Three horses decided they won’t run for the roses. The defection of one of those horses could impact the pace of the race. Also, the two favorites have become stand outs on paper. Check out the latest Kentucky Derby news in our weekly update. 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.
Kentucky Derby Update: 3 Defect, Quality, Rock and Charlie Look Like Standouts
2021 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Derby Top 10
- Rock Your World +600
- Hot Rod Charlie +1000
- Essential Quality +275
- Midnight Bourbon +2000
- Known Agenda +1400
- Highly Motivated +1000
- Soup and Sandwich +2000
- Bourbonic +1200
- Super Stock +800
- Like the King +2000
Concert Tour’s defection takes speed from the race
In February, and even March, Bob Baffert had this year’s strongest Derby hand. Concert Tour’s defection means Baffert will send a single horse to the race, Medina Spirit.
Baffert didn’t like how Concert Tour came out of the Arkansas Derby. He believes the colt could run in the Preakness Stakes. But going to Churchill and trying for the roses after what can only be described as an awful performance was asking too much.
Concert Tour isn’t the only Derby hopeful off the trail. Chad Brown trained Crowded Trade won’t run. Neither will Rombauer.
Rombauer’s and Crowded Trade’s defections won’t have an impact on the race. Concert Tour’s will. The Street Sense sired Rebel winner is a confirmed front-runner.
With Tour out of the race, colts like Soup and Sandwich, Hot Rod Charlie, Rock Your World, and Midnight Bourbon will have an easier time either on the front end or near the front end.
Tour’s defection could lead to a much slower pace than many had hoped. Make sure to consider that when you start handicapping in depth.
Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality looking more like standouts
Three horses that won’t be too far off the pace have become standouts on paper. Doug O’Neil trained Hot Rod Charlie could be the pace setter after Concert Tour’s defection. If no horse goes with Charlie, he’s got the talent, and a former Derby winning trainer, to produce the gate-to-wire win.
What else can we write about Essential Quality? The undefeated Tapit sired runner has all the tools to not only win the Derby but also the Triple Crown. The lone knock is that he hasn’t run fast enough to win the roses.
Rock Your World will enter the Derby starting gate with the best last race speed rating. The Candy Ride sired runner, like Essential Quality, has the tools to not only win the Derby but also the TC.
Right now, Rock Your World is the key horse. He can lead or stalk, which means if Charlie tries to slow things down on the front end, the John Sadler trained Santa Anita Derby winner should be close enough to get the jump on Essential Quality.
Pletcher will race four
While Bob Baffert is down to a single runner, Todd Pletcher will saddle four three-year-olds on the first Saturday in May. Known Agenda, Sainthood, Dynamic One, and Bourbonic should all offer overlay odds.
On paper, Known Agenda looks best. The Florida Derby winner figures to improve off his latest. If he improves enough, he could win the roses.
Bourbonic, the Wood Memorial winner, could improve enough to hit the board. A victory seems unlikely because Bourbonic must have a lot of things to go right for the win.
Sainthood will be a close to 50-to-1 or higher underdog. The Mshawish sired runner may not have the breeding or experience to finish in the Top 10 on May 1.
Pletcher’s final contender is Dynamic One. The $750k purchase and Union Rags sired colt must improve a country mile to have any shot of winning the Kentucky Derby.
But before writing off Dynamic One, consider Pletcher’s ability to get his horses ready to run their best on the first Saturday in May. Also, Dynamic One will be one of the priciest horses to enter the starting gate.
In any case, don’t discount Todd Pletcher just because he won’t saddle one of the favorites. Pletcher remains one of the best trainers in the world. He’ll have four chances on Derby Day to show it.