Kentucky Derby 2021: Latest Vegas Odds and Predictions After Post Positions Draw

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Jockey John Velazquez riding Authentic, right, crosses the finish line ahead of Jockey Manny Franco riding Tiz the Law to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Tuesday's post draw has set the stage for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. The 20-horse field has been set, and the betting favorite, Essential Quality holds a favorable position in the No. 14 post.

While being toward the middle or the outside of the track may not provide a major advantage with Churchill Downs' new 20-slot gate system, those who drew spots near the inside rail aren't particularly pleased.

"Obviously, it's not what we were hoping for," trainer Todd Pletcher said, per ESPN. "Of course, this is one of the things you can't control. With the new gate, we're hopeful that things will be better than they were in the past and the post won't be that bad."

Pletcher's Known Agenda opened as another early favorite along with Essential Quality but drew the No. 1 gate. With such a large field, horses breaking near the inside rail run the risk of being pinned early.

Known Agenda, though, remains one of the favorites nearly 24 hours after the post draw.


2021 Kentucky Derby Positions and Post-Draw 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 20-1

7. Mandaloun 15-1

8. Medina Spirit 15-1

9. Hot Rod Charlie 8-1

10. Midnight Bourbon 20-1

11. Dynamic One 20-1

12. Helium 50-1

13. Hidden Stash 50-1

14. Essential Quality 2-1

15. Rock Your World 5-1

16. King Fury 20-1

17. Highly Motivated 10-1

18. Super Stock 30-1

19. Soup and Sandwich 30-1

20. Bourbonic 30-1

*odds via Vegas Insider


Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

One interesting note from Tuesday's post draw is that Known Agenda appears to be the only real contender to be stuck with an inside gate. Hot Rod Charlie, winner of last month's Louisiana Derby, is right on the interior at the No. 9 gate.

Highly Motivated drew the No. 17 gate, While this does put the horse near the outside, gate 17 has never produced a Derby winner. According to Christian Moore of America's Best Racing, the last time the position even produced a top-five finish was in 2005.

Then there's Rock Your World, the second-leading favorite who drew a spot right on the outside of Essential Quality.

"It's a good post and we're happy with it," trainer John Sadler said, per ESPN.

The Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit, who is a bit of a sleeper, drew a fairly favorable spot in the No. 8 gate.

Essential Quality is the favorite for a reason, being undefeated in five races—most recently taking victory in the Blue Grass Stakes.

According to Byron King of The Blood-Horse, though, the colt hasn't been particularly impressive during pre-race prep.

"He has not amazed in his drills at Churchill leading up to the Derby," King wrote. "It is his race record that stands out."

It's hard to pick against Essential Quality at this point in race week, though it may be wise to hold off on wagering to see how things develop over the next few days.



1. Essential Quality

2. Rock Your World

3. Hot Rod Charlie

4. Medina Spirit

5. Highly Motivated