Kentucky Derby 2021: Latest Odds, Lineup Info and Top Horses for Churchill Downs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

Workers tend to horses in barns as the full moon sets during morning workouts at Churchill Downs Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The post draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby put the two pre-race favorites next to each other. 

Essential Quality and Rock Your World will begin Saturday's first leg of the Triple Crown in posts No. 14 and 15, respectively.

Essential Quality is the odds-on favorite after his victorious run through five races, while Rock Your World is one of three contenders with odds shorter than 10-1.

Known Agenda will start on the inside post with a handful of long shots and potential pacemakers alongside him. Hot Rod Charlie will line up in the middle of the pack and could find the two favorites early depending on how they all start. 


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Top Horses

Essential Quality

Essential Quality has not been bothered by the length of a race or the competition involved in it. His most notable win was at the Breeders' Cup juvenile in November. 

The undefeated run was reflected in the morning odds, as he was given a 2-1 mark. Rock Your World is the second favorite at 5-1. 

In three of the last five years, the Kentucky Derby winner has come from posts 13-20. Three of the top four finishes in 2020 started in the outside gates.

To reach that point, Essential Quality needs to get off to a fast start with Rock Your World alongside him. 

Rock Your World carries the edge in jockey experience with Joel Rosario, who has three Triple Crown victories. Luis Saez will ride Essential Quality; he was disqualified with Maximum Security in 2019. 

As long as Saez and Essential Quality do not experience any setbacks at the start, they should be in the mix for the win in the final few lengths.


Known Agenda

A lot of talk will surround Essential Quality and Rock Your World because of their favorite status and starting position, but Known Agenda deserves to be in that conversation. 

Known Agenda is coming off a victory at the Florida Derby, which was won by a handful of Kentucky Derby favorites in previous years. Three of the last five Florida Derby winners won at least one Triple Crown race. 

The inside starting position could help Known Agenda save some energy for the finish. Four 50-1 horses start directly to the right of him, and they could help set the pace in the first half-mile. 

Sainthood could fill that role perfectly since he is one of the three horses trained by Todd Pletcher in the field. 

If the stablemates lock up in the opening phase, Known Agenda could push to the front without having much pressure around him. 

If Known Agenda uses the finishing power from the Florida Derby on Saturday, he could spring a minor upset at 6-1.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from KentuckyDerby.com.