In an attempt to get as many entrants into the May 1 Kentucky Derby as possible, Bob Baffert runs three horses in a couple of Derby preps on Saturday. Concert Tour has already stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby. But both Hozier and Bezos must prove they belong. Before we preview the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, we’ll discuss why Rock Your World has climbed to first on our Derby Rankings. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Kentucky Derby for Saturday, May 1. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
2021 Kentucky Derby: Upcoming Prep Races Analysis & More
2021 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Derby Top 10
- Rock Your World +650
- Concert Tour +350
- Hot Rod Charlie +800
- Essential Quality +300
- Highly Motivated +1000
- Known Agenda +1000
- Midnight Bourbon +2000
- Soup and Sandwich +2000
- Hozier +2500
- Bourbonic +1200
Rock Your World, Essential Quality, and 72-to-1 shot Bourbonic win preps
Essential Quality won the Blue Grass Stakes, Bourbonic took the Wood Memorial, and Rock Your World won the Santa Anita Derby. Of the three victors, the best performance, and it’s not even close, came from Rock Your World.
The John Sadler trainee won a grade 1 race in his first foray on dirt. Undefeated at 3-0, Rock Your World had won his first couple of races on turf. The Candy Ride sired colt took the lead in the 1 1/8 mile Santa Anita Derby and never looked back.
The victory was as impressive as any prep win this year. What should make Sadler happy is how Rock Your World seamlessly transitioned from turf to dirt. Horses that actually improve on dirt and based on the speed rating that’s what Rock Your World did, are top quality racehorses.
Rock’s performance shouldn’t surprise us. Candy Ride dominated on both turf and dirt. On Rock’s mother’s side, Empire Maker won the Belmont Stakes and has produced dirt and turf runners.
Unless Concert Tour dominates with an impressive speed rating, Rock Your World will head to Kentucky the best horse in the race.
Essential Quality won but . . .
The BC Juvenile winner won his final prep, but you must forgive us if we believe Essential Quality will head to Churchill Downs overrated. Yes, he got past Chad Brown trained Highly Motivated.
It took forever for Quality to pass his rival, though. If Highly Motivated were to the outside of Essential Quality, who knows?
Essential Quality hasn’t run fast enough to win the Kentucky Derby, which means on the first Saturday in May he’s going to have to run faster than what Rock Your World already has run. That could be a tall order.
Proxy looks for win in Lexington to secure Kentucky Derby start
Proxy has raced well in almost every one of his Derby preps. Unfortunately, trainer Michael Stidham and Godolphin require Proxy to secure even more points for a Kentucky Derby starting spot.
Proxy is teetering on the edge of making the 20-horse field, which is why he’ll race in the Grade 2 Lexington on Saturday.
Although Proxy is the 6/5 morning line chalk, he’s no guarantee to win the race. Bob Baffert is desperate to get Bezos into the Derby starting gate. The 8/1 chalk could improve enough to upset Proxy.
Steve Asmussen trained Swiftsure is undefeated in two races. Don’t be surprised if the Uncle Mo sired equine challenges Proxy for favoritism.
Concert Tour an even money chalk to win the Arkansas Derby
On paper, Concert Tour is a lock to win the Arkansas Derby. The real runner to pay attention to is Hozier. If the Pioneerof the Nile and Baffert trained colt upsets his stablemate, or if he finishes a fast-closing second, he could be one to watch during Derby Week.
Caddo River will try for the bounce back. He may not want to run this far, though. Unless you’ve got a good feeling, the Brad Cox runner may be a toss-out.
The Arkansas Derby is this year’s final Run for the Roses prep. From April 10 to May 1, it’s all about paying attention to training, making sure horses ship to Churchill Downs well, and thinking about the best ways to bet on the 2021 Kentucky Derby.