Tag: 2021 Kentucky Derby

Hot Rod Charlie owns the second-fastest Beyer Speed Figure of anyone in the Kentucky Derby field. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, owns two Kentucky Derby victories in the last nine years. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Hot Rod Charlie Roars to Life for Kentucky Derby Vet O’Neill

Doug O’Neill already has two of these Kentucky Derbies on the mantle, both with colts he planned on taking to Churchill Downs —  I’ll Have Another and Nyquist. But when Hot Rod Charlie came to his Santa Anita Park barn as a $110,000 yearling purchase, the trainer looked at his […]

Santa Anita Derby champion Rock Your World took the path less traveled to the Kentucky Derby. His speed on that path brought him 5/1 second-favorite status in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Rock Your World Rolls Into Derby From an Unconventional Trail

Before April 3, Rock Your World occupied a very small world in Southern California horse racing. He was a good 3-year-old turf colt with a couple of nice grass wins under his hooves, including a solid, 2 ¼-length victory in the Listed Pasadena Stakes. But trainer John Sadler had a […]

Dynamic One, seen here working out at Churchill Downs last Friday, is one of trainer Todd Pletcher's four Kentucky Derby entries. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Pletcher Plays Another Four of a Kind Kentucky Derby Hand

One trainer has four horses – a quarter of the field – in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Surprisingly, his name is Todd Pletcher, and not Bob Baffert. It’s one of those counterintuitive Derby facts that most casual horse racing fans stumble over. And it’s not their fault. Nor is it […]

Don't get used to the scene of Kendrick Carmouche celebrating aboard Bourbonic. The 72/1 surprise Wood Memorial winner is best left off your Kentucky Derby tickets. (Image: Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photos)

Three Kentucky Derby Long Shots You Can Cross Off Right Now

Here’s what finding the right Kentucky Derby long shot means to your exotic tickets. Last year’s Kentucky Derby $1 trifecta paid $1,311.80, for which you can thank 46/1 Mr. Big News and his unobtrusive third-place finish. Let’s look at 2019, asterisk and all. The $1 trifecta, starring 65/1 Country House, […]

Tuesday morning's draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby from post 20 Bourbonic to post 1 Known Agenda. Those are two of trainer Todd Pletcher's four entries in Saturday's Run for the Roses. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Essential Quality Opens as 2/1 Favorite for 147th Kentucky Derby

As expected, Essential Quality checked in as the 2/1 morning-line favorite for the 147th Kentucky Derby. And Tuesday’s post-position Derby draw sends the undefeated colt and his favorite status into post 14 for Saturday’s 2021 Triple Crown opener. As he watched the posts fill up on Tuesday morning, this put […]

Aunt Pearl and Florent Geroux went gate-to-wire in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is the likely favorite in the Grade 2 Edgewood on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. (Image: Coady Photography)

Don’t Overlook These Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby Undercards

The Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby undercards offer turf stars Colonel Liam and Smooth Like Strait. They offer filly stars Gamine, Shedaresthedevil, Sanenus, Aunt Pearl, and Envoutante. They also offer Maxfield, Roadster, and Max Player. And they offer one-time Derby hopefuls Jackie’s Warrior, Prevalence, and Gretzky the Great. It’s easy […]

Caddo River won January's Smarty Jones Stakes as the lone speed. The projected pace-setter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby scratched Sunday due to a fever. (Image: Coady Photography)

Projected Pace-Setter Caddo River Scratched From Kentucky Derby

Caddo River, one of three Brad Cox Kentucky Derby entries and the one pace horse in this year’s field, won’t be that pace horse. Cox scratched him from the Derby Sunday morning because of a fever. This opens the gate for Brooklyn Strong, who gets into the field with his […]

King Fury's gritty victory in the Lexington Stakes led trainer Kenny McPeek to keep him in the Triple Crown mix. Friday, his patience was rewarded iwtha 
 berth in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Jonathan Palmer/Keeneland)

Derby Dominoes: King Fury, Keepmeinmind In, Three Others Out

Two weeks ago, King Fury needed a miracle of falling Kentucky Derby dominoes to get him into the 2021 Kentucky Derby field. On Friday, the Lexington Stakes champion got that miracle. After the defections of Dream Shake and Hozier Friday and Get Her Number’s Saturday defection, King Fury sits comfortably […]

Churchill Downs has horseplayers covered across the gate with a smorgasbord of betting options for Kentucky Oaks/Derby week. (Image: Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Rolls Out Its Oaks/Derby Weekend Wagering Menu

As if breaking down an intriguing Kentucky Derby didn’t require enough handicapping firepower, Churchill Downs unveiled its wagering menu for Derby weekend. Headlining Derby weekend is a mandatory payout in the Derby City 6. That jackpot-style Pick 6 requires a bettor to hold the only winning combination of the six […]

O Besos has never been the lone speed in a race. But the live Kentucky Derby long shot was during a predawn Thursday workout at Churchill Downs. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Looking for a Derby Down-Ticket Dark Horse? Say ‘Hello’ to O Besos

Let’s be clear about O Besos and his Kentucky Derby victory prospects upfront. This is not a victory endorsement for a closer in a race where closers’ victory hopes routinely die painfully short on the Churchill Downs stretch. O Besos has minimal tactical speed, one run in him, and an […]

Between them, Todd Pletcher (left) and Bob Baffert own eight Kentucky Derby victories. Pletcher (45) and Baffert (23) have the most Triple Crown early nominated horses for 2021. (Image: Doug Engle/AP File)

Essential Quality Leads 326-Strong Triple Crown Nomination Parade

Getting your horse a Triple Crown nomination used to be so simple that connections to this year’s 3-year-old hopefuls nominated 326 horses to compete in the three American Classic races this spring. Those 326 nominations represent a slight, 6.1% dip from last year’s 347 early nominees. Those connections paid $600 […]

The versatile Mutasaabeq owns stakes victories on turf and dirt -- like this one in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes. The colt suffered a minor shin injury during a workout that takes him off the Kentucky Derby Trail. (Image: Lauren King, Coglianese Photos)

Mutasaabeq Exits Kentucky Derby Trail After Shin Injury

Mere days before he was set to run in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, Mutasaabeq suffered a shin injury that will take the Kentucky Derby prospect off the Triple Crown trail. Trainer Todd Pletcher told reporters the injury – while frustrating for an upper-level Derby contender – […]

Caddo River used his 10 1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones to run up the Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Kentucky Derby Futures: Big Winners Make Big Odds Leaps

The first page of this week’s Kentucky Derby futures board got tighter – partly a byproduct of two horses getting loose from their rivals last weekend. The first was Caddo River, who moved to 16/1 at Circa Sports and 15/1 at William Hill Nevada. Dropping beneath 20/1 at this point […]

Lecomte Stakes winner Midnight Bourbon opens at 30/1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

The Field is Your Favorite in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

While Life Is Good yielded his favorite status in at least one Las Vegas future book, he holds down 6/1 individual favorite status in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) pool. At the same time, the Derby field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is the overall 9/5 […]

Concert Tour broke his maiden in impressive fashion last weekend at Santa Anita Park. That broke in the Bob Baffert-trained colt on both Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada's Derby futures boards. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Magic Words ‘Bob Baffert’ Bring Concert Tour, Bezos to Derby Futures

Concert Tour won his debut by 3-½ lengths at Santa Anita last Friday. Other than workouts, Bezos hasn’t entered a starting gate yet. So why are both horses now among the Kentucky Derby futures favorites? Two words: Bob Baffert. Yes, the magic words for 3-year-old Derby hopefuls cast its usual […]

Keepmeinmind looked like a Kentucky Derby prospect with his last-to-first victory in Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club. William Hill dropped his odds from 75/1 to 50/1. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Keepmeinmind Enters Thoughts of Kentucky Derby Future Bettors

Keepmeinmind entered the mind of bettors this past weekend when he won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. That plunged his future odds in William Hill Nevada’s latest Kentucky Derby Futures Board to 50/1 from 75/1. On the futures front, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that […]