Updated Kentucky Derby 2021 Betting Odds: Essential Quality Favorite at 5-2, Others Closing In

Updated Kentucky Derby 2021 Betting Odds: Essential Quality Favorite at 5-2, Others Closing In article feature image
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  • Essential Quality is the 5-2 favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby, which begins at 6:57 p.m. ET. Hot Rod Charlie and Rock Your World are next at 5-1.
  • Essential Quality dropped from 2-1 to 5-2 earlier in the day on Saturday.
  • We're updating live 2021 Kentucky Derby odds all day leading up to the race on Saturday evening.

2021 Kentucky Derby Live Odds

6 p.m. ET Update

Essential Quality hasn’t moved much throughout the afternoon, sitting at 5-2 an hour out from the race. Hot Rod Charlie and Rock Your World are next at 5-1, while Known Agenda has dropped a bit from 12-1 to 11-1.

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Post Name Odds
1 Known Agenda 11-1
2 Like the King 46-1
3 Brooklyn Strong 40-1
4 Keepmeinmind 45-1
5 Sainthood 39-1
6 O Besos 38-1
7 Mandaloun 28-1
8 Medina Spirit 12-1
9 Hot Rod Charlie 5-1
10 Midnight Bourbon 12-1
11 Dynamic One 39-1
12 Helium 35-1
13 Hidden Stash 34-1
14 Essential Quality 5-2
15 Rock Your World 5-1
16 King Fury SCR
17 Highly Motivated 11-1
18 Super Stock 32-1
19 Soup and Sandwich 24-1
20 Bourbonic 28-1

The 2021 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 1 at around 6:57 p.m. ET. We’ll be updating the odds all afternoon leading up to the Run for the Roses.

Remember, horse racing odds are parimutuel, so bettors are wagering against each other and not against any kind of house. So if everyone is on Essential Quality, he’ll end up a much bigger favorite since odds reflect how much money is being bet on each individual horse — there’s no bookmaker to make a personal decision on what the horse should be.

4 p.m. ET update

There hasn’t been much movement in the early afternoon, with Essential Quality still the favorite at 5-2.

1 p.m. ET update

Money has moved a little bit away from Essential Quality, as the unbeaten colt has moved from 2-1 to 5-2. There hasn’t been a big mover among the other favorites, with Rock Your World and Hot Rod Charlie still at 5-1 and 6-1.

12 p.m. ET update

Not much has changed for the Kentucky Derby as races at Churchill Downs get underway. Essential Quality remains the favorite at 2-1, with Rock Your World and Hot Rod Charlie the only other horses under 10-1.

There have been some other small moves, like Known Agenda dropping from 12-1 to 11-1 in the late morning hours. Highly Motivated has also fallen from 12-1 to 11-1.

10 a.m. ET update

Essential Quality remains the favorite at 2-1, still unbeaten in his career. The colt, trained by Brad H. Cox, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall and took the G2 Blue Grass Stakes in early April.

Next on the board is Rock Your World, a lightly raced colt who won the Santa Anita Derby in early April, his only stakes win.

Doug O’Neill’s Hot Rod Charlie is the only other horse with single-digit odds at the moment. The colt has just two wins in seven races, but won the G2 Louisiana Derby in late March, vaulting himself into contention in the Kentucky Derby field.

Hot Rod Charlie’s Beyer Speed Figure in that race was a 99, the second best of any horse in the 2021 Kentucky Derby field behind Rock Your World. The Louisiana Derby hasn’t been as successful of a prep race in recent years, but that being said he just missed in both the Robert B Lewis (head) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (less than a length).

Highly Motivated is next at 12-1. The Chad Brown trainee is coming in off a second-place finish in the Blue Grass, where he finished a head back of Essential Quality. Not only did that race prove that Highly Motivated could get the distance, but it showed that he belongs with the cream of the crop.

It’s no given that he will get the lead as he did in the Bluegrass, but the Derby could be the race where Highly Motivated turns the tables on Essential Quality and gets Chad Brown his long overdue first Derby win.

Kentucky Derby Weather

We couldn’t ask for a better day for the Kentucky Derby, with little cloud cover, lots of sunshine, and temperatures getting into the 70s in the mid to late afternoon.

Ranking the Kentucky Derby Horses

Mike Conti ranked all the horses in the Kentucky Derby field, making Rock Your World his selection with Essential Quality and Known Agenda next. He’s throwing out horses 12-18 in this list. You can read his full breakdown of the 2021 Kentucky Derby field here.

  1. No. 15 Rock Your World (5-1)
  2. No. 14 Essential Quality (2-1)
  3. No. 1 Known Agenda (6-1)
  4. No. 17 Highly Motivated (10-1)
  5. No. 9 Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)
  6. No. 7 Mandaloun (15-1)
  7. No. 6 O Besos (20-1)
  8. No. 8 Medina Spirit (15-1)
  9. No. 18 Super Stock (30-1)
  10. No. 13 Hidden Stash (50-1)
  11. No. 5 Sainthood (50-1)
  12. No. 19 Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
  13. No. 11 Dynamic One (20-1)
  14. No. 20 Bourbonic (30-1)
  15. No. 12 Helium (50-1)
  16. No. 4 Keepmeinmind (50-1)
  17. No. 3 Brooklyn Strong (50-1)
  18. No. 2 Like the King (50-1)

More Kentucky Derby Coverage

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