Kentucky Derby 2021 Contenders Quick Guide
May 2021 welcomes the return of the the Kentucky Derby. And what better way to kick it off, than with the race for this year’s Triple Crown winner! Prior to 2020, the Run for the Roses was a yearly event that ran for 144 years, consecutively.
After a year of uncertainty, we’re all undoubtedly happy to witness the return of America’s most beloved race, which will take place at Churchill Downs Racetrack. Social distancing and safety precautions have been setup, with only a limited number of fans being allowed to witness the 147th edition of this race.
Of course, no race is complete without its top contenders. While the lineup isn’t set in stone, we know we’re bound to see some of our favorite contenders, who will be sprinting out the stables to take home the crown, come Saturday, May 1st!
Trainer, Brad Cox is hoping to get his first Derby win with Essential Quality, who has a flawless 5-0 record and four Graded Stakes Race wins! They had a substantial comeback in the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, so it’s no wonder Essential Quality is the favorite with 4-1 odds.
Bob Baffert, who earned a sixth Derby win with Authentic last year, featured Concert Tour (5-1) in the Arkansas Derby on April 10th, and finished third. Concert Tour, was another favorite to win this year, but unfortunately, will not be competing on May 1st, with Bob Baffert confirming the defection just yesterday. Does this change anything?
Legendary handicapper, Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg, breaks down his most recent predictions! You may want to take a look before placing your final bets!
Essential Quality – kentuckyderby.com
Essential Quality, the only Kentucky Derby 2021 contender with the pedigree
Trainer: Brad Cox
Last Jockey: Luis Saez
As mentioned above, Essential Quality is definitely a favorite to win this year, and being the champion of two Grade 1 races (Breeders’ Futurity, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), there’s no surprise why. Essential’s upcoming feat will lie in having his abilities evaluated when attempting to climb a mile and four furlongs, while his previous Grade 1 race wins both exceeded a mile, and half a furlong.
Essential should excel with grace, as Cox continues to acknowledge in high regard, when it comes to Essential, he’s “probably the best (two-year-old colt) I’ve had as far as talent goes”. After his win of completing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by three lengths and a quarter mile, in October and besting Hot Rod Charlie (Breeders’ Futurity) one month after, it’s clear Essential is more than up for his next challenge. And being from the bloodline of his father Tapit, along with having Brad Cox as a trainer, sure doesn’t hinder his chances!
Life is Good – kentuckyderby.com
Life is Good, an unbeaten colt.
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Jockey: Mike E. Smith
With 33 career starts, Bob Baffert’s leading horse heading into this years Run of the Roses is the undefeated, Life is Good. Son of Mischief, and a part of a long family line of Derby winners, Life is Good was the most popular betting choice at the Derby Future Wage pool, with 7-1 odds. Winning the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, and his exceptional performance going 6 ½ furlongs with a 9 ½ length victory in November, solidify these standings.
Life is Good, along with renowned trainer Bob Baffert, essentially go into this year’s Derby, favored to win. But with a recent injury which caused him to be pulled out, this now eliminates two of Baffert’s front runners from the race. If you remember a similar incident happened to Bob last year, and he still went on to win. With Baffert’s barn still going strong, we have no reason to believe, the same can’t be achieved this year!