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2021 Kentucky Derby Expert Picks and Predictions

2021 Kentucky Derby Expert Picks and Predictions

Fast horses and big money are front and center this coming Saturday at Churchill Downs with the much-awaited return of the Kentucky Derby in its traditional schedule. Have you made your picks yet? If not, let the experts help you decide which horse you should lay money on at the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

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Expert Picks and Predictions for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs May 1 2021

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky USA

When: May 1 2021, 6:57 PM ET

LinesView all 2021 Kentucky Derby lines

Triple Crown Lines: Odds on a Triple Crown winner in 2021

TV Broadcast: NBC / Peacock TV

Expert Pick
Joe Kristufek Essential Quality 
Ed DeRosa  Highly Motivated
James Scully  Hot Rod Charlie
Kellie Reilly Essential Quality
Vance Hanson Essential Quality
Scott Shapiro  Dynamic One

Six experts over at were asked to predict the outcome of the 2021 edition of the Fastest Two Minutes In Sports, and the results were not unanimously in favor of the favorite, Essential Quality. The Brad Cox-trained horse got three backers in Kristufekm Reilly, and Hanson, while the other three experts had three different picks. Essential Quality is the heavy favorite to win, as it’s priced +275 at TopBet sportsbook. Scully picked Hot Rod Charlie to win this weekend and that’s for a good reason. After all, Hot Rod Charlie (+1000) has shown in all of its last four races, including a  win at the Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) last March.

DeRosa, meanwhile, believes that Highly Motivated (+900). In five career starts, Highly Motivated has finished no worse than third place and it’s got two wins, too. Shapiro’s pick of Dynamic One comes as a bit of a surprise, as it is +3300 to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Bleacher Report

Expert Pick
Kristopher Knox Essential Quality

Over at Bleacher Report, Kristopher Knox also thinks that Essential Quality is going to be the horse to beat at Churchill Downs this coming Saturday. It’s not hard to see why Essential Quality is this popular among bettors. It’s undefeated in six races, four of which were graded stakes events. Essential Quality’s unbeaten run nearly ended at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2) in April but managed to overcome getting behind early in the race to continue its hot streak.


Expert Fade pick
SportsLine Highly Motivated

Horseracing insider Bob Weir told SportsLine that he’s not that “high” on Highly Motivated, which has one of the shortest odds to win this weekend, as mentioned earlier. Highly Motivated came close to upsetting Essential Quality at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2), as it could not sustain an early lead. Weir is basically worried about whether Highly Motivated can handle the extra track length at Churchill Downs. 

TopBet News Editor | Ryan Simpson

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Written by Jackson

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