2021 Kentucky Derby Update: Essential Quality & Rock Your World Clear-Cut Favorites

2021 Kentucky Derby Update: Essential Quality & Rock Your World Clear-Cut Favorites

Written by on April 26, 2021

The 2021 Kentucky Derby is almost here. After weeks of preps, discussions, and training sessions, 20 of the best three-year-olds on the planet are ready to rock and roll under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Check out the latest Kentucky Derby news as we head into Tuesday’s draw. Also, check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Kentucky Derby for Saturday, May 1. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks. 

Essential Quality and Rock Your World Favored to Win the 2021 Kentucky Derby

2021 Kentucky Derby

  • When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Early Week Kentucky Derby Odds

Essential Quality and Rock Your World should hold favoritism until they break from the gate

The two final pre-Derby future favorites should remain the favorites as they break from the gate on Saturday. Both Essential Quality and Rock Your World have gotten all the attention heading into the first Saturday in May.

Godolphin owned and Brad Cox trained Essential Quality is undefeated after five starts. He won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two-year-old. As a three-year-old, he won both Kentucky Derby preps, the Blue Grass Stakes and the Grade 3 Southwest.

Sired by Tapit, Essential Quality can run for as long as he must. He may have to improve to win the Derby on Saturday, but, no doubt, most horseplayers will believe he does.

John Sadler put the saddle on Rock Your World. The Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby winner must win the Kentucky Derby after just three races. What will impress many horseplayers about Rock Your World is how he transferred seamlessly from turf to dirt.

Horses that do that like Rock’s sire, Candy Ride, are often top-notch runners. Expect Rock Your World and Essential Quality to go off first and second choice.

If you like either, consider making your wager as soon as possible. If there’s a run on both horses, a possibility, Quality will offer much less than +290 and Rock will offer much less than +500.

Todd Pletcher will saddle four in the Run for the Roses

The great Todd Pletcher, one of the best trainers in the world for the past 20 years, has four chances to win Saturday’s Derby. Among the four choices, Known Agenda looks like the top play.

The Florida Derby winner has a ton of upside. Agenda has won two straight races at 1 1/8 miles. The Curlin sired colt should flawlessly transition from 1 1/8 miles to 1 ¼ miles.

Pletcher’s other runners are Dynamic One, Sainthood, and Wood Memorial winner Bourbonic. Among those three, Dynamic One has a chance to hit the board. The other two are confirmed longshots. 

Early money driving Highly Motivated to below +1000

Chad Brown will saddle a single runner in this year’s Kentucky Derby. His runner, Highly Motivated, could go off third choice.

The Into Mischief sired equine almost held off Essential Quality in the Grade 2 Blue Grass in his last. The Godolphin runner beat Motivated by a neck. 

Highly Motivated should be in the top-flight. He will definitely get the 1 ¼ mile Derby distance. Right now, the Brown runner is the wise guy choice. His odds have fallen to below +1000.

With Caddo River out, Rock Your World may set the pace

Rock Your World, the second choice on MyBookie, may end up setting the pace. The John Sadler trained runner led gate-to-wire to win the Santa Anita Derby.

He could go gate-to-wire on Saturday because Brad Cox has decided not to run Caddo River. There’s a lot to hash out before making picks. Stay tuned the rest of this week for more Kentucky Derby information. 

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