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Rick Lee's Kentucky Derby analysis

by Rick Lee | May 1, 2021 at 2:15 a.m.


15 Rock Your World;Rosario;Sadler;5-1

Set a rapid pace and kept on running winning the Grade I Santa Anita Derby by 4-widening lengths, and the unbeaten colt has a world class rider.

14 Essential Quality;Saez;Cox;2-1

Is an unbeaten multiple Grade I winner, who was a champion 2-year-old, and his will to win may be the difference.

9 Hot Rod Charlie;Prat;O'Neill;8-1

Was very good winning the Grade II Louisiana Derby in front-running fashion, and he was narrowly defeated by Essential Quality in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

1 Known Agenda;IOrtiz;Pletcher;6-1

Proved an 11-length allowance victory was no fluke when he returned to post a clear stalk-and-pounce-win in the Grade I Florida Derby. Keeping super-star rider Irad Ortiz Jr.

7 Mandaloun;Geroux;Cox;15-1

Won a fast renewal of the Risen Star, but he faltered as a solid favorite in the Louisiana Derby. Expect a rebound following some powerful subsequent breezes.

17 Highly Motivated;Castellano;Brown;10-1

Got to the front under kind fractions and nearly held off Essential Quality when second in the Grade II Blue Grass. May have to rally in this quicker field.

8 Medina Spirit;Velazquez;Baffert;15-1

Was forwardly placed when second best as an odds-on favorite in the Santa Anita Derby, and trainer Bob Baffert knows how to win this race.

10 Midnight Bourbon;Smith;Asmussen;20-1

Has been training smartly at Churchill since a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby, and he figures to be forwardly positioned.

18 Super Stock;Santana;Asmussen;30-1

May have had a nice trip when winning the Arkansas Derby by 2 lengths, but he is an improving and experienced colt who is disrespected at morning-line odds.

6 O Besos;Pedroza;Foley;20-1

Finished with energy in a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby, and clockers at Churchill have loved how he is training.

16 King Fury;Hernandez;McPeek;20-1

Splashed his way to victory in the Grade III Lexington at Keeneland, and he did win the Street Sense as a juvenile at Churchill Downs.

11 Dynamic One;JOrtiz;Pletcher;20-1

May have struck the front a tad too soon when caught in the final strides of the Grade-II Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

20 Bourbonic;Carmouche;Pletcher;30-1

Closed determinedly to win the Wood Memorial at a whopping 72-1 odds.

19 Soup and Sandwich;Gaffalione;Casse;30-1

Has only three career races, but he did make the lead when second in the Florida Derby, and he has enough speed to get position into the first turn.

4 Keepmeinmind;Cohen;Diodoro;50-1

Has disappointed in two graded stakes in 2021, but he won a Grade II at Churchill as a juvenile, and recent works have been upbeat.

12 Helium;Leparoux;Casse;50-1

Rallied from far back to win the Tampa Derby, but the unbeaten colt has not been running fast enough to be a major threat.

13 Hidden Stash;Bejarano;Oliver;50-1

Followed a narrow loss in the Tampa Derby with a dull fourth-place effort in the Blue Grass.

3 Brooklyn Strong;Rispoli;Velazquez;50-1

Was a one-paced fifth in the Wood Memorial, and his only competitive Beyer figure came over a sloppy track at Aqueduct.

5 Sainthood;Lanerie;Pletcher;50-1

Finished second in a slow graded stake at Turfway, and his previous race was a photo-finish maiden victory at Fair Grounds.

2 Like the King;Van Dyke;Ward;50-1

Is a graded-stake winner on synthetic, but his two races on dirt surfaces have been poor.


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