Saturday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Kentucky Derby undercard

May 2nd, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard on Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs, including an all-stakes Pick 3.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any eligible race at Churchill Downs from April 27 through May 4.
  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Churchill Downs: Race 9: American Turf (G2, 3:40 p.m. ET)

#5 Legend of Time (7-2) boasts a 4-for-5 career record for trainer Charlie Appleby, who has compiled a 39% lifetime win rate in North America. When you consider how Appleby sometimes starts multiple horses in a single race (and can’t win with both, barring a dead heat), that’s a phenomenal win percentage.

Legend of Time went 3-for-3 at Meydan in Dubai during the winter, winning each of his starts in increasingly dominant fashion. The son of Sea the Stars is picking internationally renowned jockey Frankie Dettori for his U.S. debut and may prove too good for his U.S. rivals in the American Turf.

Let’s take a stand betting Legend of Time to win and singling him to start a Pick 3 wager. Thanks to the Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back promotion, we can receive a refund (up to $10) on our win bet if Legend of Time finishes second or third.


  • #5 Legend of Time (7-2)
  • #13 Can Group (15-1)
  • #14 Agate Road (5-1)


  • $26 to win on #5 Legend of Time
  • $2 Pick 3: 5 with 2,4,7,11 with 4,6,11 ($24)
    Total: $50

Churchill Downs: Race 10: Churchill Downs (G1, seven furlongs, 4:31 p.m. ET)

#2 Tejano Twist (4-1) finished third in this race last year behind future Horse of the Year Cody’s Wish. He later wrapped up 2023 with consecutive stretch-running scores in the Bet On Sunshine S. at Churchill Downs and Ring the Bell S. at Oaklawn Park.

Tejano Twist is a bit unlucky to be 0-for-3 in 2024. He finished second in both the King Cotton S. and Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) to Skelly, arguably the best sprinter in the country. And he was beaten only a nose in the Whitmore (G3) after a slow pace compromised his chances.

Skelly isn’t entered in the Churchill Downs, and if Tejano Twist catches a faster pace than in the Whitmore, he’s eligible to spring a mild surprise under five-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Taking advantage of the Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back offer, we’ll place a win bet on Tejano Twist, then play him alongside #4 Mr. Wireless (6-1), #7 Track Mate (12-1), and #11 Hoist the Gold (7-2) in our Pick 3 wager.


  • #2 Tejano Twist (4-1)
  • #4 Mr. Wireless (6-1)
  • #7 Track Mate (12-1)


  • $20 to win on #2 Tejano Twist

Churchill Downs: Race 11: Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1, 1 1/8 miles on turf, 5:27 p.m. ET)

#4 Far Bridge (8-1) recorded top-three finishes in a quintet of graded stakes last year, most notably winning the Belmont Derby (G1). The beautifully bred son of English Channel kicked off 2024 with a deceptively strong $62,500 allowance optional claiming victory racing 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park, in which he rocketed the final five-sixteenths of a mile in approximately :27.42 to win by half a length.

A similar turn of foot at Churchill Downs will make Far Bridge a formidable win threat at enticing odds. A win bet is in order, and we’ll play him with Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) winner #6 I’m Very Busy (4-1) and Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) runner-up #11 Naval Power (7-2) to conclude our Pick 3.

We’ll also bet an exacta with Far Bridge on top of I’m Very Busy and Naval Power.


  • #4 Far Bridge (8-1)
  • #6 I’m Very Busy (4-1)
  • #11 Naval Power (7-2)


  • $20 to win on #4 Far Bridge
  • $5 Exacta: 4 with 6,11 ($10)
    Total: $30

Good luck!