Kentucky Derby 2021 Post Positions: Horse Odds, Prize Money Predictions and More

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMay 1, 2021

Jockey John Velazquez rides Authentic, second from right, as they cross the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The Kentucky Derby returns to its rightful place on the sports calendar in 2021, as the first Saturday in May will again see Churchill Downs take center stage.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020 race to September, a stacked field is ready to Run for the Roses and kick off the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Here's a look at the field, the odds and the favorites to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.


Post Positions and Odds

1. Known Agenda (6-1)

2. Like the King (50-1)

3. Brooklyn Strong (50-1)

4. Keepmeinmind (50-1)

5. Sainthood (50-1)

6. O Besos (45-1)

7. Mandaloun (15-1)

8. Medina Spirit (15-1)

9. Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)

10. Midnight Bourbon (20-1)

11. Dynamic One (45-1)

12. Helium (50-1)

13. Hidden Stash (50-1)

14. Essential Quality (6-5)

15. Rock Your World (9-2)

16. King Fury (Scratched)

17. Highly Motivated (16-1)

18. Super Stock (46-1)

19. Soup and Sandwich (30-1)

20. Bourbonic (33-1)

Morning-line odds via Kentucky Derby.


Prize-Money Predictions

1. Rock Your World ($1.86 million)

2. Medina Spirit ($600,000)

3. Essential Quality ($300,000)

4. Known Agenda ($150,000)

5. King Fury ($90,000)

Purse: $3 million.


Scouting the Field

It almost feels counterintuitive not to look at which horse Bob Baffert is running in a given year and immediately declare it the favorite. Somehow, that's the case at the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The Hall of Fame trainer—who won his sixth Derby last year with Authentic—enters the 2021 field with another strong contender in Medina Spirit, but it's difficult to trust the colt.

Baffert's latest entry heads to Louisville after spending the winter and early spring at Santa Anita Park, where he finished second at the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes and Sham Stakes. Medina Spirit's only win came during the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Jan. 30, when John R. Velazquez rode to victory in a Grade III, 1 1/16-mile dirt race.

This year's likely Derby winner looks a lot more likely to be John W. Sadler-trained Rock Your World, who coasted to victory at the Santa Anita Derby on a 1 1/8-mile track. The colt presents the 64-year-old trainer with his best chance to capture his first Kentucky Derby.

Betting favorite Essential Quality arrives at Churchill Downs having been victorious in all five of his starts dating back to September 2020, with three of those wins coming at nearby Keeneland.

Trainer Brad H. Cox, already has two Kentucky Oaks wins on his resume. Now the Louisville native, who grew up two blocks from Churchill Downs, enters the marquee race with the horse to beat.

Rock Your World is his biggest threat, according to oddsmakers, while Known Agenda and Hot Rod Charlie attempt to keep them both honest.

With no shortage of contenders in this year's field, The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports is setting up for some electrifying chaos to boot.