2021 Kentucky Derby odds, top contenders: Legendary expert who nailed Tiz the Law shares surprising picks

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The 2021 Kentucky Derby will go to post at 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 1. Essential Quality led the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 140 points after winning four graded stakes races as a two-year-old and three-year-old. Accordingly, he’s the 5-2 favorite in the latest 2021 Kentucky Derby odds. However, there are plenty of other 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders with impressive resumes, including the unbeaten Rock Your World, who is coming off a strong Santa Anita Derby run.

Trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World (8-1) bested Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit by more than four lengths at Santa Anita and could be Sadler’s best chance to earn a Triple Crown win. Meanwhile, Super Stock is an intriguing 20-1 option in the 2021 Kentucky Derby field after surprising with a win in the Arkansas Derby. Before making any 2021 Kentucky Derby picks, you need to see the latest horse racing predictions from legendary handicapper Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg.

The former horse racing analyst for ESPN and NBC, Goldberg became a legendary handicapper by going straight to the source. In 2004, he had dinner before the Belmont Stakes with trainer Nick Zito at a pizzeria in Queens. The dinner led Goldberg to play Zito’s 36-1 monster longshot Birdstone to win and on top of his exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. When Birdstone shocked the world, Goldberg won $24,000. 

His success has continued at SportsLine. In the San Felipe Stakes in March, Hammer gave out a $20 exacta that paid 9-1. In the Belmont Stakes in June, Goldberg was all over Tiz the Law, who scored a convincing victory in the year’s first Triple Crown race. In the Blue Grass Stakes, Hammer nailed the Art Collector-Swiss Skydiver exacta. In July, he hit the Authentic-Ny Traffic exacta in the Haskell. In August in the Pacific Classic, he gave out the Maximum Security-Sharp Samurai exacta.

Before last year’s Kentucky Derby, trainer Bob Baffert told Goldberg that Authentic was his best Derby runner. As a result, Goldberg listed him among his top horses, and Authentic held off Tiz the Law by almost four lengths. Anyone who has followed Goldberg’s lead is way up.

Now Goldberg has studied the 2021 Kentucky Derby field of hopefuls and has released his picks, predictions and top contenders only at SportsLine.

Top 2021 Kentucky Derby predictions

For the 147th Run for the Roses, Goldberg is completely fading Hot Rod Charlie, even though he is one of the top favorites at 6-1 and won the Louisiana Derby. The son of 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow by Indian Miss didn’t break his maiden until his fourth race as a two-year-old. Then, he couldn’t close the distance while stalking the pace in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 2021 Robert B. Lewis.

Joel Rosario rode him to the front of the pack at the Louisiana Derby and led him to a wire-to-wire victory. However, Rosario opted to ride Rock Your World at the Kentucky Derby 2021, so Flavien Prat will be in the saddle instead. Prat rode Hot Rod Charlie to a fifth-place finish in a maiden special weight race at Del Mar last September, and Goldberg has serious concerns about the horse’s ability to set the pace against a faster Kentucky Derby 2021 lineup.

How to make 2021 Kentucky Derby predictions

Instead, Goldberg’s top pick is a horse who “has the right running style and finishes off well.” He also is high on a monster underdog the public is completely sleeping on, listing him as his best value. He’s sharing which horses to back here

So who wins the 2021 Kentucky Derby? And which sleeper is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Goldberg’s picks for the Kentucky Derby.

2021 Kentucky Derby contenders, 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
Dynamic One 30-1
Soup and Sandwich 30-1
Helium 50-1
Hidden Stash 50-1
Like the King 50-1
Sainthood 50-1
Dream Shake N/A
O Besos N/A
Get Her Number N/A