1 odds): three races, two wins
  • Track Phantom (20-1 odds): three races, one win
  • West Saratoga (50-1 odds): three races, one win
  • Stronghold (20-1 odds): one race, one win
  • Resilience (20-1 odds): two races

Two horses are from Japan.

  • T O Password (30-1 odds) is owner Tomoya Ozasa’s first horse to race in the Kentucky Derby
  • Forever Young (10-1 odds) could shock the world, coming into the race already having amassed more than $2 million in earnings.

Early favorites include Fierceness at 5-2 odds and $1.7 million in earnings to date, Sierra Leone at 3-1 odds and $918K in earnings and Catching Freedom at 8-1 odds and $877K in earnings to date.

Long shots with 30-1 morning odds include Catalytic, TO Password, and Endlessly Domestic Product.

West Saratoga, Grand Mo The First and Society Man have the longest odds at 50-1.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of that expertise into his writing, where he contributes content in the growing legalized sports betting, online casino and gambling industry.

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