2024 Louisiana Derby predictions, time, odds, horses, contenders: Surprising picks from horse racing expert

The road to the Kentucky Derby begins its final phase on Saturday when 12 horses make their final start before the Run for the Roses in the 2024 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. The Louisiana Derby will award Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top five finishers, including 100 points to the winner, guaranteeing them spot in the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Lecomte Stakes winner Track Phantom is the 3-1 favorite in the 2024 Louisiana Derby odds. Smarty Jones Stakes winner Catching Freedom is next at 4-1 in the 12-horse 2024 Louisiana Derby field. Five other 2024 Louisiana Derby horses are 8-1 or shorter.

Post time for the $1 million Louisiana Derby 2024 is 6:42 p.m. ET. With several lightly raced 3-year-olds set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you’ll want to see what Saratoga Springs-based racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2024 Louisiana Derby picks.

A member of the Beyer Speed Figure-making team since 2017, Weir is a two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. He has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014.

In April of last year, he hit a Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park for $641, the exacta in the Florida Derby, a Pick 5 at Keeneland and the exacta in the Lexington Stakes. He smashed the trifecta in the Belmont Stakes for $532.96, and later in June he crushed a Pick 4 at Belmont for $555. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, he has handicapped the 2024 Louisiana Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2024 Louisiana Derby predictions

One surprise: Weir is fading Catching Freedom, even though he is one of the top favorites. Trained by Brad Cox, Catching Freedom has two wins and one third in four career starts. He is coming off a third-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes, the local prep race for the Louisiana Derby.

But with his late-running style, Catching Freedom is at the mercy of a contested early pace and a traffic-free trip, and there’s no guarantee that he will get either in this 12-horse race. “He’s another late runner and is a threat to hit the board, but I’m not convinced he should be the second choice in this field,” Weir told SportsLine. Weir is using Catching Freedom only sparingly in his wagers. You can see all of Weir’s 2024 Tampa Bay Derby bets here.

How to make 2024 Louisiana Derby picks

Moreover, Weir’s top pick is a horse who “may get a little overlooked.” He also is high on a longshot who “is capable with his best.” Weir is including these horses in his 2024 Louisiana Derby bets, and so should you. He’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.

So who wins the Louisiana Derby 2024, and what longshot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2024 Louisiana Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir’s picks for the Louisiana Derby, all from the horse racing insider who has had multiple five-figure days at the track, and find out. 

2024 Louisiana Derby odds, contenders 

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