Essential Quality Early 2021 Kentucky Derby Favorite

Essential Quality

Essential Quality is the early betting favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) after his victory on Friday in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). (Photo credit: John Voorhees/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup/CSM).

The undefeated Essential Quality is the early betting favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) in wagering odds released on Sunday morning by BetOnline.

The Brad Cox trainee is listed at 12-1 in early betting for next spring’s Run for the Roses at BetOnline. The colt capped off his 2020 campaign by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Friday at Keeneland.

The son of Tapit broke his maiden in his debut and then won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) over the Keeneland main track on Oct. 3.

The colt was sent off as the second choice in the 14-horse field on Friday in the Juvenile. With jockey Luis Saez aboard the colt came with a good late rally to win by ¾ of a length over 94-1 longshot Hot Rod Charlie who finished second.

The colt earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95, a seven point increase over his previous high.

Juvenile Favorite Comes Up Short

The Juvenile betting favorite was Jackie’s Warrior, who checked in a disappointing fourth at 4-5.

“It was a tremendous effort by this horse,” the winning trainer Cox said after the race.  “Luis (Saez) stayed after him the whole way. He overcame a lot today. He’s a nice colt. Distance is no issue with him. He’ll run all day. I’m very proud of him and I’m so happy for the Godolphin organization. We’re going to enjoy this one and obviously (the Derby) will be our goal moving forward.”

Keepmeinmind is still a maiden but has taken over as second choice in early Kentucky Derby wagering at BetOnline at 20-1. After running second in his debut he was second in the Breeders’ Futurity and was third in the Juvenile on Friday at odds of 31-1.

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Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Replay

Hot Rod Charlie and Jackie’s Warrior share co-third choice honors in early Derby betting at 25-1, not what anyone thought going into the race.

The Steve Asmussen trained Jackie’s Warrior had been perfect in his four starts, winning a pair of Grade 1 races in the Hopeful and Champagne in New York. The Juvenile was his first start going around two turns.

“It is obviously disappointing, but the fractions were just too fast,” Asmussen said. “He’s accomplished a lot coming into here. We planned on winning but ended up fourth. Pace makes the race and we ended up fourth.”

Kentucky Derby 2021 Odds Via BetOnline:

Essential Quality    12-1

Keepmeinmind    20-1

Hot Rod Charlie    25-1

Jackie’s Warrior   25-1

Reinvestment Risk   28-1

Classier    33-1

Get Her Number    33-1

Sittin On Go    33-1

Dr. Schivel    50-1

Freedom Fighter    50-1

Founder    66-1

Huntsinger    66-1

Prisoner    66-1

Real Talk     66-1

Spielberg    66-1

Team Merchants    66-1


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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