Essential Quality favored in wide-open Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5

March 29th, 2021

Just under five weeks out from the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1), the fifth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool closed on Sunday with bettors seemingly uncertain which horse to establish as the favorite.

The first four pools saw the undefeated Life Is Good close as the individual favorite at prices dipping as low as 2-1. But Life Is Good recently dropped off the Derby trail with an ankle chip, throwing the Derby picture into disarray right before the final round of prep races.

In the end, bettors settled on the undefeated champion two-year-old Essential Quality as the 4-1 overall favorite. Runaway Rebel (G2) winner Concert Tour wasn’t far behind at 5-1, the same price offered by the All Other Three Year Olds option. The latter group includes Florida Derby (G1) winner Known Agenda, Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) hero Like this King, and UAE Derby (G2) winner Rebel’s Romance, the upset winners of Saturday’s major prep races.

Greatest Honour (9-1), third as the favorite in the Florida Derby, was the only other runner to close at single-digit odds. He was followed in the betting order by Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Hot Rod Charlie (12-1) and Robert B. Lewis (G3) winner Medina Spirit (13-1), with the latter looming as the Santa Anita Derby (G1) favorite following the defection of Life Is Good.

Completing the list of wagering options were Caddo River (33-1), Collaborate (36-1), Crowded Trade (38-1), Dream Shake (45-1), Helium (28-1), Hidden Stash (53-1), Highly Motivated (25-1), Hozier (44-1), Mandaloun (36-1), Midnight Bourbon (27-1), O Besos (50-1), Prevalence (21-1), Proxy (51-1), Risk Taking (31-1), Spielberg (46-1), and Weyburn (35-1). Big Lake was withdrawn after being sidelined with an injury.

In a testament to the wide-open nature of the current Kentucky Derby scene, the highest-priced offering in Pool 5 was Hidden Stash at 53-1. This stands in stark contrast to Pool 4, when bettors pounded Life Is Good down to 2-1 and allowed nine horses to close between 53-1 and 146-1.

All told, bettors wagered $369,695 in Pool 5, including $242,140 in win bets and $127,555 in exacta wagers.

The Kentucky Derby will take place at Churchill Downs on May 1, back to its traditional date after the 2020 renewal was postponed by four months due to COVID-19.

Program Horse Name ODDS
1 Big Lake SCR
2 Caddo River 33-1
3 Collaborate 36-1
4 Concert Tour 5-1
5 Crowded Trade 38-1
6 Dream Shake 45-1
7 Essential Quality 4-1
8 Greatest Honour 9-1
9 Helium 28-1
10 Hidden Stash 53-1
11 Highly Motivated 25-1
12 Hot Rod Charlie 12-1
13 Hozier 44-1
14 Mandaloun 36-1
15 Medina Spirit 13-1
16 Midnight Bourbon 27-1
17 O Besos 50-1
18 Prevalence 21-1
19 Proxy 51-1
20 Risk Taking 30-1
21 Rock Your World 31-1
22 Spielberg 46-1
23 Weyburn 35-1
24 All Other Three Year Olds 5-1