Kentucky Derby Contenders and Long Shots

by WagerHome Blog on April 20, 2021

Back in its familiar place on the calendar on the first Saturday in May, we are getting ready for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.

It is now less than two weeks away, which means it’s time for everyone to start thinking about which horses are most likely to win the blanket of roses and which long shots are most able to put money in your pocket.

Kentucky Derby Projected Field

  • Essential Quality (5-2)
  • Hot Rod Charlie (6-1)
  • Medina Spirit (8-1)
  • Rock Your World (8-1)
  • Known Agenda (12-1)
  • Highly Motivated (15-1)
  • Mandaloun (15-1)
  • Midnight Bourbon (15-1)
  • Super Stock (20-1)
  • Bourbonic (30-1)
  • Caddo River (30-1)
  • Dynamic One (30-1)
  • Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
  • O Besos (30-1)
  • Dream Shake (30-1)
  • Helium (50-1)
  • Hidden Stash (50-1)
  • Like the King (50-1)
  • Sainthood (50-1)
  • Get Her Number (50-1)

Essential Quality has all of the essential qualities you look for in a Derby favorite. He was the winner in his Churchill Downs debut and heads into this race undefeated. The one issue with Essential Quality is his trainer, Brad Cox, who has never had a Derby starter, and thus he remains an unknown at this level.

A good number two in the field is Hot Rod Charlie, who won at the Louisiana Derby. Making that win most relevant is the distance, at 1 3/16 mile. That’s a longer win than anyone else in the field, and it sets him up for the 1 1/4 mile at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Contenders and Long ShotsAnother horse to keep an eye on is Highly Motivated. At 15-1, he is in the long shot territory, but he’s running much better than that. On April 3 at the Blue Grass Stakes, he ran stride-for-stride with Essential Quality before getting beaten at the wire. He also has a victory at the Nyquist Stakes and a third-place at the Gotham Stakes.

Best Long Shot Bets

At 30-1, Midnight Bourbon is an iffy bet to win the race. But he raced to second place behind Hot Rod Charlie at the Louisiana Derby and had a win in January in the Lecomte. Outside of that, he has been consistently competitive and could sneak into the top three at the Derby.

For a long-shot win contender, take a closer look at Dynamic One. Paying 30-1, he won at Aqueduct and nearly won at the Wood Memorial after a strong closing move. In a field with a group of horses that aren’t used to running 1 1/4 miles, look for another strong close from Dynamic One that just might be enough for trainer Todd Pletcher’s third Derby win.

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WagerHome BlogKentucky Derby Contenders and Long Shots