It’s time for the “greatest two minutes in sports”, the annual Kentucky Derby. Grab your fancy hats, make your elegant cocktails, and get your betting slips in for the best show in horse racing. If I’m being honest here, my favorite part of the Derby is how unbelievable the names are year in and year out. Even better is when they take that last turn, and the announcer has four different names to scream that are all equally ridiculous.
This year is the 147th edition of the Run for the Roses and it is occurring in the month that it historically occurs, rather than the COVID-19 altered date in 2020 when the race was run months after the first weekend of May. Here are the 20 horses that will be racing this year, with their betting odds listed to the right. As any astute gambler knows, don’t discount a Bob Baffert-trained horse as they seem to always impress in the major races.
|2||Like The King||50-1|
|9||Hot Rod Charlie||8-1|
|15||Rock Your World||5-1|
|19||Soup and Sandwich||30-1|
While there is no actual concrete or tangible advice to impart here, I must unveil my favorite names in this race. If I were picking based on name only, my favorites would be: Hot Rod Charlie, Soup and Sandwich, Midnight Bourbon and Hidden Stash.
The actual betting favorite in this one is Essential Quality at just 2/1 odds. This horse is undefeated in five races and is coming off two recent wins. It has the number 14 pole position and all eyes, and most betting slips, will be on this horse.
After Essential Quality is Rock Your World which is also another fantastic name. This horse is unbeaten in three races and has two wins earlier this year at Santa Anita. It comes from a good lineage and should be one of the horses that sets the pace for the race.
When it comes to the fastest horse that will probably run in the race, that title belongs to Known Agenda. This horse won at the Florida Derby on March 27 and has an excellent trainer and jockey on its side. The betting odds for Known Agenda are 6/1.
Of course, when it comes to picking a few of the best horses to place a bet on, the trainer and the jockey have a lot to do with it. Baffert has three wins in the last five Kentucky Derby races. He has just one horse, Medina Spirit, running in this year’s race at 15/1 odds. Oddly enough, John Velazquez, who has won twice since 2017, is the jockey of Medina Spirit. That makes this horse an excellent longshot pick.