Louisville has been home to the Kentucky Derby for almost 150 years, but it's surprising that a native has never led a horse to victory. Trainer Brad Cox grew up just blocks from Churchill Downs and will have two opportunities to make history on Saturday in the Kentucky Derby 2021. Cox has two horses in the 2021 Kentucky Derby field: the 2-1 favorite Essential Quality and 15-1 long shot Mandaloun. The latter had a surprising and disappointing sixth-place finish in his last outing, but he won three of his other four races. Other 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders looking to keep Cox from the winner's circle include Known Agenda (6-1) and Hot Rod Charlie (8-1). With so much to consider while making your 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, a little expert help can go a long way.
While the Kentucky Derby usually consists of the best male horses and the Kentucky Oaks always features the best females, there have been several crossovers for the Run for the Roses. There have been 40 female horses, or fillies, who have started in the Kentucky Derby, six of which were post-time favorites. Of those 40, three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988). Kentucky Derby fillies have been sparse in recent years, with just two running this century: Eight Belles in 2008 and Devil May Care in 2010.
Given all the history, there's a method to picking which horses to focus on for exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets in a Kentucky Derby like this, and SportsLine's Jody Demling knows what it is. He can help you make the best 2021 Kentucky Derby picks possible.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the Kentucky Derby 2021 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, he's sharing all of his 2021 Kentucky Derby bets here.
Top 2021 Kentucky Derby expert picks
Here's a refresher on exotic bet types from SportsLine's Jody Demling:
Exacta: Pick the first- and second-place finishers in the correct order. A $2 exacta returned $41 at the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic and Tiz the Law.
Trifecta: Pick the first-, second- and third-place finishers in the correct order. A $0.50 trifecta returned $655.90 at the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic, Tiz the Law, and Mr. Big News.
Superfecta: Pick the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finishers in the correct order. A $0.10 superfecta returned $792.58 at the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic, Tiz the Law, Mr. Big News, and Honor A.P.
While Demling has no quibbles with the favorite status of Essential Quality (2-1), he plans to hold tickets with Hot Rod Charlie (8-1), as well as two huge underdogs who could really spice up the payouts. You can see his picks here.
How to make 2021 Kentucky Derby bets
Demling has specific recommendations for exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagers so you can cover all your bases at the Kentucky Derby 2021. He's sharing them over at SportsLine.
So which horses do you take? And in what combinations? Visit SportsLine to get Demling's picks for exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets for the 2021 Kentucky Derby.