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Wed 28/04/2021 - 08:13 EDT

Kentucky Derby 2021

You have come to the right place for 2021 Kentucky Derby picks.

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the United States, and one of the biggest races in the world. Run at a mile and a quarter on dirt, the race features up to twenty of the best American three-year-olds to compete for a $3 million purse and a place in horse racing immortality.

The race will be run on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Essential Quality is projected to be the favorite, though other major contenders include Known AgendaHot Rod Charlie, and Rock Your World.

These are the odds on the top contenders at the best online sportsbooks..

Horses bovada gt-bets betonline

Essential Quality

+315 TBA +275

Rock Your World

+450 TBA +500

Known Agenda

+700 TBA +900

Hot Rod Charlie

+800 TBA +1000

Highly Motivated

+1000 TBA +900
Medina Spirit +1400 TBA +1600

Kentucky Derby 2021 Predictions

Having the right Kentucky Derby picks is important, but you also need to know where to bet the Kentucky Derby online. Review our list of trusted online sportsbooks, and find out who offers the best bonuses, rebates, and features for the bets you want to make on the Kentucky Derby. Then, place your bets with confidence!

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Kentucky Derby 2021 Horses

This is the official field for the 2021 Kentucky Derby with post positions, jockeys and trainers:

  1. Known Agenda: Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  2. Like the King: Wesley Ward/Drayden Van Dyke
  3. Brooklyn Strong: Daniel Velazquez/Umberto Rispoli
  4. Keepmeinmind: Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen
  5. Sainthood: Todd Pletcher/Jockey TBA
  6. O Besos: Greg Foley/Marcelino Pedroza
  7. Mandaloun: Brad Cox/Florent Geroux
  8. Medina Spirit: Bob Baffert/John Velazquez
  9. Hot Rod Charlie: Doug O’Neill/Flavien Prat
  10. Midnight Bourbon: Steve Asmussen/Mike Smith
  11. Dynamic One: Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz
  12. Helium: Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux
  13. Hidden Stash: Vicki Oliver/Rafael Bejarano
  14. Essential Quality: Brad Cox/Luis Saez
  15. Rock Your World: John Sadler/Joel Rosario
  16. King Fury: Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez
  17. Highly Motivated: Chad Brown/Javier Castellano
  18. Super Stock: Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana, Jr.
  19. Soup and Sandwich: Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione
  20. 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.

Kentucky Derby Handicapping

When handicapping the Kentucky Derby, it is important to know the Kentucky Derby contenders.

Essential Quality will be the Kentucky Derby favorite. He is undefeated after five starts. He was the two-year-old champion last year, and in two starts this year he has proven he trained on. He has the versatility to handle a big field. Though, his trainer Brad Cox has never had a Kentucky Derby starter.

The best bet to beat Essential Quality is Known Agenda. The Todd Pletcher trainee won one of the best Kentucky Derby preps, the Florida Derby. He should be able to stay off of a hot pace without dropping too far back, and he is bred beautifully for the stretch out to 1 1/4 miles. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, has already won the Kentucky Derby twice as well.

Other horses who came in off of wins in major prep races are Lousiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World, and Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock. The consistent and well-traveled Hot Rod Charlie is the best of this next tier, and he drew very well for the Derby though Louisiana Derby winners rarely win in Kentucky, making him questionable at the short odds.

The best bets are to play Known Agenda and Essential Quality alongside longshots.

King Fury won the Lexington Stakes as his prep for the Derby. It was his first start of the year for trainer Ken McPeek, whose horses typically get better second off the lay. He is bred nicely for the stretch out, he can pass horses well, and he is already a stakes winner at Churchill Downs.

The winner of the Tampa Bay Derby is another live longshot: Helium. Helium won twice at Woodbine last year, and then proved he was even better on dirt when he won the Tampa Bay Derby this year. He is still lightly raced, but he won his three races with three different running styles, which should help him get a trip in a crowded Derby.

Other longshots to consider are Midnight Bourbon, a horse with tactical speed who ran consistently well in all three Fair Grounds preps, and Dynamic One, a midpack-to-closing type who is bred well to stretch out for top-flight trainer Todd Pletcher.

Free Kentucky Derby Expert Picks

Here are your free Kentucky Derby expert picks for the 2021 Kentucky Derby:

  • $30 Win: Known Agenda
  • $5 Win/Place/Show: King Fury, Helium
  • $1 Exacta Key: Known Agenda with Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium
  • $5 Trifecta Key: Known Agenda with Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon
  • $1 Trifecta Box: Known Agenda, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon, Dynamic One
  • $1 Superfecta Key: Known Agenda with Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Dynamic One, Midnight Bourbon

Kentucky Derby Undercard Picks

There are six other major stakes races on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Make sure to use these horses when you are building out your tickets in the Pick 6 and other rich multi-race wagers:

  • $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