2021 Kentucky Derby odds, predictions: Top expert who hit 9 Derby-Oaks Doubles lists picks

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Unheralded colt Super Stock wasn’t much of a factor heading into the final 2021 Kentucky Derby prep races. However, the 12-1 longshot at the Arkansas Derby suddenly made a case for Louisville by winning the 1 1/8-mile race and vaulting into Kentucky Derby 2021 contention. Super Stock cruised past pace-setters Caddo River and Concert Tour to earn 100 qualifying points for his victory.

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Jockey Kent Desormeaux urges Silver Tree past Giant Wrecker for a win by a neck in the Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park in West Long Branch, New Jersey on Haskell Invitational Day. Silver Tree clipped .36 seconds off the track record previously held by Giant Wrecker for the 1 1/16 miles course. (Photo by Scott Serio/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

Still, Super Stock and the rest of the 2021 Kentucky Derby field will be looking up at the undefeated Essential Quality, who is 5-for-5 in his racing career and is the 2021 Kentucky Derby favorite at 5-2 in the latest 2021 Kentucky Derby odds. Other 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders include Hot Rod Charlie at 6-1 and Medina Spirit at 8-1. With so much to consider, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s Jody Demling has to say before entering any 2021 Kentucky Derby picks and predictions of your own.

A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the 2021 Kentucky Derby off a major heater: 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, with the 2021 Kentucky Derby lineup taking shape, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions at SportsLine. Go here to see them.

Top 2021 Kentucky Derby predictions

One shocker: Demling is fading Dynamic One, even though that horse is going off as one of the top Vegas favorites and finished second in the Wood Memorial. In fact, he says Dynamic One barely cracks the top 15. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt picked up a win at Aqueduct Racetrack in March, but he’s only been entered in one graded-stakes competition.

That was at the Wood Memorial on April 3, where he finished second behind Kentucky Derby 2021 probable Bourbonic, a horse that came into the Wood Memorial as an enormous 72-1 long shot. The pace that day was considerably slower than other Kentucky Derby prep races, which bodes poorly for Dynamic One’s chances at Churchill Downs. Demling doesn’t like his chances to keep up with this elite field, making him a horse to fade in your 2021 Kentucky Derby bets. 

Another curveball: Demling is high on Highly Motivated, even though he’s a massive 15-1 long shot in the Kentucky Derby 2021 odds. Any colt that can run with Essential Quality has Demling’s attention, which is exactly what Highly Motivated did in the April 3 Blue Grass Stakes. Unfazed by Essential Quality’s undefeated streak, Highly Motivated matched the Derby favorite stride for stride before finishing a competitive second.

When you combine that run with a victory in the Nyquist Stakes, that Chad Brown-trained Highly Motivated now looks like a legit threat to win a rose-covered blanket on May 1. Highly Motivated also has a third on his resume in the Gotham Stakes, which means there will be plenty of smart money headed his direction. Demling loves what he sees, predicting that Highly Motivated “should improve off the Blue Grass runner-up finish,” and loves the value the horse presents for your 2021 Kentucky Derby bets.

How to make 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, bets

Demling is especially high on a huge underdog whose “sensational” performances make him hard to fade at his current price. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over at SportsLine.

Which horse wins the Kentucky Derby 2021? And what huge underdog does Demling say contends? Check out the latest 2021 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling’s picks for the Kentucky Derby.

2021 Kentucky Derby odds

Horse Odds
Essential Quality 5-2
Hot Rod Charlie 6-1
Medina Spirit 8-1
Rock Your World 8-1
Known Agenda 12-1
Highly Motivated 15-1
Mandaloun 15-1
Midnight Bourbon 15-1
Super Stock 20-1
Bourbonic 30-1
Caddo River 30-1
Dynamic One 30-1
Soup and Sandwich 30-1
Helium 50-1
Hidden Stash 50-1
Like the King 50-1
Sainthood 50-1
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