Essential Quality Looks Likely to Go for Kentucky Derby in 2021

Essential Quality

Essential Quality is one of the early favorites for the 2021 Kentucky Derby. (Photo credit: Bill Denver/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM).

This year has been a very good year for US Horse Racing despite the pandemic and many horses have shone and the big races have been fantastic to watch with well-deserved winners. 2021 can be even better with more top quality horse races set to feature in the ‘Triple Crown’ races.

Let’s start by looking at the 2020 top races and Tiz the Law won the first ‘Triple Crown’ race in superb style by winning the Belmont Stakes and looked mighty impressive throughout the first part of the year. Other Grade 1 races saw Tiz The Law blitz all rivals and then in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby, all tipsters and pundits were looking at a potential ‘Triple Crown’ horse as predictions were flowing that this horse could win all three races in 2020.

As the Kentucky Derby approached, Tiz The Law was all the rage, but as the race unfolded it was Authentic, trained by Bob Baffert, who landed the spoils by pulling away from Tiz The Law in the final straight to win the race. Authentic who came into the race fresh, looked in great shape as the horse had a great position from coming gout of the stalls and as he approached the final bend, pushed clear and it became a two horse race, and Authentic had all the answers as hit the post first to land the 2nd ‘Triple Crown’ race of this crazy year.

The final ‘Triple Crown’ race of 2020 was the Preakness Stakes and after winning the Kentucky Derby, it was Authentic’s time to be well backed by the punters to land the race at Del Mar. Authentic, who is trained by in form Bob Baffert was well fancied to land the race and two ‘Triple Crown’ races. However, it wasn’t meant to be as Swiss Skydiver delivered a superb run to finish first past the post in style and land the big race win.

Swiss Skydiver has won plenty of high quality races this year and deserved the Preakness Stakes win to end the year in great style. Authentic finished second followed by Jesus’ Team and Art Collector, who was also well backed in the race.

2020 Preakness Stakes Replay

As we look ahead to 2021 and the Kentucky Derby will go back to being the first ‘Triple Crown’ race to be run and there are plenty of 3 year old talented horses who are likely to go for the race. There are plenty of candidates who started their career as 2 year olds over the past few months, and some have impressed more than others, which suggests these horses are likely to have a good 2021.

Starting with Essential Quality, this horse has run three times as a two year old winning all three races, one at Churchill Downs, the other two at Keeneland. The later two races were run over 1 mile and ½ furlong, so the distance is perfect for the Kentucky Derby preparations.

Essential Quality Takes Juvenile

Essential Quality won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November and is now joint favourite to win the Kentucky Derby in 2021 with odds of +1200 and these odds are only likely to shorten should the horse start 2021 in winning style. Owned by Godolphin and trained by Brad Cox, this combination is only likely to improve the training over the winter months, so now could be a good time to back this horse ante-post and there are plenty of top sportsbooks to back the horse including looking at Sportsbookreview.

Another horse to look out for in 2021 is Life Is Good. This horse could well be another champion in waiting and trained by top trainer Bob Baffert, signs are already there that this horse is set for a great 2021 and the route to the Kentucky Derby will be masterminded so that the horse is at it’s prime for the ‘Triple Crown’ race. At current odds at all the best sportsbooks, Life Is Good is prices +2000, which could be value given we know the trainer is one of the best.


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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