Essential Quality Draws Post 14, Installed As 2-1 Favorite In 147th Kentucky Derby

Morning line favorite Essential Quality (2-1) has drawn post position 14 for the 147th edition of the Kentucky Derby. The undefeated juvenile Champion has won all five of his starts, including gutting out a win after stretch-long battle in his final prep over Highly Motivated in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes. A homebred son of Tapit for Godolphin, Essential Quality will be ridden by Luis Saez and is the first Derby starter for reigning champion trainer Brad Cox.

The Kentucky Derby will go as the day’s 12th race with a 6:57 p.m. post time. NBC will provide live coverage from 2:30-7:30 p.m.

In addition to Essential Quality, Cox will have one other runner in the starting gate: Juddmonte’s Mandaloun (15-1). Winner of the Risen Star (G2), Mandaloun will be ridden by regular pilot Florent Geroux and break from post seven.

The odds were 7-1 that trainer Todd Pletcher, with four Kentucky Derby contenders, would draw both the rail and the outside post in the 20-horse field. As it happens, his G1 Florida Derby winner Known Agenda (6-1, third choice) drew the inside under Irad Ortiz, Jr. while longshot G2 Wood winner Bourbonic (30-1) is on the outside under Kendrick Carmouche.

“It certainly wasn’t the one we were hoping for,” Pletcher said of Known Agenda’s inside post.

Pletcher will have two other runners in the gate: Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One (20-1), and WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood (50-1). Jose Ortiz will be aboard Dynamic One and break from post 11 and Corey Lanerie has the mount on Sainthood and exit post five.

Second choice on linemaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line at 5-1 is Hronis Racing and David Talla’s undefeated Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Rock Your World.

Trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World has won all three of his starts with the first two coming on grass. Joel Rosario, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby on Orb, has the mount Saturday and will break from post 15.

Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing and Strauss Bros Racing’s Hot Rod Charlie is the fourth choice at 8-1.

Trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie captured the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his most recent start and closed 2020 with a runner-up finish to Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Flavien Prat, winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby on Country House, has the mount and will break from post nine.

One other trainer will be seeking to add his Kentucky Derby win total and it could be a record-breaker.

Bob Baffert is tied with Ben Jones for most Kentucky victories with six and he will shoot for No. 7 with Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit (15-1).

Runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby in his most recent start, Medina Spirit will be ridden by three-time Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez and break from post eight.

Another rider trying to add to his Kentucky Derby victory total is Mike Smith. Smith, a two-time winner including the most recent Triple Crown winner Justify, has the call on Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon (20-1) for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Runner-up in the Louisiana Derby, Midnight Bourbon will break from post 10.

Asmussen will have one other entrant in the race: Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Super Stock (30-1) who is owned by his father Keith Asmussen and Erv Woolsey. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount on Super Stock and will break from post 18.

  1. Known Agenda – Todd Pletcher – Irad Ortiz, Jr. (6-1)
  2. Like The King – Wesley Ward – Drayden Van Dyke (50-1)
  3. Brooklyn Strong – Danny Velazquez – Umberto Rispoli (50-1)
  4. Keepmeinmind – Robertino Diodoro – David Cohen (blinkers off**) (50-1)
  5. Sainthood – Todd Pletcher – Corey Lanerie (50-1)
  6. O Besos – Greg Foley – Marcelino Pedroza (20-1)
  7. Mandaloun – Brad Cox – Florent Geroux (15-1)
  8. Medina Spirit – Bob Baffert – John Velazquez (15-1)
  9. Hot Rod Charlie – Doug O’Neill – Flavien Prat (8-1)
  10. Midnight Bourbon – Steve Asmussen – Mike Smith (20-1)
  11. Dynamic One – Todd Pletcher – Jose Ortiz (20-1)
  12. Helium – Mark Casse – Julien Leparoux (50-1)
  13. Hidden Stash – Vicki Oliver – Rafael Bejarano (50-1)
  14. Essential Quality – Brad Cox – Luis Saez (2-1)
  15. Rock Your World – John Sadler – Joel Rosario (5-1)
  16. King Fury – Ken McPeek – Brian Hernandez, Jr. (20-1)
  17. Highly Motivated – Chad Brown – Javier Castellano (10-1)
  18. Super Stock – Steve Asmussen – Ricardo Santana, Jr. (30-1)
  19. Soup and Sandwich – Mark Casse – Tyler Gaffalione (30-1)
  20. Bourbonic – Todd Pletcher – Kendrick Carmouche (30-1)

The post Essential Quality Draws Post 14, Installed As 2-1 Favorite In 147th Kentucky Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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