With just six days until the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1), Essential Quality is the solid betting favorite for the first jewel of the Triple Crown.
The Brad Cox trainee is undefeated in five career starts, winning the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in his last outing. The colt was perfect in his three starts as a two-year-old, capping off his season by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
The colt worked on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 2/5, galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 3/5.
The colt is currently at 3-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at BUSR. A month ago, the colt was sitting at 6-1 while the Bob Baffert trained Concert Tour was the 7-2 early favorite after his win in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
The Baffert trainee came up short in his final prep, a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and the Hall of Fame trainer announced last Saturday the colt will bypass the Kentucky Derby in favor of the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 15.
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Essential Quality Breezes
Baffert is tied with Ben Jones with the most Derby victories by a trainer with six. Baffert’s lone chance this year will come with Medina Spirit, who ran second in the San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita (G1) in his last two starts. The colt is currently listed at 16-1.
Cox will also send out Mandaloun, who is becoming one of the buzz horses at Churchill Downs this week. The Risen Star (G2) winner failed to fire as the beaten favorite in the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his last outing, checking in sixth. The colt is currently at 20-1 at BUSR in early Derby betting.
Caddo River was the runner up in the Arkansas Derby (G1) for Cox and figured to be part of the early pace, but it was announced on Sunday he would not be entered.
Rock Your World Second Choice
The defection of Concert Tour makes Rock Your World the second choice in early Derby betting at BUSR at 11-2, up from 9-2 last week. The John Sadler trainee is undefeated in his three career starts. He won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his final prep, earning 100 points and finishing sixth in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings.
The $650,000 son of Candy Ride broke his maiden on turf on Jan. 1 and then won the Pasadena on turf on February 27 in his stakes debut.
Sadler announced on last week that jockey Joel Rosario will ride the colt. Umberto Rispoli rode the colt in his two stakes wins. Rosario was aboard for his maiden breaker.
“These are agonizing decisions and not easy,” Sadler said in a radio interview on “Thoroughbred Los Angeles. “I want to be very clear, I think the world of Rispoli and I think the world of his riding. He’s a terrific rider on our circuit and he’s been a great addition to California and will continue to be. But, I had to make a call, and this is the call I made…History will tell whether I’m right or wrong.”
Hot Rod Charlie is now the fourth choice in early Derby wagering at BUSR at 10-1. The colt won the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 20 in his last start. His trainer Doug O’Neill has won the Kentucky Derby twice, with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and Nyquist in 2016.
Pletcher to Saddle Four
Trainer Todd Pletcher holds the record for most Derby starters with 55, winning twice with Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017.
Pletcher will send out four runners in this year’s running—Known Agenda, Bourbonic, Dynamic One and Sainthood.
Among the quartet Known Agenda is the shortest price at 11-1 in future Derby odds at BUSR, up from 10-1 last week The colt won the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in his last outing by 2 ¾ lengths.
Bourbonic and Dynamic One ran first and second in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct in their last starts and are odds of 14-1 and 20-1 respectively.
Sainthood earned his way into the Kentucky Derby with a runner up finish in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park and is currently at odds of 23-1.
Updated Kentucky Derby Odds Via BUSR:
|Rock Your World||11/2|
|Hot Rod Charlie||10/1|
|Like The King||20/1|
|Soup And Sandwich||25/1|
|Get Her Number||OUT|