Kentucky Derby 2021 – Horses, Betting Tips & Odds

We have expert betting tips for the 2021 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this weekend.

It’s always a must-see race on the North American calendar and punters get an even betting field for the 147th edition.

We have a runner-by-runner betting guide for the Kentucky Derby, which features 20 runners.

Best bets for Kentucky Derby 2021

Best Bet:

Rock Your World @ $6.50

Best Each Way Bet:

Hot Rod Charlie @ $9.50

Best Roughie:

Soup And Sandwich @ $23

Kentucky Derby Trifecta Tips

Punters should have six runners on their ticket for the Kentucky Derby trifecta.

  • Rock Your World
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Soup And Sandwich
  • Essential Quality
  • Medina Spirit
  • Highly Motivated

Kentucky Derby First-Four Tips

We have included eight runners in our first-four selections for Kentucky Derby 147.

  • Rock Your World
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Soup And Sandwich
  • Essential Quality
  • Medina Spirit
  • Highly Motivated
  • Known Agenda
  • Mandaloun

Kentucky Derby Form Guide & Tips

1. Known Agenda ($10)

He comes off consecutive wins but we question the strength of his latest win. It has upside and punters get double-figure odds, so he’s worth a first-four inclusion.

2. Like The King ($26)

Far too short in the betting for our liking. He hasn’t faced anything close to this level of opposition and we thought he would be paying closer to $60.

3. Brooklyn Strong ($41)

Comes off a solid run for fifth but it would be a big upset if Brooklyn Strong was to get up. We would prefer to see him in something easier or longer, such as the Belmont Stakes.

4. Keepmeinmind ($51)

Not the best form this campaign and we can’t entertain his chances. He would need to find a few lengths to get close to the best types in the Kentucky Derby.

5. Sainthood ($41)

Comes from the strong Todd Pletcher stable but this is a stab in the dark from connections.

He has yet to face anything close to this level of opposition and although he has upside, we would prefer to see him as a four-year-old.

6. O Besos ($19)

Another runner that is shorter in the betting than expected. Third behind a solid type last start but it never looked like a winning chance.

$19 is too short, so look for value elsewhere.

7. Mandaloun ($15)

Goes into first-four calculations based on his run two back. Couldn’t quite chase them down last start, but it has upside.

$15 suggests he’ll be right in the mix and we tend to agree.

8. Medina Spirit ($12)

Medina Spirit is an underrated type that owns a win and three second placings this preparation.

We thought his last start effort was a quality run and it came behind a tough type. It bodes well and punters should enjoy the $12 available.

Bob Baffert knows how to get them home in the Derby.

9. Hot Rod Charlie (Best Each Way – $9.50)

One of the best-backed runners in the field following a terrific win in stakes company last start.

He’s getting better with every run and although he opened at double-figure odds, punters have come thick and fast.

Hot Rod Charlie is an obvious trifecta player.

10. Midnight Bourbon ($23)

Not too far away from some smart types this campaign. His win fresh up was solid and he hasn’t let each-way punters down since.

Meets harder opposition in the Kentucky Derby, but we wouldn’t be ruling him out of calculations.

11. Dynamic One ($19)

Respected with bookmakers but he would need to run a career-best performance to finish in the placings.

In a field of 20, we’re prepared to leave him out of our selections at the odds.

12. Helium ($26)

Unbeaten after three starts but he needs to lift. Unbeaten runners are always interesting but we’re prepared to leave him out of calculations.

A late betting move would make it interesting, but he should stay around the $26.

13. Hidden Stash ($71)

Not fancied in this class and he gets back in his races, which never suits in the Kentucky Derby.

Punters get massive odds and rightfully so.

14. Essential Quality ($3.60)

The race favourite after an unbeaten string of five wins. We weren’t that impressed with his most recent performance in the Blue Grass Stakes.

We respect his ability and we think he’ll run in the first three, but we’re going with Rock Your World to take the favourite down.

15. Rock Your World (Best Bet – $6.50)

Another unbeaten runner after three starts and we like that form better than Essential Quality.

He is paying much better odds and we like the way he put the field away in the Santa Anita Derby. It came by over four lengths and we’re not turning down $6.50.

Include the second favourite in all selections.

16. King Fury ($31)

We expect King Fury to struggle in this company. His form doesn’t stack up well enough and punters should get much longer odds on race day.

17. Highly Motivated ($9)

We thought Highly Motivated was a chance at winning before his defeat in the Blue Grass Stakes, but it wasn’t a super run.

He was put to bed rather easily by Essential Quality and although he still has upside, he’s a first-four chance only.

18. Super Stock ($16)

He is a two-win runner that would need to find a few lengths to be competitive at this level.

$16 is too short and punters can find value elsewhere.

19. Soup And Sandwich (Best Roughie – $26)

He’s an exciting runner that could be found out at this level, but we like the way he hit the line last time out.

Mark Casse is a big-time trainer and with two wins from three starts, he shouldn’t be far away from the prize. Include at the price.

20. Bourbonic ($21)

He caused a huge upset win last start, but we don’t think lightning will strike twice.

Daryl Curnow
About the Author: Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.