Kentucky Derby Profile: Essential Quality

Luis Saez gets to pilot Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality
Luis Saez gets to pilot Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality

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Both our in-house handicapper take a look at all the horses in the Kentucky Derby.

All their results over the past 12 months are listed below along with their Morning Line Odds and the full field of runners for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.

This piece is all about the Morning Line favorite Essential Quality. He's got Post Position 14 and both guys really like this horse. One though isn't too keen on the price you'll be getting in the pools...

Essential Quality Results
  • Date
  • Race
  • Track
  • Distance
  • Finish

Date

  • April 3, 2021
  • February 27, 2021
  • November 6, 2020
  • October 3, 2020
  • September 5, 2020

Race

  • Blue Grass Stakes (G2)
  • Southwest Stakes (G2)
  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1)
  • Breeders' Futurity (G1)
  • MSW

Track

  • Keeneland
  • Oaklawn Park
  • Keeneland
  • Keeneland
  • Churchill Downs

Distance

  • 1m 1/8
  • 1m 1/16
  • 1m 1/16
  • 1m 1/16
  • 6f

Finish

  • 1st
  • 1st
  • 1st
  • 1st
  • 1st
Kentucky Derby Entries & Post Positions 2021
  • Post Position
  • Horse
  • Morning Line Odds
  • Jockey
  • Trainer

Post Position

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.

Horse

  • Known Agenda
  • Like the King
  • Brooklyn Strong
  • Keepmeinmind
  • Sainthood
  • O Besos
  • Mandaloun
  • Medina Spirit
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Midnight Bourbon
  • Dynamic One
  • Helium
  • Hidden Stash
  • Essential Quality
  • Rock Your World
  • King Fury
  • Highly Motivated
  • Super Stock
  • Soup and Sandwich
  • Bourbonic

Morning Line Odds

  • 6-1
  • 50-1
  • 50-1
  • 50-1
  • 50-1
  • 20-1
  • 15-1
  • 15-1
  • 8-1
  • 20-1
  • 20-1
  • 50-1
  • 50-1
  • 2-1fav
  • 5-1
  • 20-1
  • 10-1
  • 30-1
  • 30-1
  • 30-1

Jockey

  • Irad Ortiz
  • Drayden Van Dyke
  • Umberto Rispoli
  • David Cohen
  • Corey Lanerie
  • Marcelino Pedroza
  • Florent Geroux
  • John Velazquez
  • Flavien Prat
  • Mike Smith
  • Jose Ortiz
  • Julien Leparoux
  • Rafael Bejarano
  • Luis Saez
  • Joel Rosario
  • Brian Hernandez Jr.
  • Javier Castellano
  • Ricardo Santana Jr.
  • Tyler Gaffalione
  • Kendrick Carmouche

Trainer

  • Todd Pletcher
  • Wesley Ward
  • Daniel Velazquez
  • Robertino Diodoro
  • Todd Pletcher
  • Greg Foley
  • Brad Cox
  • Bob Baffert
  • Doug O'Neill
  • Steve Asmussen
  • Todd Pletcher
  • Mark Casse
  • Victoria Oliver
  • Brad Cox
  • John Sadler
  • Kenny McPeek
  • Chad Brown
  • Steve Asmussen
  • Mark Casse
  • Todd Pletcher

Sean's Take...

Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t hate this horse, I hate his price. There is no doubt that Essential Quality is near the very top of this division and a legitimate contender in this race, however he’s done little to separate himself from the competition this year despite an outsized reputation for being last year’s 2-year-old champ and a perfect 5-for-5 in his career.

Essential Quality has yet to face any true adversity, which is partially a testament to his adaptable running style, but it’s also reason to be skeptical of him as he could potentially be a very heavy favorite in this spot, the toughest test of his life. I’ll be playing against him due to his severe underlay status, but I have no illusions about his actual chances of winning, which aren’t insignificant.

J.N's Take...

The Godolphin homebred, trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Luis Saez, has the potential to deliver to all 3 of those, their first KYD win. Saez is on top of the riding world after winning the DWC last month for the “Boys in Blue” aboard Mystic Guide. It is rather amazing that the powerhouse stable, probably the best in the world, has not won this Churchill fixture. Now, is an opportune time.

Looking back over this son of Tapit’s record, it is apparent that Cox’s plan for his progression has worked perfectly. He has taken on all challengers, and pace scenarios. The best part is that his running style doesn’t necessitate having the lead (i.e. BC Juvenile). He has such a powerful leg kick, when asked, that settling mid-pack should do the trick, when it comes to getting this one home in time for the wire.

Now, waiting for the opportunity to cap what has become an undefeated run, his works look excellent, and his fitness level could not be higher. Odds of 5/2 at post time would be square, especially considering his back class. Slop, not a problem . . . Fractions, not a problem . . . The distance for this Tapit, not a problem . . . Deserving Derby favorite, If there ever was . . . Kudos to Cox!

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Kentucky Derby 2021 Racecard

14
PP 14

Essential Quality

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Luis Saez /
  • Trainer: Brad Cox /
Morning Line Odds

Brad Cox finally has a Derby horse (two actually) but he rolls into Churchill Downs with the favorite. Undefeated and oozes class. 2-1 is short for me but our turf-man has him as his selection.

15
PP 15

Rock Your World

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario /
  • Trainer: John Sadler /
Morning Line Odds

A very very impressive winner of the Santa Anita Derby. Installed as the 5-1 second-favorite. Has only run once on dirt and blew away a good field. Not entirely sure if he's the real deal but I know he's got a real chance.

1
PP 1

Known Agenda

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz /
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds

Tricky inside Post Position. Arguably the most effected by the PP draw. 6-1 on the Morning Line should drift. Not heavily fancied by the HR.net team

9
PP 9

Hot Rod Charlie

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat /
  • Trainer: Doug O'Neill /
Morning Line Odds

A California invader who impressively took out the Louisiana Derby. He may well provide the early speed. Win contender.

17
PP 17

Highly Motivated

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /

Plenty of buzz surrounding this Into Mischief colt. Went stride for stride with Essential Quality at the Blue Grass. He will be our editor's pick.

7
PP 7

Mandaloun

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux /
  • Trainer: Brad Cox /

If you are looking at a value play from the middle of the odds then Mandaloun may well be it. That clunker at the Louisiana Derby has people worried but if was just one of those days - 15-1 could be long.

8
PP 8

Medna Spirit

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: John Velazquez /
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert /

Bob Baffert's only Derby horse. Was at #1 with our in-house handicapper for the final few weeks of the Prep season. Our editor likes him too. Real game horse who won't let anybody down. 15-1 screams value.

11
PP 11

Dynamic One

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz /
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher /

If Dynamic One is in the mix for the Derby then it'll be quite the surprise. Runner-up to stablemate Bourbonic in the Wood Memorial. Real long-shot.

16
PP 16

King Fury

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. /
  • Trainer: Kenny McPeek /

Kenny McPeek is a darn good trainer. This horse is getting better with every race. Can he get in and among the front-runners coming down the stretch? I'm dubious but you can't just rule him out.

10
PP 10

Midnight Bourbon

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Mike Smith /
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen /

Plenty of tactical speed for a nice horse who seems a step below the top contenders. Could win if everything - and I mean everything - falls his way. Most likely to be in the mix for the exotics if anything however.

Show All Runners
Kentucky Derby Betting 2021

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