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2021 Kentucky Derby Preview

May 1, 2021

And there off!

20 horses enter, 1 will walk away as champion.


  1. Known Agenda (10-1)

  2. Like the King (50-1)

  3. Brooklyn Strong (40-1)

  4. Keepmeinmind (45-1)

  5. Sainthood (40-1)

  6. O Besos (40-1)

  7. Mandaloun (30-1)

  8. Medina Spirit (15-1)

  9. Hot Rod Charlie (6-1)

  10. Midnight Bourboun (20-1)

  11. Dynamic One (40-1)

  12. Helium (40-1)

  13. Hidden Stash (33-1)

  14. Essential Quality (2-1)

  15. Rock Your World (5-1)

  16. King Fury (SCR)

  17. Highly Motivated (10-1)

  18. Super Stock (30-1)

  19. Soup and Sandwich (25-1)

  20. Bourbonic (30-1)


  1. Known Agenda (10-1)

Trainer: Tood Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Stable: St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola)

This Curlin offspring is coming off of two straight wins and has a great jockey/trainer combo. My guess is Known Agenda will spring out to an early lead from the 1 post and falter down the stretch leaving bettors broken-hearted.

8. Medina Spirit (15-1)

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: John Velasquez

Stable: Zedan Racing Stables (Amr. F Zedan)

Not much needs to be said for Bob Baffert in the Derby and John Velasquez has won three derbies himself, including last year's. Medina Spirit has come in second 3 times and won twice in five races. Could be a good horse for your exotics.

10. Midnight Bourbon (20-1)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Mike Smith

Stable: Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell)

Three thirds, two seconds, and two firsts in seven races. Mike Smith might croak from natural causes before the second turn but his experience could pay dividends for this longshot.

14. Essential Quality (2-1)

Trainer: Brad Cox

Jockey: Luis Saez

Stable: Godolphin

Undefeated, 5 victories, as gray as it gets. The head and shoulders favorite will be a popular bet and for good reason. As much as I love this horse, I don't think I can bet him at these odds.

15. Rock Your World (5-1)

Trainer: John Sadler

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Stable: Hronis Racing (Kosta Hronis)

Another undefeated horse, Rock Your World has a 3-0 lifetime record with his most recent win coming at the Santa Anita Derby on April 3rd (over Medina Spirit). Joel is not a jockey to be taken lightly and I feel like this horse is not getting the attention it deserves. Although 5-1 tells a different story.

17. Highly Motivated (10-1)

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Stable: Klaravich Stables (Seth Klarman)

After falling a head short in the Oaks yesterday, trainer Chad Brown and owner Seth Klarman team up again with Highly Motivated to take down the Derby. I love this horse, I love this trainer, and I love Javier. I am highly motivated to bet on this horse.

19. Soup and Sandwich (25-1)

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Stable: Live Oak Plantation (Charlotte C. Weber)

Awesome name. Awesome odds. Awesome track record (2 wins and 1 second in 3 starts). Go Soup and Sandwich, a dietary staple.

20. Bourbonic (30-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche

Stable: Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)

The last trainer to win the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby in the same weekend was Ben Jones in 1952. Todd Pletcher took home the Oaks last night with Malathaat. He can make history behind the underappreciated Bourbonic, who is coming off a win at the Wood Memorial on April 3rd. Not to mention, Kendrick Carmouche would become the first black jockey to win the Derby in 119 years. I used to love Todd. He got kicked around by Bob so often I sort of bailed these last few years in favor of guys like Chad and Steve. Might have to get back on the Pletcher bus with Bourbonic tonight. Go Todd. Go Kendrick. Go making history. Go Bourbonic.


I've been telling everyone to bet on Essential Quality in the Derby since October. I stand by that analysis but the odds are too poor for me to bite. I'll take Essential Quality in an exacta, but I can't do it straight up.

This year's Kentucky Derby champion.... will be...


I predict Irad to take Known Agenda to the front of the pack early to set the pace. Essential Quality will run his race but might feel a little boxed in at times with the 19 horse field. The difference is made when Javier brings Highly Motivated from the back of the pack all the way to the front down the stretch, and he'll have enough in the tank to outlast Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Medina Spirit, and Hot Rod Charlie. However, Bourbonic will emerge unscathed from the 20th post and Kendrick will bring the best out of this horse to hang on for a very memorable running of the roses.


Bourbonic to win.

I want to take the 1, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, and 20 in a box. That's seven horses. I don't think Known Agenda will have enough in the tank down the stretch. Down to six. I can't take two bourbons, and I like Bourbonic more than Midnight Bourbon. Down to five. Rock Your World has only raced three times and all of them at Santa Anita. Down to four. I'm taking Bourbonic as a long shot to win, I don't need him in an exotic. Down to three.


Hedging a bit. Go Bourbonic. Or go 8-14-17 (Medina Spirit, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated).


Who Does Kate Like? Kate likes Essential Quality, the 14 (2-1).

Happy Derby Day and may the horse be with you.

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