Churchill Downs drew post-positions for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby on Tuesday. No real surprises although something interesting did happen during the draw. The two favorites, Essential Quality and Rock Your World, will break side-by-side. Also, third-choice Known Agenda must break from the rail. Check out a Kentucky Derby post-draw update. We throw in picks for this Friday’s Kentucky Oaks.
Kentucky Derby: Essential Quality Gets Post 14 / Kentucky Oaks Betting Preview
2021 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
2021 Kentucky Derby with Morning Line Odds
- Known Agenda (6-1)
- Like the King (50-1)
- Brooklyn Strong (50-1)
- Keepmeinmind (50-1)
- Sainthood (50-1)
- O Besos (20-1)
- Mandaloun (15-1)
- Medina Spirit (15-1)
- Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)
- Midnight Bourbon (20-1)
- Dynamic One (20-1)
- Helium (50-1)
- Hidden Stash (50-1)
- Essential Quality (2-1)
- Rock Your World (5-1)
- King Fury (20-1)
- Highly Motivated (10-1)
- Super Stock (30-1)
- Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
- Bourbonic (30-1)
Assess the post-position draw?
Often, horses with outside posts struggle to get over before the first turn. That won’t happen on Saturday.
In 1 ¼ mile races at Churchill Downs, there’s a full quarter-mile from when the ponies break from the gate to the first turn. Front-runners like Rock Your World in post-position 15 and Soup and Sandwich in post-19 should have no trouble getting position before the first turn.
The real problem could occur in the first post. Contender Known Agenda must get a decent position before the rail, which arrives in a matter of yards. If jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Known Agenda doesn’t get the horse into a decent position before the rail, the Florida Derby winner will have to work extra hard just to have a shot.
Pace-wise, Rock Your World looks like the front-runner. Scratches of Concert Tour and Caddo River has landed Rock Your World as the pace horse. Not only that but jockey Joel Rosario won’t be afraid to gun it if he thinks he can get an easy lead.
Based on the morning line odds, which horses are overlays?
At 5-to-1, Rock Your World is a big time overlay. Yes, there are 20 horses in the race, but no runner will be in a better position, alone on the lead, to win the race than the John Sadler trained Santa Anita Derby winner.
Rock Your World could go gate to wire. On paper, it look like there’s other speed. But there isn’t enough other speed to challenge Rock.
Soup and Sandwich has a nice look at 30-to-1. So does Super Stock. Midnight Bourbon should be close to the pace. He could be a decent overlay at 20-to-1. Hot Rod Charlie may out run his 8-to-1 odds.
2021 Kentucky Oaks Picks
Friday’s signature race is the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. The best three-year-old fillies in the world will head to the Churchill Downs starting gate to run 1 1/8 miles for a chance of the winner’s share of a $1.25 million purse.
Betting should center around Todd Pletcher trained Malaathat and Search Results from the Chad Brown barn. Malaathat is the morning line chalk. She’s undefeated in four races. However, she barely beat Pass the Champagne to win the Grade 1 Ashland in her last.
Search Results could take the field gate-to-wire. Like Malathaat, she’s also undefeated. Her Grade 3 Gazelle victory at Aqueduct going 1 1/8 miles was sensational.
It’s tough to drop Malaathat from the exacta. The Pletcher runner is bred to be a champion. Also, Todd has won this race plenty of times so we should expect Malaathat to show her best on Friday.
Crazy Beautiful looked great winning the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in her last. She’ll be closing from the clouds, which is one of the reasons she’s our pick to finish third instead of first. Unless a runner pressures Search Results, Crazy Beautiful may have too much work to do as they turn for home.
Maracuja and Pass the Champagne are solid runners to round out the superfecta. Both should offer great odds and can win. So don’t leave the big-priced fillies off the top of your exotics.
- Win: 12-Search Results
- Place: 10-Malaathat
- Show: 4-Crazy Beautiful
- Fourth: 2-Maracuja, 5-Pass the Champagne