Kentucky Derby Odds: Essential Quality Remains Betting Favorite

Covers Staff
Clock Icon Apr 17, 2021 - 8:14 PM ET

The Kentucky Derby odds board is taking shape, with the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs just two weeks away. 

The Kentucky Derby 2021 odds are constantly changing ahead of the May 1 race and that will likely continue throughout the month of April as the complete field of 20 is still to be determined. But we've had a clear leader for the last stretch and that hasn't changed with the updated board.

Let's take a look at the betting odds and see who the Kentucky Derby favorite is for the prestigious horse race that kicks off the first leg of this year's Triple Crown schedule.

Kentucky Derby odds

Horse Odds to win 
Essential Quality +225
Rock Your World +500
Hot Rod Charlie +900
Highly Motivated +900
Super Stock +900
Known Agenda +1,000
Bourbonic +1,200
Medina Spirit +1,400
Caddo River +1,600
Midnight Bourbon +2,000
Helium +2,000
Dynamic One +2,000
Crowded Trade +2,000
Like The King +2,000
Sainthood +2,000
Dream Shake +2,500
Soup And Sandwich +2,500
O Besos +2,500
Mandaloun +2,800
Keepmeinmind +3,300
Proxy +3,300
King Fury +3,300
Get Her Number +4,000
Rombauer +4,000
Hidden Stash +4,000
Hozier +6,600
Hockey Dad +15,000

Odds courtesy of bet365 on April 17, 2021.

Favorites to win 2021 Kentucky Derby

Essential Quality remains the favorite to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby at +225 odds. Essential Quality is a perfect 5-for-5 with recent wins at the Southwest Stakes at the end of February and the Blue Grass Stakes to begin April.

A bit over a month ago, Essential Quality was a +800 favorite, then was tied with Concert Tour at +350 two weeks ago, and is now once again alone at the top of the betting board.

Rock Your World has taken over the No. 2 spot at +500. Rock Your World recently punched his Kentucky Derby ticket by winning the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

Hot Rod Charlie and Highly Motivated are tied with Super Stock at +900. Both thoroughbreds have climbed the past month, as Hot Rod Charlie was +2,000 at the end of February while Highly Motivated was +2,500. Highly Motivated finished second to Essential Quality at the Blue Grass Stakes. 

Odds of past Kentucky Derby winners

Although the Kentucky Derby favorite dominated at Churchill Downs from 2013 to 2018, Country House won the Run for the Roses in 2019 as the second-biggest underdog in Derby history at 65/1, and Authentic pulled off his own upset last year by edging out heavy favorite Tiz the Law. Here are the winners of the Kentucky Derby since 2000, their post positions, and their final odds.   

Year Kentucky Derby Winner Post Position Final Odds
2020 Authentic 18 8/1
2019 Country House 20 65/1
2018 Justify 7 5/2
2017 Always Dreaming 5 9/2
2016 Nyquist 13 2/1
2015 American Pharoah 18 5/2
2014 California Chrome 5 5/2
2013 Orb 16 5/1
2012 I'll Have Another 19 15/1
2011 Animal Kingdom 16 20/1
2010 Super Saver 4 8/1
2009 Mine That Bird 8 50/1
2008 Big Brown 20 7/2
2007 Street Sense 7 9/2
2006 Barbaro 3 6/1
2005 Giacomo 10 50/1
2004 Smarty Jones 13 4/1
2003 Funny Cide 5 13/1
2002 War Emblem 5 41/2
2001 Monarchos 16 21/2
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 15 9/5

Where can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?

This all depends on where you live. If you’re in the USA, betting on the Kentucky Derby online isn’t as simple as simply launching your favorite sportsbook app. Instead, you’ll have to use a specialist-pooled horse racing betting site such as BetAmerica.

Those in Canada or the UK have it much easier as most betting sites offer horse racing markets. Canadians should check out our best sportsbooks and those in the UK should browse our top bookmakers.

Kentucky Derby odds FAQs

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