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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

UNDEFEATED CHAMPION ESSENTIAL QUALITY DRAWS POST 14, INSTALLED 2-1 ON EARLY LINE

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, April 27, 2021 — Game on! The Derby 127 field in post order, early line odds, and post draw hot takes:

  1. Known Agenda, 6-1, big talent, very tough draw
  2. Like the King 50-1, likely higher at post time
  3. Brooklyn Strong 50-1, Derby fever strikes
  4. Keepmeinmind 50-1, blinkers off, won’t matter
  5. Sainthood 50-1, worst Derby prep trip this year
  6. O’Besos 20-1, better than regarded but early line underlay
  7. Mandaloun 15-1, a training star at CD
  8. Medina Spirit 15-1, bottom of Top 10
  9. Hot Rod Charlie 8-1, very versatile, well drawn
  10. Midnight Bourbon 20-1, beast-like ease in final breeze
  11. Dynamic One 20-1, draw sets up another middle move
  12. Helium 50-1, talented but inexperienced
  13. Hidden Stash 50-1, too many to pass today
  14. Essential Quality 2-1, after draw still no knocks
  15. Rock Your World 5-1, very talented, acid test today
  16. King Fury 20-1, great Lexington was only prep
  17. Highly Motivated 10-1, can follow speedsters around there
  18. Super Stock 30-1 won’t get OP trip back here
  19. Soup And Sandwich 30-1, budding talent hurt by draw
  20. Bourbonic 30-1, will come from last anyway
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11 Responses

  1. Sorry for KA (Known Agenda) being stuck inside. O’Besos being talked about as the horse insiders like. Maybe Essential Quality will make it six in a row. Trainer says he just does what is asked of him and not more. Can you give us an update on Greatest Honour? Will he be back for Preakness? Bourbonic can be the Mine That Bird bomb that blows up the tote board. Like Zenyatta he will be closing from last as you point out. Also like Soup.

  2. We often disagree C, but not this time. All points well made and I think all the horses you mentioned are live.

    Sorry, no update on Greatest Honour, but that can wait post Derby. However, my understanding is that he will need a little more time than originally thought. Personally, I think the Travers would be more of a long range target for him.

    There’s something about that whole situation I don’t get. Did he take a bad step in a post Florida Derby workout, did he sustain an issue in the race that didn’t show itself until well after the event? Eventually the truth will out… maybe.

    1. Thanks. In a way I am pulling for EQ because I respect his unblemished (so far) record. It would be interesting to see HRC (Hot Rod Chas) run 2nd to him in a replay of BC Juvie. Unlikely to happen, I know, but Hot Rod Charlie really outran his odds last November. Completely agree with your sentiments above and all I really hope for is an incident free race with no Steward intervention. As for Bourbonic I was only joking as this year’s Wood was pretty lackluster. Would love to see him run well but not counting on it.

      1. C, Bourbonic had very good energy in recent breeze but, indeed, a very tall order. We all have our preferences but wouldn’t be shocked if about eight of these wound up in the circle.

  3. With regard to my two Derby choices exiting the prep races:

    -Known Agenda – not the post I wanted, and won’t sugar coat how hard it is to win on the dirt from the rail in a 20 horse field. There is one small point that should be mentioned however: as of 2020, they now have a 20 horse starting gate instead of the two gates put together, and the new gate has the field less spread out; according to the CD starter, this will mean that the horse that is in post 1 will now be starting from what used to be the 3 path in former Derby’s. That aside, it is still a rough post, and if Irad Ortiz works out a winning trip here, you might as well hold his Hall of Fame ceremony right there in the winner’s circle. The Eclipse award will certainly be sewn up in my opinion.

    -Highly Motivated – maybe a bit wide out there in 17, but I do love that he is right outside of Rock Your World. We might potentially see some real ‘race riding’ between Joel and Javier here. I am a bit troubled by the less than stellar report of his most recent morning appearance, and will be eagerly awaiting word on whether he looked better this morning; he got great reports previous to the last one.

    I’m sticking with these two horses (assuming a decent report on HM this morning), but will gear it more heavily towards HM and lighter on KA based on the draw. I do wish King Fury was just a bit more seasoned; I loved him last year, love the breeding, and will have a very small saver on him just in case; if he runs ok here and skips the Preakness, he will be seriously dangerous in the Belmont.

    1. Love both those horses, you’ve covered all the bases. I’ve changed my mind five times in 10 days, also waiting on latest from HM. O Besos had great breeze other day, flew around clubhouse turn…

          1. Subsequent to what I head from a top professional on the backside, Chad said this morning that he was “better today,” hinting that it takes time for him to recover from a breeze. Now all trainers are guilty of “trainer speak” but for this outfit, he doesn’t have to be “politic.” It’s been a great association…

            Where that leaves me, however? Confused…

    1. Wasn’t really quite sure how it would be accepted by our audience. Used to do these “think pieces” while at Newsday, back when, you know, newspapers were a thing everywhere. Glad you enjoyed, thanks for the note Richard. Will try it again sometime–although it looks like the movement to legalize recreational marijuana will be stopped in its tracks in Florida (smiley face here)

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