State’s Top Racehorse Picks: 150th Kentucky Derby

State’s Top Racehorse Picks: 150th Kentucky Derby
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports is almost back, with the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby taking place at Louisville’s venerable Churchill Downs racetrack in early May, setting the stage for the Bluegrass State’s eminent sporting event. Of course, BetKentucky is home to all Kentucky Derby odds in the lead up to the race.

This year, up to 20 horses will take to the 1.25-mile track on May 4, with Fierceness being the early favorite to win the 150th running of the Louisville race, at 3-to-1, while Sierra Leone (7-to-2), Catching Freedom (8-to-1) and Forever Young (12-to-1) are the next closest.  

BetKentucky, the top source for Kentucky sports betting, wanted to know if U.S. states have preferences on specific racehorses. Using Google Trends, we found and ranked which states are most excited for the “Kentucky Derby,” based on search interest score. Then, using a list of current Derby contenders, we ranked which horses those states were most interested in based on search interest score.

Note: Search interest score is compared to other topics. The search period is between March 24, 2024 – April 23, 2024. 

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States Most Excited For The Kentucky Derby

RankStateSearch Interest Score
5Rhode Island21
10New Hampshire16

Unsurprisingly, the host state of the Kentucky Derby is the one that’s most excited to see the race unfold, with Kentucky scoring a perfect search interest score of 100, beating out neighboring Indiana (27 search interest score) and Ohio (25 search interest score).  

Throw in states like Wisconsin (23 search interest score), Massachusetts and Nebraska (20 search interest score each), Delaware (19 search interest score), Michigan (18 search interest score) and New Hampshire (16 search interest score) and you have the full rundown on the states that are the most interested in this year’s derby.

Also of interest: The Most Famous Kentucky Derby Winning Horses In History.

Most Anticipated Racehorse

StateRacehorseSearch Interest Score
IndianaSierra Leone30
OhioForever Young24
Rhode IslandSierra Leone11
MassachusettsSierra Leone9
NebraskaJust A Touch14
DelawareCatching Freedom10
MichiganTie – Forever Young & Sierra Leone35
New HampshireForever Young3

When it comes to the state’s top race horse, it seems like trainer Todd Pletcher’s Fierceness horse is the top pick with Kentucky residents notching a 100 search interest score surrounding the thoroughbred that’s already amassed more than $1.7 million in career earnings.  

Kentucky’s connection with the Versailles-bred horse was far and away the strongest of any state, beating out Michigan’s 35 search interest scores for horses Forever Young and Sierra Leone, with Indiana being the only other state with a search interest score above 24 surrounding any of the horses in this year’s field.

The Hoosier State notched a search interest score of 24 in connection with Forever Young, which is a Japanese bred thoroughbred trained by Yoshito Yahagi that won this year’s UAE Derby and the Saudi Derby with a perfect 5-0 record in the races he’s run so far.  

USA Today photo by Pat McDonogh.

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Christopher Boan is a staff writer for He has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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