Belmont Stakes runner-up Hot Rod Charlie can end a streak of close defeats when he leaves the starting gate in the 2021 Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday. In his last three races, Hot Rod Charlie has crossed the finish line third in the Kentucky Derby (by a length), finished second in the Belmont Stakes (1 1/4 lengths) and crossed first in the Haskell. However, in the Haskell, he was disqualified and placed seventh for drifting in the stretch and interfering with Midnight Bourbon. On Saturday, Hot Rod Charlie has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 2021 Pennsylvania Derby odds.
Preakness Stakes runner-up Midnight Bourbon is the 5-1 second choice in the eight-horse Pennsylvania Derby 2021 field. Post time is 5:49 p.m. ET. With a well-accomplished field set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you'll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Pennsylvania Derby picks.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
This year, he has been on fire in the three-year-old races. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes, and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes. Anyone who has followed him is up big.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2021 Pennsylvania Derby horses, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.
Top 2021 Pennsylvania Derby predictions
One shocker: Weir is high on Weyburn, even though he is a 12-1 long shot. Bred and owned by Chiefswood Stables, Weyburn has two wins and two seconds in seven career starts. He has not won since taking the Gotham Stakes in March at almost 47-1 odds.
Weir believes there's a chance that Weyburn could be the early pacesetter considering he is the speed horse drawn closest to the rail. "Weyburn could get brave on the lead if Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon get into a stalking position and are more concerned with each other than the leader," Weir told SportsLine. Weir is using Weyburn prominently on all of his tickets.
How to make 2021 Pennsylvania Derby picks, bets
Weir's top pick is a horse who "drew nicely." He also is high on another double-digit long shot. Weir is including these horses in his 2021 Pennsylvania Derby bets, and so should you. He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Pennsylvania Derby 2021? And which long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest Pennsylvania odds 2021 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks, and find out.
2021 Pennsylvania Derby odds, field, contenders
|5||I Am Redeemed||20-1|
|7||Hot Rod Charlie||5-2|