Kentucky Derby hopeful Rock Your World works out at Churchill Downs Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
- Essential Quality emerging as best bets in Kentucky Derby Exacta wagering
- Hot Rod Charlie, Highly Motivated add value to Trifecta and Superfecta wagers at this year’s Run for the Roses
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday evening’s running of the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Essential Quality has set himself apart as the favorite in Saturday evening’s running of the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner in each of his five career races, the Brad Cox-trained colt has rocketed to the top of the odds at Kentucky Derby betting sites as a short +200 favorite. But for sports betting fans looking to cash on a bigger payday, countless exotic betting options are available.
Here’s a look at some of the most intriguing exacta, trifecta, and superfecta ahead of Saturday’s Run for the Roses, along with key boxed picks to consider as you plan your Kentucky derby betting strategy.
2021 Kentucky Derby Odds
|Horse||Post Position||Odds at TVG|
|Rock Your World||15||+500|
|Hot Rod Charlie||9||+800|
|Soup and Sandwich||19||+3000|
|Like the King||2||+5000|
Odds as of April 30
Essential Quality, Rock Your World Obvious Exacta Picks
With Essential Quality entering this year’s race on such a dominating run, he remains a logical pick to include in any exotic bet. The question remains, which entries offer the best value as a key horse to pair in an exacta with the favorite?
Watch gallop out on Rock Your World. 3rd start versus battle tested Medina Spirit and is till green switching leads down lane. pic.twitter.com/GSSO5EJDUN
— George Allan Bryant (@Bryant_HRD) April 28, 2021
A winner in each of his three previous outings, Rock Your World has emerged as the biggest threat to Essential Quality as a +500 bet to reach the winner’s circle on Saturday. The John Sadler-trained colt followed up a pair of sterling runs on turf with a decisive win at the Santa Anita Derby in his last outing. And with three of the past nine winners in the Santa Anita Derby on to claim victory in the Kentucky Derby, Rock Your World is worthy of consideration as the winning horse in an exacta bet with Essential Quality.
ICMYI: Here’s look at Hot Rod Charlie’s latest work in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. Hot Rod Charlie (Green Cap) went 6F in 1:13.60 at Santa Anita Park on Apr. 24 for Team @DougONeill1 & @BoatRacingLLC. pic.twitter.com/AIwS6mcRt6
— TVG (@TVG) April 25, 2021
In addition, Hot Rod Charlie looks to Saturday’s race sporting attractive +800 odds to win. Hot Rod Charlie exceeded expectations in his last outing, earning his first stakes race win on a dirt track in the Louisiana Derby with a strong finish. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt held up well in the 1-3/16 mile race, which bodes well for his chances on Saturday.
Exacta Picks: Essential Quality/Rock Your World (boxed), Essential Quality/Hot Rod Charlie
Kentucky Derby Promo at TVG Offers Risk-Free $300 Bet on Any Horse
Boxes Boost Chances in Trifectas, Superfectas
With 20 horses in Saturday’s field, the potential trifecta and superfecta combinations available to sports bettors numbers in the hundreds of thousands. With Essential Quality and Rock Your World setting themselves apart, the options quickly become clearer. However, regardless of the horses you choose to add to your exotic bets, be sure to set aside enough budget to box each of your picks.
🎥WATCH: Highly Motivated took to the track to work 5F in 1:00.80. #KyDerby pic.twitter.com/Jkx8zVyxLR
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 24, 2021
In addition to Hot Rod Charlie, who should be near the top of every bettor’s watch list ahead of Saturday’s race, particularly if he holds steady as a +800 bet, two other horses are worthy of consideration when putting together your trifecta wagers.
Highly Motivated has shown steady improvement since making his stakes race debut, following up a third-place run in the Gotham – G3 by nearly upsetting Essential Quality in this month’s Blue Grass Stakes. Stamina remains a concern for Highly Motivated, who had little left in the tank down the stretch in the 1-1/8 mile Blue Grass Stakes. That makes any success dependent on how well the Chad brown-trained colt starts from the outside at No. 17.
Medina Spirit, Hidden Stash Worthy Sleeper Picks
Listed as an attractive +1500 bet to win on Saturday, Medina Spirit has been denied victory in each of his past two outings, capped by a second-place finish behind Rock Your World at the Santa Anita Derby. But the three-year-old colt, trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, has maintained pace over steadily increasing distances, finishing no worse than second in five career outings, all on dirt.
MEDINA SPIRIT (Protonico – Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed) galloped this morning at @ChurchillDowns with @hutagomez_gomez up.
Winner of the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, MEDINA SPIRIT most recently ran second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.#KentuckyDerby pic.twitter.com/S4sELayTdf
— Barbara Livingston (@DRFLivingston) April 25, 2021
Denied victory while finishing among the top four in each of his three career stakes races, the addition of Hidden Stash can add enormous value to any trifecta or superfecta ticket. The Victoria Oliver-trained colt is coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish at the Blue Grass, but demonstrated impressive staying power while falling just short of the win at the Tampa Bay Derby.
Trifecta Picks: Essential Quality/Rock Your World/Highly Motivated (boxed);
Superfecta Picks: Essential Quality/Rock Your World/Hot Rod Charlie/Hidden Stash (boxed)
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.