William Hill Nevada opened the first domestic futures pool for the 2021 Kentucky Derby, installing Jackie’s Warrior as the top choice among the 115 2-year-olds listed on its futures board.

Essential Quality-2021 Derby Futures
While Jackie’s Warrior is the clear favorite to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby, Essential Quality is a viable second favorite at 20/1, according to William Hill Nevada’s opening Derby futures. (Image: Coady Photography)

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite, Jackie’s Warrior opened at 15/1. He’s currently 14/1 at Bovada, which opened the Steve Asmussen-trainee at 33/1 in September.

The depressed odds aren’t surprising. Jackie’s Warrior won all four of his races this year, two of those Grade 1s. He owns the top two Beyer Speed Figures among all 2-year-olds, and is the only juvenile clocking a triple-digit (100) Beyer. That came in his last race, the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.

William Hill 2021 Kentucky Derby Futures

While Jackie’s Warrior clearly established himself as 2020’s class juvenile, the group behind him will jockey for favored position throughout the winter and spring.

Top Contenders

Horse Odds
Jackie’s Warrior 15/1
Essential Quality 20/1
Classier 35/1
Sittin On Go 35/1
Reinvestment Risk 40/1
Dr. Schivel 50/1
Jaxon Traveler 60/1
Mutasaabeq 60/1
Cazadero, Get Her Number, Huntsinger, Likeable, Next, Stayin’ Out Late 75/1

Source: William Hill Nevada

Essential Quality emerged as the first-among-equals pursuer on William Hill’s first list. He’s the 20/1 second choice after winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland – the same course as next week’s Breeders’ Cup.

Bovada lists the Brad Cox-charge at 30/1.

Another Baffert Juvenile Emerges

Sitting Behind Essential Quality is one newcomer and one familiar juvenile. The newcomer is Classier, who won his debut race last weekend at Santa Anita by four lengths. That included an opening 22.25-second quarter-mile that raised eyebrows as it unveiled another Breeders’ Cup Juvenile challenger for Jackie’s Warrior. The $770,000 purchase comes to you from Bob Baffert’s barn, where he is 35/1 at William Hill, 33/1 at Bovada.

Also at 35/1 is the familiar Sittin On Go, who won the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. He’s 40/1 at Bovada.

Then, you get to Reinvestment Risk at 40/1 at both William Hill and Bovada. He finished second to Jackie’s Warrior in both the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and the Champagne. He didn’t challenge Jackie’s Warrior in either race.

The Doctor is in at 50/1

Dr. Schivel, the Del Mar Futurity winner, checks in at 50/1. After moving barns from Luis Mendez to Mark Glatt, Dr. Schivel went on the shelf for the duration of the year. Glatt plans his return for early next year.

Other notables include Get Her Number, who is 75/1 at William Hill. He won the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita last month over an impressive field that included Baffert’s $1 million colt, Spielberg. The one-time juvenile darling of Baffert’s barn – and the American Pharoah favorite — remains winless in three races and is 100/1 at William Hill.

Jackie’s Warrior is the shortest-priced horse on William Hill’s board. The longest shot is maiden winner Advance Cash, who is one of 15 horses north of 200/1. He’s 250/1.

Expect Circa’s Futures After Thanksgiving

William Hill considers all futures bets action, regardless of when the 2021 Derby runs. It’s scheduled for May 1. That means a wager on a horse that doesn’t reach the starting gate is a losing bet.

Circa Sports Risk Supervisor Paul Zilm said he plans to release Circa’s Derby futures by early December at the latest.