Field For May 1 Kentucky Derby Led By 2-1 Favorite, Essential Quality

The Kentucky Derby is coming up on Saturday May 1 from Churchill Downs and there are plenty of places in Virginia to wager the annual “Run for the Roses. Betting is available at any VA-Horseplay Off Track Betting Center in Henrico (Breakers), Chesapeake (Buckets) and Collinsville (The Windmill), at any Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Richmond, New Kent, Vinton, Hampton and Dumfries) and online via,, and Post time for the big race is 6:57 PM.

The field for the 147th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, May 1 at Churchill Downs, by post position, with morning-line odds, jockey and trainer:

1. Known Agenda, 6-1 (Irad Ortiz, Todd Pletcher) The impressive winner of the Florida Derby has not raced since that March 27 victory. The Curlin colt, with British blood on the bottom of his pedigree, stepped up at Gulfstream Park after earlier disappointments, including a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The rail draw could be an issue.

Known Agenda is the 6-1 third early favorite in the morning line.

2. Like the King, 50-1 (Drayden Van Dyke, Wesley Ward) Palace Malice colt earned his ticket with a victory in the Grade III Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park — a race accorded 100 qualifying points after Churchill Downs acquired the facility. Two of his three wins have come on the Turfway all-weather course, the other on the grass at Belterra Park. Ward has had a hot hand early in the season but this is his first Kentucky Derby starter. 

3. Brooklyn Strong, 50-1 (Umberto Rispoli, Danny Velazquez) Won the Grade II Remsen at Aqueduct, then finished fifth in the Grade II Wood Memorial and was one of the last to qualify for the Kentucky Derby after a raft of late defections. 

4. Keepmeinmind, 50-1 (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro) Another latecomer to the Derby field, he has the advantage of a win over the Churchill Downs track, which not all horses like, that in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last November. On the downside, his two starts as a 3-year-old were a sixth in the Grade II Rebel at Oaklawn Park and a fifth in the Grade II Blue Grass at Keeneland. 

5. Sainthood, 50-1 (Corey Lanerie, Todd Pletcher) Notched a second and a win in two maiden races in Florida in January and February, then earned a Derby spot by running second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks on the Turfway Park all-weather strip. The Mshawish colt is owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club, the combo that sent out 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. 

The Buckets OTB in Chesapeake is conveniently located in the Great Bridge area, in the Battlefield Shopping Plaza.

6. O Besos, 20-1 (Marcelino Pedroza, Greg Foley) Yet another who barely qualified for the Derby field with points from a fourth-place finish in the Grade II Risen Star and a third in the Louisiana Derby. Pedroza gets his first Derby ride aboard the Orb colt. 

7. Mandaloun, 15-1 (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox) Into Mischief colt won the Grade II Risen Star at Fair Grounds, then finished sixth, beaten more than 11 lengths, in the Louisiana Derby — a performance that still puzzles the trainer. He has been the post-time favorite in all five starts, won’t be in the Derby but isn’t without chances. 

8. Medina Spirit, 15-1 (John Velazquez, Bob Baffert) Baffert is seeking a record seventh Derby win and this colt is his last chance in this year’s race after a string of injuries and disappointments thinned his once voluminous herd of prospects. The Protonico colt won the Grade III Robert B. Lewis, then finished second in the Grade II San Felipe, 8 lengths behind stablemate Life Is Good, who would have been among the Derby favorites but for an untimely minor injury. Second in the Santa Anita Derby, losing ground late in his first try at 1 1/8 miles. 

9. Hot Rod Charlie, 8-1 (Flavien Prat, Doug O’Neill) Won the Louisiana Derby in his last start March. Raced on turf last year but blossomed when moved to the dirt, finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at odds of 94-1, just 3/4 length behind Essential Quality, then third in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis, just 3/4 length behind the winner, Medina Spirit. By Oxbow. 

Hot Rod Charlie, 8-1 early, enjoys a bath after an April 27 morning gallop.

10. Midnight Bourbon, 20-1 (Mike Smith, Steve Asmussen) Certainly the title sponsor of the race, Woodford Reserve, wouldn’t mind seeing this one in the winner’s circle. The Tiznow colt won the Grade III Lecomte at Fair Grounds, finished third in the Grade II Risen Star on the same course, then second to Hot Rod Charlie in the Louisiana Derby. 

11. Dynamic One, 20-1 (Jose Ortiz, Todd Pletcher) Union Rags colt took four tries to get his first win, then got home second in the Wood Memorial, just a head back of Bourbonic, after leading late. His record likely will depress his odds but he’s owned by some of the industry heavyweights and could be a viable long shot. 

12. Helium, 50-1 (Julien Leparoux, Mark Casse) Undefeated after three starts but the Ironicus colt’s resume nonetheless is about as light as his name. The first two wins came on the Woodbine all-weather course last fall. He earned his ticket to Louisville with a 15-1 upset win in the Tampa Bay Derby March 6. 

13. Hidden Stash, 50-1 (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver) Third in the Grade III Sam F. Davis and second in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby, the Constitution colt finished fourth, 10 lengths behind the winner, in the Grade II Blue Grass at Keeneland in his last start. Oliver would be the first woman to saddle a Derby winner should her colt turn things around. 

14. Essential Quality, 2-1 favorite (Luis Saez, Brad Cox) The 2020 juvenile champ and Breeders’ Cup winner, still undefeated after five career starts. He was all out to get by pacesetting Highly Motivated in the Grade II Blue Grass in his last start, winning by a neck. By Tapit, he is owned by Godolphin, the racing entity of Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, who has never won the Derby despite decades of trying. 

2-1 Derby choice Essential Quality in his stall at Churchill Downs.

15. Rock Your World, 5-1 (Joel Rosario, John Sadler) Attrition has been tough on California prospects during this year’s Derby preps and this Candy Ride colt is one of the survivors. Undefeated after three starts with a gate-to-wire upset win in the Santa Anita Derby in his last start. That was his first start on the dirt, too — a tactic the trainer said was part of the long-term plan. 

5-1 second Derby favorite Rock Your World exercises on April 27.

16. King Fury, 20-1 (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek) This one was seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and fifth in the Kentucky Jockey Club. His only previous start this year was a victory in the Grade III Lexington at Keeneland — the final points-scoring race for the Kentucky Derby. 

17. Highly Motivated, 10-1 (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown) Lost a heartbreaker to likely Derby favorite Essential Quality in the Blue Grass in his last start, leading until the final yards of the 1 1/8-mile race to miss by a neck. The Into Mischief colt will have to go another eighth of a mile in Louisville and will face more pace pressure as he seeks his third win in his sixth start. 

18. Super Stock, 30-1 (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen) Upset winner of the Arkansas Derby, only his second career win. Owned by a partnership including the trainer’s father, Keith Asmussen and his team said after the Oaklawn race he is peaking at the right time. A son of Dialed In. 

19. Soup and Sandwich, 30-1 (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse) Won two rather undistinguished races at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs before posting a second, 2 3/4 lengths back of Known Agenda, in the Florida Derby. By Into Mischief, there is some sentiment it would be fun to see his name on the roster of Derby winners. 

20. Bourbonic, 30-1 (Kendrick Carmouche, Todd Pletcher) Another sponsor favorite, this Bernardini colt will have to improve to be around at the end of the Derby. He dropped into the claiming ranks for his first win and then pulled a 72-1 upset win in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct to earn his spot in the Churchill Downs gate.