Kentucky Derby 2021 Odds: Early Look at Vegas' Lines for Each Horse in Field

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic is taken for a workout at the Breeders' Cup World Championship horse races at Keeneland Race Course Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. Authentic is scheduled to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic race Saturday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Favored horses have recently run well at the Kentucky Derby

Since American Pharoah kicked off his Triple Crown run in 2015, only one Derby champion had odds of 10-1 or longer. That was Country House, who captured first after Maximum Security was disqualified in 2019. 

The recent run of winners with short odds bodes well for Essential Quality, who should be the most-talked about thoroughbred entering Saturday's race at Churchill Downs. 

Hot Rod Charlie, Medina Spirit and Rock Your World are expected to provide Essential Quality with the biggest challenges. 

At the moment, all of those horses have 10-1 odds or better, which fits them into the recent trend started by American Pharoah. 


Kentucky Derby Field and Odds

Essential Quality (5-2) 

Hot Rod Charlie (6-1)

Medina Spirit (8-1)

Rock Your World (8-1)

Known Agenda (12-1)

Highly Motivated (15-1)

Mandaloun (15-1)

Midnight Bourbon (15-1)

Super Stock (20-1)

Bourbonic (30-1)

Dynamic One (30-1)

Soup and Sandwich (30-1)

O Besos (40-1)

Helium (50-1)

Hidden Stash (50-1)

Like The King (50-1)

Sainthood (50-1)

Keepmeinmind (50-1)

Brooklyn Strong (80-1)

King Fury (80-1)

Odds via KentuckyDerby.com.

Essential Quality will attempt to follow in the hoof prints of American Pharoah and Justify and start a Triple Crown hunt off with a strong performance at the Kentucky Derby.

The horse, trained by Brad Cox, has won five races in a row, including the Breeders' Cup juvenile in November. He went on to capture first at the Blue Grass Stakes and Southwest Stakes. 

Essential Quality's odds are right around where a handful of recent winners were at. Nyquist in 2016 and Justify in 2018 were both 3-1 favorites, Always Dreaming won in 2017 at 5-1, and American Pharoah triumphed as a 5-2 horse.

Authentic's 2020 triumph at Churchill Downs came with 8-1 odds. Favorite Tiz the Law ended up in second place after leading the odds board in the weeks building up to the race. 

Of course, being the favorite does not always equate to winning the race, but Essential Quality has a strong record behind him to back any potential bets before Saturday. 

Rock Your World and Hot Rod Charlie are both coming off wins, while Medina Spirit took second behind Rock Your World at the Santa Anita Derby. 

Although Medina Spirit is not coming off a win, the second-place mark at Santa Anita could be a good omen for trainer Bob Baffert. His first two Kentucky Derby winners in 1997 and 1998 took second at Santa Anita. 

Medina Spirit is Baffert's only entry in the Derby field. He won with Authentic in September as his only horse in the draw. 

Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock could be the best long shot in the field. He has four top-three finishes in his career and outclassed Caddo River and Concert Tour, both of whom could have been Derby contenders before scratches, to win at Oaklawn Park.