Kentucky Derby 147: My Picks

April 29, 2021

After being run on Labor Day weekend a year ago, the Kentucky Derby returns to its appropriate spot on the first Saturday of May. It should still be a very exciting two minutes of action as 16 horses take to the track for the 147th Run for the Roses.

As I’ve written about in the past, the Kentucky Derby is a must-attend event. However, if you’re having your own Derby Party I’ve got some helpful tips. Wagering on the race always makes it fun. For some of you beginners, here is a helpful list of some horse racing betting basics to help get you started.

If you choose to bet some exotics wagers (Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta etc.), this is the day to do it as the prices are generally high given the fact the field is as large as you’ll see with 19 horses breaking from the starting gate after a late scratch on Friday of King Fury due to a fever.

Weather has been a factor recently in six of the last 12 races on sloppy tracks. However, that will not be the case this year as the forecast calls for a beautiful and sunny day with a high of 77 degrees and no precipitation.

Here’s a look at the horses that pop out to me in the field:

#1 Known Agenda (6-1): For longtime followers of my Kentucky Derby picks, you know I always include the Florida Derby winner and this horse fits the bill. The problem is the post position draw is brutal. A horse hasn’t won this race from the one hole since Ferdinand did it in 1986. Still with the hottest jockey going and Todd Pletcher as the trainer I’m riding with my tradition.

#14 Essential Quality (2-1): I get it nobody likes to be the favorite, but in recent years favorites have cashed on Derby day and this Brad Cox trained horse deserves all of his accolades. Don’t let the low pay day scare you off this legitimate Triple Crown threat.

#17 Highly Motivated (10-1): This horse might give Chad Brown his first-ever Kentucky Derby win. He gave Essential Quality all he could handle in the last race at Keeneland in the Bluegrass Stakes, proving he could handle the two turns. That pace was favorable though so he’ll need to catch a break again.

#8 Medina Sprint (12-1): Don’t ignore this Bob Baffert horse. He’s never finished worse than second in five career starts.

#9 Hot Rod Charlie (8-1): This horse looked great in the Louisiana Derby and seems to be peaking at the right time.

#10 Midnight Bourbon (15-1): Likely to be overbet due to its name, you can’t ignore the connections here. I expect him to be a factor early in the race and if he can hang around seeing him come in on the exotics wouldn’t be shocking.

#15 Rock Your World (5-1): Undefeated in three career starts and has looked sharped during his pre-Derby workouts. Stock definitely on the rise in recent weeks after Santa Anita Derby win.

#6 O Besos (30-1)
#18 Super Stock (18-1)

#16 King Fury

#2 Like the King
#3 Brooklyn Strong
#4 Keepmeinmind
#5 Sainthood
#7 Mandaloun
#11 Dynamic One
#12 Helium
#13 Hidden Stash
#19 Soup and Sandwich
#20 Bourbonic

I like doing a Tri-Wheel each year that keys a few horses on top with about half the field on the bottom in third place. I have posted this Tri-wheel on every year since I launched the website in 2003. It has hit five times in those 18 years, including twice in the last six years.

I would have had it third time over this period had Maximum Security not been wrongfully taken down due to an objection in 2019. Last year I had all of the horses, but just missed as I only had the winner, Authentic, to finish second and third.

During my span of posting these picks the average $1 Tri paid $5,171.43. My two best hits came in 2003 (Funny Cide) and 2010 (Super Saver). Last year’s $1 Tri paid $1,311.80.

In addition to my Tri wheel, I’ve picked the winner eight times in 18 years and had the exacta seven times as well. Let’s see if we can add to the winnings in 2021 and get back on track!

Here are my picks:

$20 Win – 14 Essential Quality

$2 EX Wheel – 14, 17 / 1, 8 , 9, 10, 14, 15, 17 (total $24 – you can drop to $1 EX box and only pay $12 for bet)

$1 Tri Wheel
(total $126 – you can drop to down to $0.50 Tri wheel and only pay $63)

1, 14, 17 with…

1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17 with…

1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 18

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