The undefeated Essential Quality will try to break the Blue Grass Stakes jinx when he leaves the starting gate in the 2021 Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs. No winner of the Blue Grass, one of the major Kentucky Derby prep races, has gone on to win the Run for the Roses since Strike the Gold in 1991. On April 3, Essential Quality earned a hard-fought neck victory over Highly Motivated in the Blue Grass. On Saturday, Essential Quality is the 5-2 favorite in the 2021 Kentucky Derby odds.
Rock Your World, who won the Santa Anita Derby, is right behind him at 5-1 in the 2021 Kentucky Derby field. Post time for the Kentucky Derby 2021 is set for 6:57 p.m. ET. With a talented field expected to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see the horse racing predictions from handicapping champion Jonathon Kinchen before making any 2021 Kentucky Derby picks.
Kinchen is one of the nation's most successful and recognizable horseplayers. An analyst for Fox Sports' America's Day at the Races and co-host of the In the Money Players' Podcast, Kinchen won the National Horseplayers Championship Tour in 2015, a demanding, yearlong series of handicapping events across the country. That same year, he became the only player in history to have both of his entries qualify for the final table of the National Horseplayers Championship.
In addition, Kinchen has scored huge on some of racing's biggest days. In November, he finished second out of 418 contestants in the prestigious Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge, which earned him $215,000 in prize money. After factoring in his profit during the 14 Breeders' Cup races, he took home more than $366,000 on the day.
It's no fluke, either. At the 2015 Kentucky Derby, he cashed for $150,000 after nailing the Pick 6 and a Pick 3 that paid $50,000. Anyone who has followed him is up big.
Now with the 2021 Kentucky Derby lineup set, Kinchen is sharing his picks and predictions at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
Top 2021 Kentucky Derby predictions
One shocker: Kinchen is completely fading Rock Your World, even though he is one of the top favorites at 5-1. A $650,000 yearling purchase two years ago, Rock Your World is a perfect three-for-three in his career and coming off a four-plus length win in the Santa Anita Derby.
However, in that race, Rock Your World was allowed to set an uncontested pace, and that scenario is not likely to play out on Saturday. "He's going to get pressure from the outside," Kinchen told SportsLine. There are far better values among the other 2021 Kentucky Derby horses.
Another curveball: Kinchen is high on Midnight Bourbon, who is a long shot at 20-1 in the Kentucky Derby 2021 odds. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon has won just twice in seven career starts. In his last race, he finished second in the Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds on March 20.
Kinchen loves his consistency, however, since Midnight Bourbon has never finished worse than third. "He shows up all the time," Kinchen said. He's a perfect fit for your 2021 Kentucky Derby bets.
How to make 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
One of Kinchen's win contenders is an appealing double-digit long with "a big price," He is including this horse prominently in his 2021 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. He's sharing this analysis at SportsLine.
Which horse wins the Kentucky Derby 2021? And which huge underdog is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Kinchen's picks for the Kentucky Derby.
2021 Kentucky Derby odds, post positions
|2||Like the King||50-1|
|9||Hot Rod Charlie||8-1|
|15||Rock Your World||5-1|
|19||Soup and Sandwich||30-1|