Trainer Todd Pletcher can win his third Kentucky Derby when he sends out four starters, including Florida Derby winner Known Agenda, in the Kentucky Derby 2021 on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The 53-year-old Pletcher won the Kentucky Derby in 2010 with Super Saver and in 2017 with Always Dreaming. He has started a record 55 Kentucky Derby horses, six more than the next best trainer, D. Wayne Lukas. Known Agenda enters the Kentucky Derby 2021 widely considered to be Pletcher's best chance at Kentucky Derby win No. 3.
He is 6-1 in the 2021 Kentucky Derby odds. Pletchers' other runners are Dynamic One (20-1), Bourbonic (30-1) and Sainthood (50-1). Post time for the 147th Run for the Roses is set for 6:57 p.m. ET. With so much to consider, you'll want to see what SportsLine's Jody Demling has to say before entering any 2021 Kentucky Derby picks and predictions of your own.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the 2021 Kentucky Derby after a major heater in 2020: At one point last year, he picked the winners of six straight races: the Saudi Cup, Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes.
This is the same handicapper who hit the Derby-Oaks double at Churchill Downs nine times in the last 12 years. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby all but three times in his last 12 tries.
He opened last season's Triple Crown schedule on a heater too. At last year's Belmont, Demling said Tiz the Law was clearly the class of the field, and Barclay Tagg's horse pulled away for a convincing 3 3/4-length victory. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.
Now, with the 2021 Kentucky Derby lineup taking shape, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
Top 2021 Kentucky Derby predictions
One shocker: Demling is fading Hot Rod Charlie, even though he's one of the top 2021 Kentucky Derby favorites. In fact, Demling says Hot Rod Charlie doesn't even hit the board. Trainer Doug O'Neill already has two Kentucky Derby victories on his mantle, but adding a third became considerably tougher last month.
Once a $110,000 yearling purchase, Hot Rod Charlie captured the Louisiana Derby with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. However, Rosario will ride Rock Your World at Churchill Downs, forcing O'Neill to tap Flavien Prat for Saturday's mount. Although Demling believes that Hot Rod Charlie "seems to get better each time he steps on the track," having a new jockey aboard feels like too big of a risk, which is why Demling is fading the colt in his 2021 Kentucky Derby bets.
Another stunner: Demling loves Highly Motivated, even though he's a 10-1 long shot in the latest Kentucky Derby 2021 odds. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. Fair or not, Highly Motivated was pegged largely as a sprinter after his first three races, two of them wins, came at 6 1/2 furlongs or shorter.
He changed that narrative in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 3. In that race, Highly Motivated almost pulled off the shocker against 2021 Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality, who was ultimately able to run him down in the end. However, that performance at 1 1/8 miles was clear evidence that Highly Motivated is worthy of being one of the top 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders.
How to make 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
Demling is especially high on a double-digit long shot who has "looked amazing" during training. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over 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 Demling'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|