Horse Racing Betting Update: 2021 Kentucky Derby Odds

Posted by Derrick Harper on April 26, 2021 in

Less than a week separates us from the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. The prestigious horse racing event is slated for Sunday, May 2, and as we cross out the dates on our calendar, mybookie brings you an early week update for the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sport.” With that in mind, let’s get right to it so you can keep planning your bets against their Kentucky Derby odds.

2021 Kentucky Derby Updated Betting Odds

Top Contenders for the 2021 Kentucky Derby

Essential Quality / Odds to win: +300

Essential Quality is priced as the main favorite to win the Kentucky Derby; however, the odds on Brad Cox’s horse have been rising. Priced as low as +225 last week, Essential Quality is at the time of writing priced as high as +300.

The son of Tapit, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a 2-year-old, is unbeaten in five starts. He holds wins from Southwest Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes, which is a good indication of his quality.

While Essential Quality remains the fastest horse on paper, there is a good reason why the odds have been rising. As there are plenty of strong contenders in the field that will look to spoil Cox’s hopes of winning his first Kentucky Derby.

Rock Your World / Odds to win: +550

John Sadler has done an exceptional job with Rock Your World, and there is enough evidence to back up those claims. Rock Your World won Grade I affair, to which he added two wins at Santa Anita to go 3-0-0 in three starts.

Like Essential Quality, Rock Your World has yet to lose a race in three starts, making him a strong contender for the title next weekend. There are arguments to be made that Rock Your World can be faster than Essential Quality on a good day, but whether or not  John Sadler’s horse will manage to step up remains to be seen.

Highly Motivated / Odds: +700

Chad Brown’s Highly Motivated enters the Kentucky Derby as the third-favorite to win. And you can’t really argue with that.

Brown’s entry Into Mischief came close to beating the undefeated Essential Quality in the Blue Grass Stakes. And if that is any indication, we can be sure Brown will have Highly Motivated ready to compete for the title.

The odds offered on Highly Motivated seem about right since he was not as solid as the top two of late. However, with a clean trip. Highly Motivated could prove to be a value play.

Known Agenda / Odds to win: +1100

In recent years, there was a clear trend that showed horses who did well at the Florida Derby to look solid at the Kentucky Derby as well. This year’s Florida Derby winner is Known Agenda.

The combination of jockey Irad Ortiz Jr and trainer Todd Pletcher makes Known Agenda a very appealing bet. This horse has had a shaky season but has improved drastically after Pletcher added blinkers.

What’s more, Known Agenda holds the best speed figures of any horse at the Kentucky Derby. And if that’s not enough to convince you that Known Agenda might be a smart bet – Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby twice before in 2010 and 2017.

King Fury / Odds: +2000

With the odds shifts, a few horses have emerged as great longshot picks, one of them being King Fury. The son of Curlin enters this race off a quiet win in the Lexington Stakes, winning as an 18/1 outsider.

What’s more, King Fury has recorded two out of his three victories over the Churchill Downs surface. Although by no means one of the top contenders, King Fury is a bomb longshot pick at +2000.

Like it’s the case with all other horses at the race, King Fury will have to find his stride in time. But if he does, Ken McPeek’s colt could surprise.