Horse Racing Odds – 2021 Kentucky Derby Longshots

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The 2021 Kentucky Derby returns to its usual spot on the calendar, and the first Saturday in May is a sign that sports and the world in general are getting back to a somewhat normal routine. This year’s Derby field has a deserving favorite in Essential Quality and a number of other talented thoroughbreds with 10/1 or shorter odds. It’s a race that’s been dominated by favorites recently with the top betting pick winning every race from 2013 to 2018. Last year’s winner Authentic was the third favorite. So there is a trend at play, but that doesn’t mean one of the underdogs can’t and won’t win. It wasn’t that long ago that 50/1 longshots Mine That Bird and Giacomo paced the field. We even had one of the biggest upsets in race history in 2019 when 65/1 longshot Country House was awarded the blanket of roses. That win came with an asterisk, however, since second favorite Maximum Security crossed the finish line first but was disqualified. Let’s break down a few longshots that are worth the risk. offers 8% rebates on WINS and LOSSES.

2021 Kentucky Derby
Date and Time: Saturday, May 1, 2021, 7:01 p.m. ET
Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Derby TV Coverage: NBC

We typically see one horse standout among the field and this year that horse is Essential Quality. The colt checks all the boxes of a Derby winner and has been installed as the early favorite, though several horses are close behind on the odds board. Essential Quality amassed the most Derby points winning all five of his races. Most recently he held off Derby contender Highly Motivated in the Blue Grass Stakes in early April. He’s never run this distance giving the rest of the field hope.

Since we rarely see winners emerge from down the odds board, it makes more sense to include a longshot on an exotic bet. There are several to choose from that will earn a hefty payout on an exacta or trifecta. Even if one of the favorites wins the race you can still earn a nice chunk of change with a longshot pick. Five of the last eight Kentucky Derby races had a longshot with odds of 30/1 or longer finish among the top three.

Longshot Odds to win 2021 Kentucky Derby

Hidden Stash +5250
Keepmeinmind +5250
Brooklyn Strong +5250
Helium +4550
Bourbonic +4250
Soup And Sandwich +4250
Like The King +4050
Sainthood +3250
King Fury +2884
O Besos +2650
Midnight Bourbon +2602
Dynamic One +2577
Super Stock +2210

What’s the best way to handicap the longshots? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. There is one thing to keep in mind and that’s how a horse closes. This is a long race at a distance of a 1¼ miles, one that most horses probably have never run before. That being said, one horse that has shown the ability to close is O Besos. He has good bloodlines with sire Orb winning the 2013 Kentucky Derby by making up over 18 lengths after the half-mile mark. And it looks like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. At the Louisiana Derby in his last prep race, O Besos rallied from last in the field to finish third behind Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon.

Speaking of Midnight Bourbon, he’s another horse that carries value at his current price. He’s been consistent this year with a win in the G3 Lecomte Stakes, a third place showing in the Risen Star where he was edged by less than two lengths, and a runner-up to Hot Rod Charlie in the Louisiana Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is looking for his first Derby win putting another HoFer in the saddle. Mike Smith takes the reins and the two were overjoyed with the 10th stall draw. “I think the 10 draw is perfect to establish the tempo Mike wants,” the trainer said.

There isn’t a lot of race data available for Soup And Sandwich since he didn’t make his debut until late January. But he’s run well in the few races he’s entered and has impeccable bloodlines with sire Into Mishcief, who sired last year’s Derby winner Authentic. He won his first two races by a combined 10 lengths and had a strong showing in the Florida Derby, one of the top Derby prep races out there. He set the early pace before being overtaken by Known Agenda. Still, not bad for a horse that debuted just a few months prior.

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- Phil Simon,

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