The Latest Kentucky Derby Betting and Race Preview

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The 2021 Kentucky Derby has fired up the imagination of sports fans, as several horses with strong winning records are in with a chance of claiming victory. 

So, who are the favorites you need to know about? 

Details of the 2021 Kentucky Derby

This year will see the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. 2020 saw this famous race moved to September and carried out behind closed doors, with Authentic coming home in first place.

The 2021 version return to its traditional early May slot, with May 1 the date of the Run for the Roses this year. A reduced crowd will be allowed in too, marking something of a return to the exciting atmosphere that we are used to.

Which Horses Will Be Running?

20 of the best thoroughbred racehorses will compete for this prestigious prize at Churchill Downs. The top 20 places on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard will tell us exactly which horses will be taking part.

However, three of the top 20 positions are taken by horses who won’t be taking part for one reason or another. The highly-rated Greatest Honour and Rebel’s Romance are giving the Derby a miss, while Bob Baffert’s Life Is Good is injured.

This means that 3 of the lower-placed horses will move up the rankings and take their place in the Kentucky Derby this year. But which of the 20 participants are likely to be in with a chance of winning the race?

The Favorites

At the top of the list is Essential Quality, from the Godolphin stables and trained by Brad Cox. He is undefeated and jockey Luis Saez has led him to impressive victories in races such as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Southwest Stakes, and Blue Grass Stakes, making him an early favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

 Second on the list at the time of writing is Hot Rod Charlie. Trained by Doug O’Neill, he has racked up close to $1 million in career earnings. Ridden by Joel Rosario, this horse has finished well in several races, as well as winning the Louisiana Derby.

Concert Tour was an early favorite but has slipped back on the list in the last few weeks. Trained by Bob Baffert and also ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, he came home as the victor in a Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita, the Rebel Stakes, and the San Vicente Stakes. His other race finished in a 3rd place result for him in the Arkansas Derby.

Super Stock is one of the horses to pass Concert Tour recently, moving up to third place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby list. Trained by Steve Asmsussen, this horse recently beat off the challenge of Concert Tour to win the Arkansas Derby and move up the leaderboard before the big event in Louisville.

Another horse with a strong track record coming into the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit is another Bob Baffert-trained contender. He has finished first in a couple of races and has been in second place in his 3 other outings so far. 

Could It Be a Surprise Winner?

While the horses we have looked at so far are rightly the favorites, there is also a chance that another one produces a surprise on May 1. Among the other runners, the likes of Known Agenda, Rock Your World, and Midnight Bourbon are all capable of winning the Kentucky Derby.

In the past, unexpected winners of the Kentucky Derby have included the unfancied Mine That Bird winning in 2009 and long shot Giacomo coming home in first place in a thrilling race in 2005.

Learn more about the Kentucky Derby winners here.

It is with good reason that this race is known as the most exciting two minutes in sport. Once the race begins, all of the horses in the field have the chance to win one of horse racing’s greatest prizes.


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