Sierra Leone becomes 6-1 individual favorite in KDFW Pool 4

February 19th, 2024

Although “All Others” still ranked as the overall favorite at 5-1 upon the conclusion of Pool 4 of the 2024 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), the overarching story was the impact of Saturday’s Risen Star (G2) in the midst of the betting window – and the ensuing plunge on Sierra Leone

The Chad Brown trainee had been hovering at 11-1, from a 15-1 morning line, until his powerful closing rush propelled him to victory at Fair Grounds. Not long after Sierra Leone ran down Track Phantom, bettors flocked to him as the new individual favorite for the 150th Kentucky Derby (G1). For a while he was vying with “All Others” for outright favoritism, but ultimately ticked up to 6-1 by the end of trade Sunday evening.

Also seeing late play into 9-1 (from 15-1) was Dornoch, who had edged Sierra Leone when last seen in the Remsen (G2). The full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby hero Mage is expected to reappear in the March 2 Fountain of Youth (G2) for Danny Gargan. 

Another prominent juvenile of 2023, Champagne (G1) winner Timberlake, is set to return in this Saturday’s Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park. The Brad Cox pupil was a market mover from the beginning of Pool 4 on Friday, at a generous 30-1 on the morning line, and eventually closed at 15-1.

In contrast, the Todd Pletcher duo of Locked and Fierceness drifted to 16-1, thanks to varying question marks. Fierceness, last year’s champion two-year-old male who had been the 8-1 individual favorite in Pools 2 and 3, looked vulnerable following his upset loss in the Holy Bull (G3). Grade 1-winning stablemate Locked was installed as the 10-1 individual favorite on Pool 4’s morning line to succeed him, but his change of plan caused enough uncertain to float. Rerouted from the Feb. 3 Sam F. Davis (G3) due to a brief illness, Locked now has the Fountain of Youth as his port of call.

Risen Star runner-up Track Phantom opened, and finished, at 20-1. Five other Risen Star runners were named as individual interests in Pool 4, notably third-placer Catching Freedom (31-1), seventh Hall of Fame (33-1), and rallying fifth Honor Marie (36-1). Aside from Sierra Leone, the colt who boosted his profile at Fair Grounds, and just about halved his odds, was Pletcher’s Tuscan Sky (31-1), who went 2-for-2 with a sharp allowance score on the undercard.

Here are the final odds for the 40 betting interests in Pool 4:

#1 Agate Road37-1
#2 Amante Bianco121-1
#3 Born Noble79-1
#4 Capital Idea131-1
#5 Catching Freedom31-1
#6 Conquest Warrior29-1
#7 Deterministic93-1
#8 Dimatic120-1
#9 Domestic Product80-1
#10 Dornoch9-1
#11 El Grande O220-1
#12 Epic Ride105-1
#13 Fierceness16-1
#14 Forever Young21-1
#15 Hades32-1
#16 Hall of Fame33-1
#17 Honor Marie36-1
#18 Imperial Gun57-1
#19 Just Steel79-1
#20 Just a Touch27-1
#21 Knightsbridge23-1
#22 Lat Long428-1
#23 Liberal Arts57-1
#24 Locked16-1
#25 Lucky Jeremy131-1
#26 Mystik Dan21-1
#27 Nash69-1
#28 No More Time148-1
#29 Real Men Violin171-1
#30 Resilience83-1
#31 Sierra Leone6-1
#32 Speak Easy41-1
#33 Stronghold99-1
#34 Timberlake15-1
#35 Track Phantom20-1
#36 Tuscan Gold92-1
#37 Tuscan Sky31-1
#38 Uncle Heavy72-1
#39 West Saratoga207-1
#40 “All Others”5-1

Churchill Downs reported that handle for Pool 4 totaled $408,422 ($309,393 in the Win pool and $99,029 in Exactas) – a 20% increase from last year’s $340,880 ($259,489 in the Win pool and $81,391 in Exactas). Details, including will-pays and exacta probables, will be available on the Future Wager page at

Two KDFW windows remain ahead of the May 4 Kentucky Derby – Pool 5, concomitant with the one and only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, runs March 15-17, and the final Pool 6 is scheduled for April 4-6.