20 of the best three-year-old horses in the United States will meet for the 2021 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1. Find out the best horses to bet in the Kentucky Derby, our 2021 Kentucky Derby betting picks and the Canadian sportsbooks that offer the best betting experience!
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When making your 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, keep three simple things in mind: the horses’ form, how well their trainers and jockeys have done in the Kentucky Derby, and the sportsbook where you plan to make your bet. Picking the right horse is even more rewarding when you play at a trusted sportsbook with a great Kentucky Derby betting bonus.
2021 Kentucky Derby Odds And Information
The most famous race of the year, the Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 1, 2021. It is a 1 1/4 mile dirt race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. 20 of the best three-year-old horses in America will compete for a $3 million purse, the blanket of roses, and a place in eternal horse racing lore.
|Rock Your World||6.12||TBA||TBA|
|Hot Rod Charlie||9.00||TBA||TBA|
Kentucky Derby Horses
This is the official field for the 2021 Kentucky Derby with post positions, jockeys and trainers:
- Known Agenda: Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- Like the King: Wesley Ward/Drayden Van Dyke
- Brooklyn Strong: Daniel Velazquez/Umberto Rispoli
- Keepmeinmind: Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen
- Sainthood: Todd Pletcher/Jockey TBA
- O Besos: Greg Foley/Marcelino Pedroza
- Mandaloun: Brad Cox/Florent Geroux
- Medina Spirit: Bob Baffert/John Velazquez
- Hot Rod Charlie: Doug O’Neill/Flavien Prat
- Midnight Bourbon: Steve Asmussen/Mike Smith
- Dynamic One: Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz
- Helium: Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux
- Hidden Stash: Vicki Oliver/Rafael Bejarano
- Essential Quality: Brad Cox/Luis Saez
- Rock Your World: John Sadler/Joel Rosario
- King Fury: Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez
- Highly Motivated: Chad Brown/Javier Castellano
- Super Stock: Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana, Jr.
- Soup and Sandwich: Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione
- Bourbonic: Todd Pletcher/Kendrick Carmouche
No horses entered on an also-eligible list, so if any horses scratch the week of the race, the Kentucky Derby will be run with fewer than 20 horses.
Free Kentucky Derby Handicapping
Essential Quality will be the Kentucky Derby's favourite. He was the two-year-old champion in 2020 and won both of his preps leading into the Derby as well. He is versatile enough to carve out a good trip and his sire Tapit produces horses who stretch out well, though trainer Brad Cox has never been to the Kentucky Derby before.
The best bet is Known Agenda. He won the Florida Derby, which is perennially a live prep race. He is bred very well to stretch out to 1 1/4 miles, he is getting good at the right time, and his trainer Todd Pletcher has won two Kentucky Derbies already. He also has the right running style: he can rally into a sharp pace without having to leave himself too much to do.
There are some other winners of major preps who will take interest and money, like Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World and Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock.
The most interesting of the other shorter-priced horses is Hot Rod Charlie. His trainer Doug O’Neill has won the Kentucky Derby twice, he is well-travelled, he drew well, and he keeps running to his company. But, the Louisiana Derby winner has only won the Kentucky Derby twice, making a horse from that race tough to take at a shorter price.
Instead, let’s play Known Agenda and Essential Quality around some live longshots.
King Fury took an unorthodox road to the Kentucky Derby, punching his ticket with a victory in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Ken McPeek trainees typically improve in their second start off the lay, and King Fury is bred well to move forward both with time and distance. Furthermore, King Fury is already a stakes winner over the Churchill Downs dirt.
Helium started his career at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada last year, and he is now a live Kentucky Derby longshot for Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. Though he has only raced three times, he is undefeated and used three different running styles to win his three races. He also dug in well when a foe bore down outside him in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Midnight Bourbon hit the board in all three Derby preps at Fair Grounds, including winning the Lecomte Stakes. He has tactical speed, and also has the grit and consistency to keep going when things get tough upfront, a skill that will serve him well in Kentucky.
Dynamic One will be running on late. He got caught at the wire in the Wood, though the way Churchill Downs typically plays, having the jump on the real deep closers helps Dynamic One’s case. He has to improve off that Wood, but his trainer Todd Pletcher is running as hot as anyone, and the son of Bernardini has the pedigree to improve at the Classic trip.
Kentucky Derby Expert Picks
- $20 Win: Known Agenda
- $5 Win/Place/Show: King Fury, Helium
- $5 Exacta Box: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium
- $1 Trifecta Box: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon
- $1 Superfecta: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon, Dynamic One
Kentucky Derby Undercard Picks
Here are the picks for the Kentucky Derby undercard, focused on horses to use in the rich guaranteed Kentucky Derby Pick 6 of all stakes races, and other multi-race wagers through the day:
- $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2): Zofelle, She’s Got You
- $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1): Gamine
- $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2): Whiskey Double, Jackie’s Warrior, Defunded
- $500,000 American Turf (G2): Scarlett Sky, Annex
- $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1): Flagstaff, Hog Creek Hustle, Basin
- $1 million Old Bourbon Forester Turf Classic (G1): Smooth Like Strait, Colonel Liam