2021 Kentucky Derby Picks

Notice! Actual odds are subject to change and are correct as displayed only at the time of publishing: 7:53 AM 30.04.2021.

The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby happens at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The 1 1/4 mile race features up to 20 of the best three-year-old horses in America, competing for a $3 million purse, a blanket of roses, and a place in horse racing legend.

Keep reading to find out the best 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, and the best places to place your bets on the biggest horse race of the year.

Kentucky Derby odds 2021bodogsportsinteractionbetway
Essential Quality8.008.008.00
Concert Tour9.009.009.00
Freedom Fighter24.0024.0024.00
Keepmeinmind29.0029.0029.00
Classier32.0032.0032.00

Check out our Horse Racing Betting Guide if you have any doubts on how to bet on horses in Canada.

kentucky derby 2021 picks

Kentucky Derby Online Betting

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Kentucky Derby Horses

The expected field for the 2021 Kentucky Derby with jockeys and trainers, in order of preference, is:

  • Essential Quality: Brad Cox/Luis Saez
  • Hot Rod Charlie: Doug O’Neill/Flavien Prat
  • Super Stock: Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana, Jr.
  • Like the King: Wesley Ward/Drayden Van Dyke
  • Known Agenda: Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  • Rock Your World: John Sadler/Joel Rosario
  • Bourbonic: Todd Pletcher/Kendrick Carmouche
  • Medina Spirit: Bob Baffert/John Velazquez
  • Midnight Bourbon: Steve Asmussen/Mike Smith
  • Mandaloun: Brad Cox/Florent Geroux
  • Highly Motivated: Chad Brown/Javier Castellano
  • Helium: Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux
  • Soup and Sandwich: Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione
  • Dynamic One: Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz
  • Sainthood: Todd Pletcher/Jockey TBA
  • Hidden Stash: Vicki Oliver/Rafael Bejarano
  • O Besos: Greg Foley/Marcelino Pedroza
  • Get Her Number: Peter Miller/Jockey TBA
  • King Fury: Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez
  • Keepmeinmind: Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen

The final field will be drawn on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. On that date, you will know post positions and official United States morning lines.

Kentucky Derby Handicapping

Essential Quality will almost certainly go off the favourite in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. He is undefeated in five starts, most recently winning the Blue Grass at Keeneland. Essential Quality was tenacious that day when he wore down Highly Motivated. He is versatile, and he is already a winner at Churchill. Though, he is his trainer Brad Cox’s first Kentucky Derby starter.

The best bet in the Kentucky Derby is Known Agenda. He has gotten very good in his last two starts, including a decisive score in the perennially live Florida Derby. Bred well for the Derby trip, he should be able to make a good rally into a sharp pace in front of him, and his trainer Todd Pletcher has already won two Kentucky Derbies.

Other horses likely to get betting interest are Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World, Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, and Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock. Hot Rod Charlie is the most interesting of that group, as he is consistent and tends to run to his company, but Louisiana Derby winners usually disappoint in Kentucky so be careful at a short price.

Kentucky Derby Longshots

Though more formful horses usually win the Kentucky Derby, longshots often run into the money, and they can make the exotic wagers in the Kentucky Derby pay a lot. Let’s find out who these live longshots are, and why they have a chance on Derby Day!

King Fury took an unorthodox road to the Kentucky Derby, winning the Lexington Stakes in his first start at age three. He did so impressively, which suggests that he is true to a pedigree that suggests he will improve at three. He is bred well to stretch out, should be better second off the layoff, and should get a good trip rallying into a hot pace.

Although Helium has only raced three times so far, he is not only undefeated but he has won his three races with three different running styles. That should allow him to work out a trip in a crowded, chaotic race like the Kentucky Derby. His pedigree also appeals for the stretch out in trip, and even though he has rested since Tampa, he runs well fresh.

Two others to consider, especially for trifectas and superfectas, are Midnight Bourbon and Dynamic One. Midnight Bourbon is a consistent horse, the only one who hit the board in all the Louisiana preps, and even though the front end may be tough, he is gutsy enough to stay on. Dynamic One has a strong distance pedigree and should get the jump on the truly deep closers.

Kentucky Derby Best Bets

  • $50 to win on Known Agenda
  • $5 to Place and Show on King Fury, Helium
  • $1 Exacta Box: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium
  • $1 Trifecta Box: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon
  • $1 Superfecta Key: Known Agenda with Essential Quality, King Fury, Helium, Midnight Bourbon, Dynamic One

Kentucky Derby Undercard

The Kentucky Derby is not the only excellent betting race this week at Churchill Downs. The best horses in North America come out starting Friday, April 30. Churchill will feature six stakes races on Friday, headlined by the $1,250,000 Kentucky Oaks. The Oaks is one of the best betting races of the year, featuring 14 of the best three-year-old fillies.

The day of the 2021 Kentucky Derby also features six other rich graded stakes races: the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1), the $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1), the $500,000 Distaff Turf Mile (G2), the $500,000 American Turf (G2), the $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2), and the $1,000,000 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic.