The Kentucky Derby is the first race in horse racing’s Triple Crown, and the biggest race of the trio, which includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The 2021 race will be the 147th edition of the “Run for the Roses”, and it will be back in its regular spot on the calendar on the first Saturday of May. The 2020 edition was run in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Horse||Kentucky Derby Odds||Trainer|
|Concert Tour||+350||Bob Baffert|
|Essential Quality||+500||Brad Cox|
|Greatest Honour||+800||Shug McGaughey III|
|Hot Rod Charlie||+1200||Doug O’Neill|
|Collaborate||+1600||Saffie Joseph Jr.|
|Medina Spirit||+2000||Bob Baffert|
|Risk Taking||+2000||Chad Brown|
|Midnight Bourbon||+2500||Steven Asmussen|
|Caddo River||+3300||Brad Cox|
|Highly Motivated||+3300||Chad Brown|
|Known Agenda||+3300||Todd Pletcher|
|The Great One||+3500||Doug O’Neill|
|Hidden Stash||+4000||Victoria Oliver|
|Prime Factor||+4000||Todd Pletcher|
|Rock Your World||+4000||John Sadler|
All Kentucky Derby betting odds courtesy of Bovada.
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Concert Tour was sired by Street Sense, the winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby and fourth-place finisher in a loaded Breeders’ Cup Classic field later that year. He is also trained by Bob Baffert, who knows a thing or two about training Kentucky Derby winners (six, to be exact). He has won a pair of Grade-2 races along with his maiden in 2021, and he should be the favorite this weekend at the Grade-1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.
Essential Quality won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two-year-old, and has stayed on track in 2021 by winning both starts in graded-stakes races. Trainer Brad Cox doesn’t seem to have any plans to run Essential Quality before the Kentucky Derby, but he has proven already that he’ll be a force at Churchill Downs.
Like Essential Quality, Greatest Honour was sired by Tapit, which finished ninth at the 2004 Kentucky Derby. Greatest Honour probably won’t run before the Kentucky Derby as he is coming off a third-place run at the Grade-1 Florida Derby, but he has won two graded-stakes races prior to that. Greatest Honour is trained by Shug McGaughey III, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb.
Hot Rod Charlie finished second to Essential Quality at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November, then finished third at the Grade-3 Robert B. Lewis before winning the Grade-2 Louisiana Derby. His sire, Oxbow, finished sixth behind Orb at the 2013 Kentucky Derby. However, he also won the Preakness Stakes and finished second at the Belmont Stakes, so Hot Rod Charlie is probably one to watch for those races as well. He is trained by Doug O’Neill, a two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2012 and 2016.
Trainer Brendan Walsh had high hopes for Prevalence. He was sired by Medaglia D’Oro, which finished 4th-8th-2nd at the 2002 Triple Crown races, and then second at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2002 and 2003. However, a sixth-place finish at the Grade-2 Wood Memorial really hurt his stock, so his Kentucky Derby odds will probably drop soon.
Collaborate is another thoroughbred that was supposed to be a top horse at Churchill Downs. However, a fifth-place run at the Florida Derby probably ended that dream. There are still a few prep races to be run, but it doesn’t look like that Collaborate, trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., will make it to Louisville.
The 147th Kentucky Derby will be shown on Saturday, May 1st, 2021. You can watch it on NBCSN from 12:00 PM ET to 2:30 PM ET.
NBC will pick up the action from 2:30 to the very end of the race, which is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET. The post time and positions have yet to be announced.
As always, the Kentucky Derby is only for horses that are three years old (colts, geldings and fillies are all allowed). It will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a 1 ¼ mile race (10 furlongs or two kilometers) as horses and jockeys navigate the left-handed turns at Churchill Downs. The purse is a staggering $3 million USD, with $1.86 million going to the winners.
|Year||Horse||Post Position||Jockey||Trainer||Time||Odds||$2 Win|
|2020||Authentic||18||John Velasquez||Bob Baffert||2:00.61||+800||$18.80|
|2019||Country House||20||Flavien Prat||William I. Mott||2:03.98||+3000||$132.40|
|2018||Justify||7||Mike E. Smith||Bob Baffert||2:04.20||+300||$7.80|
|2017||Always Dreaming||5||John Velasquez||Todd Pletcher||2:03.59||+500||$11.40|
|2016||Nyquist||13||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||2:01.31||+300||$6.60|
|2015||American Pharoah||18||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||2:03.02||+250||$7.80|
|2014||California Chrome||5||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||2:03.66||+250||$7.00|
|2013||Orb||16||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey III||2:02.89||+350||$12.80|
|2012||I’ll Have Another||19||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||2:01.83||+1200||$32.60|
|2011||Animal Kingdom||16||John Velasquez||H. Graham Motion||2:02.45||+3000||$43.80|
The Kentucky Derby might be more known for their traditions than for the actual racing. From its date, which is always on the first Saturday of May, down to the roses draped over the winning horse, the Kentucky Derby is steeped in traditions. Here are the most important traditions at the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Oaks is a three-year-old race exclusively for fillies, and it is run the day before the Kentucky Derby. It is called the “Lillies for the Fillies” as the winner is draped with a garland of fillies. The best-known winner of the Kentucky Oaks is Rachel Alexandra, which won in 2009, and then went on to win the Preakness Stakes.
The Mint Julep is a cocktail that consists of bourbon, fresh mint, ice and simple syrup. It has been associated with the Kentucky Derby since 1938.
The winner of the Kentucky Derby has been adorned with a garland of roses since 1883, 554 red roses, to be exact. Hence the nickname for the Kentucky Derby, “The Run for the Roses”.
The Kentucky Derby has long been associated with large hats, and the VIPs that attend the race always make sure they’re dressed to the nines. The hat is the key to the entire outfit.
The Twin Spires were created in 1895 to give Churchill Downs something that made it stand out. You can’t miss them as they stand atop Churchill Downs.
“My Old Kentucky Home” was written by Stephen Foster in 1852. It is sung at the beginning of the Kentucky Derby.