Kentucky Derby 2021: Early Odds and Predictions for Entire Entry Lineup

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

John Velazquez rides Authentic, front left, as they head into turn one in the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The 20-horse field for the 2021 Kentucky Derby is set, and post positions are scheduled to be drawn on Tuesday. The field features some exciting horses, including the Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit.

Medina Spirit's team of Baffert and jockey John Velazquez is the same duo that won the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic.

The current favorite for the 2021 Derby is Essential Quality, trained by Brad H. Cox, a Louisville native searching for his first Derby win at Churchill Downs.

"I think anybody that has that dream dreams of doing it at the highest level and trying to win the Kentucky Derby," Cox said, per Brad Stephens of Horse Racing Nation.

How does the rest of the field shape up with less than a week to go before race day? Let's take a look.


2021 Kentucky Derby

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville

When: Saturday, May 1

Estimated Post Time: 7:01 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: NBC, NBCSports.com


Entry Lineup and Odds

Essential Quality 3-1

Rock Your World 6-1

Known Agenda 8-1

Highly Motivated 10-1

Hot Rod Charlie 10-1

Medina Spirit 15-1

Midnight Bourbon 20-1

Mandaloun 20-1

Super Stock 20-1

Soup and Sandwich 30-1

O Besos 30-1

Like the King 40-1

Sainthood 40-1

King Fury 40-1

Bourbonic 40-1

Helium 40-1

Dynamic One 40-1

Hidden Stash 50-1

Keepmeinmind 50-1

Brooklyn Strong 50-1

*Odds via Vegas Insider



As previously noted, Cox's Essential Quality set the stage for a potential local-kid-makes-good story in Louisville. However, this isn't the reason that the colt is the early betting favorite. Essential Quality is undefeated in five career races and comes into the race with plenty of momentum.

Essential Quality had his final breeze on Saturday and should also come into the race with relatively fresh legs. His last win came on April 3 at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

Kentucky Derby @KentuckyDerby

🎥 Essential Quality works outside of Spa City 5 furlongs in 1:00.4 for his final breeze before Saturday's 147th running of the #KyDerby. https://t.co/tSUGtZBpN0

One of Essential Quality's biggest competitors is Highly Motivated, who nearly notched an upset win at the Blue Grass Stakes. The aforementioned Medina Spirit should also be in the mix, and the John W. Sadler-trained Rock Your World is another betting favorite.

Rock Your World finished first at the RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

Known Agenda is another horse with some momentum after winning last month's Florida Derby. Soup and Sandwich, who is a bit of a long shot, finished second in that race.

While Hidden Stash is an extremely long shot early in race week, the horse's entry is noteworthy. He is the first woman-trained horse in the Kentucky Derby since Bolo in 2015.

"While there's plenty of room for upsets in the Run for the Roses, Essential Quality does feel like the horse to back at this point. If there's an upset, it figures to be one of the other top contenders like Highly Motivated or Rock Your World—though naturally, a dark horse could emerge and steal the show.



1, Essential Quality

2, Rock Your World

3. Medina Spirit

4. Soup and Sandwich

5. Highly Motivated

6. Known Agenda

7. Hot Rod Charlie

8. Mandaloun

9. Super Stock

10. Midnight Bourbon

11. O Besos

12. Like the King

13. King Fury

14. Bourbonic

15. Hidden Stash

16. Sainthood

17. Helium

18. Dynamic One

19. Brooklyn Strong

20. Keepmeinmind


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