Kentucky Derby Entries & Lineup 2021

The 2021 Run for the Roses is just days away. The 20 Entries have been confirmed at the Post Position draw.
The 2021 Run for the Roses is just days away. The 20 Entries have been confirmed at the Post Position draw.

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The Post Position draw has been conducted at Churchill Downs for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. The full list of Entries are listed below.

Our editor then provides an overview of the 20 horses that have entered the race. Our turf-man and in-house handicapper have written up their thoughts on each horse and they will be published later on Tuesday. To check them out click on our main Kentucky Derby hub - which is listed below via the gold button.

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

Post Position

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  • 5.
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  • 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

Essential Quality will have a lot of money on him in the betting pools and a lot of that will be by Mattress Mack. The furniture store owner has done a promotion with customers spending over $3,000 on a mattress getting their new bed for free if the Kentucky Derby favorite wins. To offset this, he’s set to bet between two and four million dollars on EQ to win and that amount of money will significantly shorten his odds but on the other hand - it will lengthen the odds of all the other horses.

I know our turf-man J.N. will be all over him and has a Futures Bet in place. Our in-house handicapper and myself though are not as big and think better value is out there. Betting the favorite in the Derby is not often a great move and with so much extra money in the pool - it suggests going elsewhere. He opened on the Morning Line as the 2-1 favorite.

Trainer Bob Baffert only has one horse in the Kentucky Derby this year. He had Life is Good on the Road to the Kentucky Derby but when the one-time favorite had to step away due to injury - that weakened his stable of horses.

Concert Tour has been bypassed following a disappointing run at the Arkansas Derby. That has left Medina Spirit who has been a game runner over on the west coast. There is a lot to like about this horse but does he have the top-end speed needed? I don’t think stamina is a question and if anyone can get a horse ready then it is Baffert. A mid-pack draw is nice and he's a 15-1 shot.

Son of Oxbow Hot Rod Charlie (8-1) will undoubtedly have plenty of support in the betting pools. A strong second-place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to Essential Quality last year was backed up with a good run in the Robert B. Lewis before an excellent win over at the Fair Grounds in the Grade II Louisiana Derby.

Rock Your World had back-to-back wins on the turf before taking on the Santa Anita Derby earlier this month. That day he really overpowered a really good field and put himself very much in Kentucky Derby contention. He has been given an opening price on the Morning Line of 5-1 and has been installed as the second-favorite.

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Our editor is big on Into Mischief colt Highly Motivated. He has opened with generous Morning Line odds of 10-1 and he should be there or thereabouts as they turn for home. Going that extra quarter of a mile though could be a problem as stamina is a massive question mark that hangs over the Chad Brown trained horse but if he is in the mix - he has every chance to hit the board - or straight up win.

The Todd Pletcher trained Known Agenda won last time out down at Gulfstream Park in the Grade I Florida Derby. The son of Curlin struggled in the Remsen and Sam F. Davis but will have his supporters. Many are saying he is improving with every run and that is often the aim of the game. Not to be the best horse on the Road but the best come the first Saturday in May. He bested Soup and Sandwich that day at Gulfstream and he’s my live long shot pick. He’s opened on the Morning Line at 6-1 despite drawing the rail.

Another interesting bet to use in your exotics is Kenny McPeek’s King Fury. He finally was able to win just over a fortnight ago at the Grade III Lexington at Keeneland and has used that momentum to get into the Derby field. The track was extremely sloppy that day so clearly he has stamina. Top line speed is still a question mark but would anyone be stunned if he was in the mix at some point on Saturday?

Brad Cox doesn’t just have the favorite in Essential Quality but an interesting play in Mandaloun. The Into Mischief colt looked terrible in the Louisiana Derby but he did win at the Risen Star. He has certainly passed the eye-test in the Morning Works at Churchill. Certainly another who could be there or thereabouts.

Helium comes into the race undefeated having gone three for three including a good win in the Tampa Bay Derby back in March. An eight-week layoff though seems long to me and could well cause issues to backers of this Mark Casse trained three-year-old.

Steve Asmussen sends out two runners this year with Tiznow colt Midnight Bourbon probably his better choice of the two. He’s hit the board in five straight Prep Races although only tasting victory once - back in January at the Grade III Lecomte. Super Stock comes off a fantastic win in the Arkansas Derby but a Beyer Speed Figure of 92 makes that run look slightly less impressive.

When it comes to cards available for a trainer to play - this year it is Todd Pletcher in the pound seat having got four horses into the field. I’m luke warm at best on all four with Known Agenda arguably his best shot. Sainthood got in on the strength of a second-place finish at the poor quality Jeff Ruby and that is not much to crow about.

Bourbonic stunned everyone when he won the Wood Memorial up at Aqueduct - paying out $146.50 in the process. Was that lightning in a bottle or a sign of things to come? Let’s put it this way - I’m not even glancing at his odds. Dynamic One chased him home that day and took four attempts to break his Maiden. Not for me.

Like the King won that lackluster Jeff Ruby at Turfway Park. Great for him to get into this race but he’s what you’d call a real long shot.

Robertino Diodoro has got Keepmeinmind in and the Laoban colt looked a much better two-year-old than he has at three. Second and third at the Breeders’ Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile respectively was followed up by a win at the Kentucky Jockey Club. In 2021 however a sixth place at the Rebel and fifth at the Blue Grass moves him very much into the long shot category.

Always nice to see a son of Orb in a big race and O Besos has a third place in the Louisiana Derby and a fourth in the Risen Star to his name. This isn’t one of your no-hoper long shots as he does seem to be improving with every run. Not sure he is in the caliber of some of the other horses in this race but unlikely to disgrace himself.

Constitution colt Hidden Stash had a solid if unspectacular resume with points scoring finishes in three straight Kentucky Derby Qualification races. The best of these was a second place in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby but he’s mixed it with some decent horses in quality fields.

The last horse to get in was Remsen winner Brooklyn Strong for trainer Daniel Velazquez. It comes as no surprise that the final entrant isn’t exactly a contender. He has one run as a three-year-old where he finished fifth in the Wood Memorial.

The long and short of it is this is one of the most open Kentucky Derbies in years. Yes Essential Quality is the rightful betting favorite with no Life is Good but he isn’t (in my opinion anyways) head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.

Our turf-man and in-house handicapper will publish their thoughts on every horse in the Kentucky Derby in the build-up to the big race. Our in-house handicapper will be here on Friday afternoon with his final thoughts and handicapping preview of the 2021 Run for the Roses.

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