Kentucky Derby Profile: Like the King

Wesley Ward sends out Like the King in KYD 147
Wesley Ward sends out Like the King in KYD 147
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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 Like the King who came in via the Turfway Park route - which isn't the best. He's got Post Position 2 and that does not bode well for his chances...

Like the King Results
  • Date
  • Race
  • Track
  • Distance
  • Finish

Date

  • March 27, 2021
  • February 26, 2021
  • December 4, 2020
  • October 24, 2020

Race

  • Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3)
  • John Battelgia Memorial Stakes
  • AlwOC
  • Allowance

Track

  • Turfway Park
  • Turfway Park
  • Turfway Park
  • Keeneland

Distance

  • 1m 1/8
  • 1m 1/16
  • 1m
  • 1m 1/16

Finish

  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 1st
  • 3rd
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...

We did see Animal Kingdom prevail in the Derby off a win on the synthetic track at Turfway Park, but I don’t see lightning striking twice with Like the King. He did run quite well in the G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, however his trainer Wesley Ward excels there and his two dirt starts are abysmal compared to the rest of this field. He’d likely need to improve massively to even hit the board and I have a hard time envisioning that happening here from a problematic post.

J.N's Take...

Wesley Ward is not normally in the conversation when it comes to discussing the Kentucky Derby. Why that is could be explained along several lines. He trains a number of very successful turf runners who have impacted international racing on a global scale. His training methods are copied and recopied, passed off by trainers as their own.

All conditioners have specialties, and the “Master” of Keeneland-Turfway is no different. With his winter base in the northern part of the state, it makes sense that he would test the Battaglia-Jeff Ruby Series, and that is exactly what happened with this son of Palace Malice. That sire had major success after the Triple Crown, so it bodes well for his offspring when it comes to furthering one’s own career.

His effort in that last G3 @TP was particularly impressive. It was a large field of 11 going 1 1/8th, and he extended well, despite some traffic troubles along the way. Speaking of traffic (and I am not talking about what might be on I-64 right now in Louisville), he is going to see more of it in the Derby. Drayden Van Dyke’s presence in that last race was a guiding hand to be sure. However, his own riding continues to be circumspect and spotty, to say the least. Yet, another Turfway runner with impressive connections who will probably be overmatched.

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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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