Kentucky Derby 2021 Picks, Analysis and Wagering Strategy


#8 MEDINA SPIRIT (Protonico/ Giant’s Causeway), 15-1

95 Beyer, 98 Brisnet, 120 Timeform

Pros: Never worse than second in five career starts, amazingly this is Bob Baffert’s only colt in the field, a stunning development given the hand he appeared to hold just a month ago. The Timeform speed figure he earned (120) when a distant second to stablemate Life Is Good (now off the trail) in the 8.5f San Felipe is the second fastest in the field around two turns, and his top Beyer and Brisnet speed figures stack up moderately against this group. He has a notable head to head victory over today’s foe Hot Rod Charlie in the 8.5f Robert Lewis, albeit by a diminishing neck. Figures to return to front-running tactics in a field that lost a lot of its other speed after chasing the pace a bit wide in the Santa Anita Derby, and will likely be the one they all have to catch for Baffert, just as Authentic was last year.

Cons: After being soundly beaten as even money favorite in his final prep by a colt that had never run over the dirt before, there’s concern that even 9f may be outside of his scope, as his best career Beyer (99) came in the 8f Sham back at that start of the year. He was not finishing well last out in the Santa Anita Derby, covering the final 3/8 in :38.98 and the final 1/8 in :13.25 while losing two lengths in the stretch, earning a low Brisnet Late Pace figure of 86. In fact, he has never run a late pace figure above 90 around two turns.

Conclusion: Is this Authentic all over again? This colt clearly needs the lead to win, but despite so much pace defection, it’s still difficult to envision a scenario where the extra furlong works to his benefit in such a large field. While the speed figures at shorter distances stack up well against a historically weak bunch, there isn’t a single statistical attribute that ranks on par with an average Derby winner. We’re looking elsewhere for win contenders, but given his tendency to battle, he’s not impossible to grab a piece of the board. In race like this, however, you’ve go to take a hard stand somewhere, so he won’t be on our tickets.

#10 MIDNIGHT BOURBON (Tiznow/ Malibu Moon), 20-1

96 Beyer, 98 Brisnet, 114 Timeform

Pros: Consistent type has never missed the board in seven career starts which give him as much bottom as any colt in this bunch, and also looms the most experienced, as five of those starts came in graded company. The pedigree seems suited for this distance, as the sire won the 10f Breeders’ Cup Classic twice, while the damsire boasts 2013 Derby dinner Orb as progeny. In a year of slower than normal speed figures, the 96 Beyer posted last out in the 9.5f Louisiana Derby is the fifth best in the field.

Cons: He has yet to win beyond 8.5f, finishing 3rd and 2nd over his last two starts as distances have increased, so 10f may be a bit further than he wants to go. The Brisnet Late Pace figures he earned those two races (83 and 88) don’t inspire a ton of confidence in terms of stamina despite his breeding. He will also have to overcome a six week layoff coming into this, and Louisiana Derby runners have not fared well in this event after that break, with Grindstone in 1996 the last Derby winner to come out of that race.

Conclusion: Having run 9.5f in the Louisiana Derby is probably an advantage against this field, even if he gave up a length and a half in the stretch to today’s foe Hot Rod Charlie while hanging on for 2nd place. Due to the strong distance breeding, we expect him to improve upon that effort; looks most likely of the two Brisnet “E” horses to hang around, and is likely to be overlooked at the windows despite astute pace jockey Mike Smith picking up the mount. Endorsable for the underneath spots in exotics at these odds, but hard to feel confident about a win at this longer distance.

#15 ROCK YOUR WORLD (Candy Ride/ Empire Maker), 5-1

100 Beyer, 101 Brisnet, 124 Timeform

Pros: Holds field the field high Beyer and Timeform speed figures for his surprising wire to wire romp in the 9f Santa Anita Derby when making his first career dirt start. That he was able to control the pace in that race from start to finish against the speedy Medina Spirit and then pull away from that one by two lengths in the stretch has to be seen as notable. Undefeated in three career starts, having won his first two on turf. Owns the field’s highest Average Winning Distance (AWD) composite (7.8/7.1) and Tomlinson Distance Rating (312), so the distance should not be an issue from a pedigree standpoint as this is arguably the single best-bred colt in the field for 10f. Joel Rosario picks up the mount, which many view as an upgrade from Umberto Rispoli.

Cons: Very lightly raced and inexperienced, with only three career races, all coming this year, and with only one of those on dirt. While visually impressive, the closing 3/8f fractions of the Santa Anita Derby (:38.53) leave a lot to be desired, and winning that one wire to wire means he has never experienced kickback. Even as the Santa Anita track tends to play that way, the Brisnet Late Pace figure of 92 is a red flag number for a win candidate from a historical perspective. Umberto Rispoli was robbed of the mount after winning three straight in the saddle, and sometimes the racing gods frown upon such decisions.

Conclusion: Was trainer John Sadler simply ducking Bob Baffert when he raced this colt on turf early in the year? Some of the pace defections certainly seem to help his chances, but this is a step up in class that asks a lot. Trends have been falling in recent years as the racing landscape has changed, but oh boy, this isn’t just three career races or the Apollo curse- it’s ONE career dirt race and now this is the Kentucky Derby. There is certainly no precedent for that. It also depends on one’s own interpretation of the Santa Anita Derby, and since we aren’t as high on Medina Spirit, it’s hard to view him as the strongest win candidate. Admittedly, this is probably the toughest colt in the field to figure out and the talent clearly appears limitless, so we won’t be losing any trifectas if he finishes second or third. Could carry the field a long way on the lead and pedigree could be tough to run down in the stretch, but will stand against for the win spot at these odds.

#19 SOUP AND SANDWICH (Into Mischief/ Tapit), 30-1

90 Beyer, 98 Brisnet, 112 Timeform

Pros: Wasn’t disgraced when finishing 2nd last out in the 9f Florida Derby, earning a 101 Brisnet Late Pace figure despite losing 1.25 lengths to winner Known Agenda in the stretch. He had won his two first two career starts before that at shorter distances. The Thoro Graph figure earned in that race was a “1 ¾”, good for the fourth best in this field, and faster than Rock Your World earned for the Santa Anita Derby win (“2 ¾”).

Cons: A bit short on experience having only three career starts, all of them as a three-year-old. The Beyer speed figure he earned last out around two turns leaves a lot to be desired; that figure would need to be significantly improved upon to hit the board here. The post position isn’t ideal for a colt that will want to be involved early.

Conclusion: Coming into the Derby unraced as a two-year-old and with limited starts may not be the disadvantage it once was considering today’s tendencies, but we’d still have liked to see him get another start beyond a mile before stepping up to Grade 1 company. There is improvement to be expected in his future but this race looks like too much too soon, although don’t be surprised to see this one hang around for awhile. Tyler Gafflione picks up the mount as John Velasquez jumps off to ride Medina Spirit.

#5 SAINTHOOD (Mshawish/ Lemon Drop Kid) 50-1

84 Beyer, 93 Brisnet, 111 Timeform

Pros: Was finishing well after a terrible trip in Jeff Ruby, bottled up in traffic throughout, coming home in :12.49 for the final 1/8. Bottom side of the pedigree consists of a damsire that won the Belmont Stakes at 12f, so the distance itself shouldn’t be an issue. Has never finished worse than 2nd, with a combined margin of defeat of one length.

Cons: Very lightly raced with only three career starts, and all as a three-year old. Still just a maiden winner, and would have to make a massive leap in both speed figures and Brisnet Late Pace figures (90) to compete here. Will have a fourth different jockey for his fourth career race as Corey Lanerie picks up the mount.

Conclusion: Big step up in class for a colt whose only career win came wire to wire with an easy lead. Figures to have to be fired out of the gate to have any real chance to make an impact. Not really on our radar at all.


#9 HOT ROD CHARLIE (Oxbow/ Indian Charlie) 8-1

99 Beyer, 96 Brisnet, 117 Timeform

Pros: The surprising runner-up at 90-1 in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has done nothing but validate that form since, pulling away to win the 9.5f Louisiana Derby by two lengths in his final prep. Having that win under his belt certainly looks like an edge on paper, as no other runners here have won or raced beyond the 9f distance. The closing fractions posted there (:37.54 and :12.48 for the final 3/8 and 1/8) stack up well, and the Beyer he earned (99) is the second highest in the field in a year of lower than average figures. Two-time Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill knows how to get colts into form and into the winner’s circle in this race.

Cons: The top Brisnet Speed figure of 96 for the Louisiana Derby is a historically low number for a win contender, and while Beyer and Timeform viewed that performance a bit more favorably, he still hasn’t shown any improvement from his breakout two-year-old campaign as far as Brisnet is concerned, and the Thoro-Graph numbers have plateaued at “3 ¾” since the Breeders’ Cup. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that his low Brisnet Late Pace figure of 90 for the final prep doesn’t seem to mirror the closing splits. While he has won at longer distances, his breeding doesn’t scream 10f, as both his sire and damsire Average Winning Distance (AWD) numbers are below 7.0f. He lost to Medina Spirit at 8.5f in his 2021 debut, but seemed to be getting to him late. It’s fair to question whether Doug O’Neill can maintain that Louisiana Derby form after a six week layoff, although that is the same time he used between the Lewis and the Louisiana Derby, so maybe six weeks is what his colt needs.

Conclusion: This is a hard-knocking, versatile, overachieving colt that is difficult to be against entirely for fear of being made a fool. However, as the likely third or fourth choice, it is equally hard to deny that there are drawbacks here, and it bears mention that Rosario won’t be aboard this time after having piloted the last two starts (no choice of his own, however) while Flavien Prat picks up the mount. He was the rider for Hot Rod Charlie’s worst career race, a 5th place effort on turf in his third maiden attempt. We will stand against for the win, but use underneath in trifectas.

#17 HIGHLY MOTIVATED (Into Mischief/ Warrior’s Reward) 10-1

96 Beyer, 102 Brisnet, 118 Timeform

Pros: Has posted three straight Brisnet speed figures of 102. In a field where no colt has run faster than a 102, he has done it three times, and also boasts a Throro-Graph figure of “1 ¼” that is bested only by today’s favorite, so his speed and ability isn’t deniable. He battled gamely down the thrilling stretch run of the 9f Blue Grass last out, and wasn’t disgraced when beaten by a neck by Essential Quality that day. That race as a whole looks like a strong one in our eyes, and this Chad Brown charge finished impressively in defeat, coming home in :36.42 for the final 3/8 and 12.63 for the final 1/8, earning a Brisnet Late Pace figure of 105, good for the fourth best in the field. Runs third off the lay for a trainer who has done well getting horses like Good Magic, Normandy Invasion and Practical Joke to turn in peak performances in this race at that same stage. Has never missed the board in five career starts with Javier Castellano, who retains the mount again today, in the saddle for all of them.

Cons: While he is the only colt in the field besides the favorite without any historical red flags, there is still concern about his ability to get the 10f distance, as only one of three colts with sire and damsire AWD numbers below 7.0, and having only contested one race around two turns. A bad start cost him in his 2021 debut when 3rd in the 8f Gotham. No colt has ever won from Post #17, but while we view that as more of an anomaly than a statistical red flag, it is far from an ideal post for his running style.

Conclusion: Any supporter of the favorite would be hard pressed to completely ignore him, and it’s notable that the 105 he posted when stretching out to 9f for the first time was the best Late Pace figure of his career. He received an easy lead in that race, essentially falling into it by default, but isn’t one that has to be on the engine early. From a pure speed figure perspective, this looks like the smartest value play in the field. These Into Mischiefs may begin to start outrunning their pedigree as Authentic did last year, and while we wish this was more strength on the bottom side, we still view this one as a must use in the 2nd and 3rd spots of exotics, and with a shot to pull the upset.

#2 LIKE THE KING (Palace Malice/ Corinthian)

86 Beyer, 94 Brisnet, 110 Timeform

Pros: Runs third off the lay for Wesley Ward, who wins with 24% of his entrants in that stage of their form cycle. Reasonably bred for the distance, with a Belmont winning sire of the highly successful Mr. Prospector sire line. Won the Jeff Ruby Stakes at 9f on the all-weather track at Turfway last out, closing 1.5 lengths in the stretch to post a 95 Brisnet Late Pace figure.

Cons: Aside being easily beaten in career debut, he’s done most of his running on polytrack and turf. The speed figures he earned in those events pale in comparison to the main contenders here. It would take quite the leap of faith to presume those numbers will improve switching back to dirt based on prior efforts over that surface.

Conclusion: If it’s difficult to get excited about a turf horse with one great dirt race, imagine how hard it is to get excited about a poly horse with two terrible ones. Toss.

#12 HELIUM (Ironicus/ Thunder Gulch)

84 Beyer, 93 Brisnet, 109 Timeform

Pros: Winner of the 8.5f Tampa Bay Derby back in early March is undefeated in three career starts for trainer Mark Casse, and derives from the Mr. Prospector sire line, which we discuss more below. Has shown ascending Brisnet speed figure progression of 84-86-93 in those three starts.

Cons: Lots of trends are going against him here in combination, including having never raced at 9f, not having raced for eight weeks coming into this, and having only three career starts with only one of them coming around two turns or on dirt. The speed figures earned for the Tampa Bay Derby win are the lowest figures across the board for any prep win.

Conclusion: Simply impossible to support with any conceivable logic. Lack of bottom will likely lead him to be in requirement of an oxygen tank instead of a helium tank after 10f, although if he does get the helium he will be talking funny with a super high-pitched horse voice, similar to the screams of those that bet on him tearing up their tickets. TOSS.

#3 BROOKLYN STRONG (Wicked Strong/ Medaglia D’Oro)

Beyer, 88 Brisnet

Pros: Won the 9f Remsen as a two-year old over the slop with what would be a field high Brisnet figure had it happened this year (108), beating today’s foe and third choice Known Agenda. The breeding seems well suited for this distance.

Cons: Took awhile to return to competition after the Remsen win, and didn’t look good at all in his lone start this year after that layoff, finishing 5th in arguably the worst 9f prep, the Wood Memorial. The speed figures came up poorly across the board in that race, but some runners did post respectable Brisnet Late Pace figures. The 87 figure he earned there isn’t great at all, and the final 3/8 fraction of :40.01 is the very worst of the 20 entered here.

Conclusion: Squeaking into this event at the 11th hour isn’t usually what we want to see; this colt has not been pointed here and clearly hasn’t regained his best form. Being caught near the rail inside of the other speed can’t be viewed as ideal. Given his back form, crazier things have happened (maybe?), but he can’t be viewed as a serious contender off of his last. Perhaps moves up on an off track, but only for true bomb seekers.


#14 ESSENTIAL QUALITY (Tapit/ Elusive Quality), 2-1

97 Beyer, 102 Brisnet, 118 Timeform

Pros: Undefeated in five career starts, the 2020 two-year old champion has done nothing wrong to date and looms a deserving favorite against this group. Runs third off the layoff for Brad Cox, who wins with an impressive 28% of his entrants in that stage of their form cycle. He battled gamely in his last when winning the 9f Blue Grass in his first try at that distance, sitting a half length off a moderate pace and winning the stretch duel despite some leg paddling and coming home in an impressive :36.32 for the final 3/8, the fastest in the field. That earned a 106 Brisnet Late Pace figure. The Thoro-Graph figure of “0” earned for that effort is also the best among this group by a wide margin. All systems go with Luis Saez in the saddle again.

Cons: There aren’t any historical red flags here. If we are going to nit pick, it’s hard to view a colt who has never run faster than a 97 Beyer as a prohibitive favorite in a 20 horse field. But, he’s undeniably the most accomplished and the one to beat.

Conclusion: Brad Cox has every right to win his first Derby here, but can this son of Tapit take a step forward? This is a versatile and accomplished colt who can win races from well off the pace, right up on it or anywhere in between, and even holds a maiden win over the Churchill Downs track. There’s no glaring reason to go against him on top so we won’t in multi-race or exotic wagers, but the feeling is that this isn’t a year to chalk out on betting the favorite to win, place or show at these odds. He simply doesn’t tower over the field the same way that a colt like American Pharoah or Justify did at similar odds.

#1 KNOWN AGENDA (Curlin/ Byron) 6-1

94 Beyer, 101 Brisnet, 113 Timeform

Pros: Last out winner of the 9f Florida Derby has raced four times at that distance, winning three of them, with the only loss coming over the slop. No other colt has even won twice at 9f or beyond. A descendent of the highly successful Mr. Prospector sire line which has won 15 of the last 29 editions of the Kentucky Derby, this is a well-bred colt in terms of stamina, with one of the greatest 10f horses of the last two decades as his sire and a female family that explodes with distance influences. The closing Florida Derby fractions of :36.66 for the final 3/8 and :12.84 for the final 1/8 bear that out, as well as the field high 112 Brisnet Late Pace figure earned in that win. Racing inside and behind horses while taking kickback likely provided great experience for this test from the furthest inside post of all, and it helps that the colts to his outside don’t figure to be involved in the early pace at all. He has shown impressive improvement since adding blinkers after his first start this year, with a Brisnet speed figure progression of 82-94-101, and a last out Thoro-Graph figure of “1 ¾” that ranks third best in the field. Irad Ortiz, who has piloted the last two wins, and who might be the hottest jockey on the planet at the moment, retains the mount for Todd Pletcher.

Cons: The Beyer people didn’t love the Florida Derby, and attributed only a 94 speed figure to the winner. That would be the lowest top Beyer figure for a winner since Nyquist in 2016, and the second lowest figure over the last ten runnings. Pletcher didn’t seem thrilled about drawing the dreaded one hole, although recent gate reconfigurations at Churchill may diminish that disadvantage. The relatively low Tomlinson Distance Rating of 249 is a real head scratcher, but bears mention.

Conclusion: Much will be made about the rail post, which has garnered negativity on an almost mythical level at this point. Other post positions have been far less successful and less accomplished closers like Lookin At Lee have run 2nd in this race at 30-1 after enjoying ideal ground-saving trips from the rail as recently as 2017. While we are hard pressed to endorse a 94 Beyer as the top selection in a normal year, this is far from that, with only one colt in the field having run a triple digit figure anyway. This is simply the colt with the most upside that is progressing the most steadily, and we have long been proponents of Curlin progeny improving with each start. This colt is in the right hands, is well-aimed, has the right running style, and will win this race with a similar improvement progression. The pick, post position be damned.

#11 DYNAMIC ONE (Union Rags/ Smart Strike), 20-1

89 Beyer, 94 Brisnet, 106 Timeform

Pros: Strong closing move after a rough trip when 2nd last out in the 9f Wood Memorial earned a 103 Brisnet Late Pace figure, above the average for a Derby winner, so the stretch to 10f should be beneficial. Has been outworking stablemate Bourbonic, who just narrowly edged him in that race, and he earned the better Thoro Graph figure of “2” than that one did, good for fifth best in the field.

Cons: Only a maiden winner, and it took four starts over two calendar years to achieve that feat. The Wood Memorial continues to look like a strange race, with slow raw closing fractions (:39.11 for the final 3/8) contradicted by strong late pace figures. One thing isn’t in dispute- the speed figures across the board for that race came back extremely poorly.

Conclusion: More on the Wood Memorial race follows below, but this is a colt that has just one career win in five starts, all against extremely weak company relative to this field. The feeling here is that those runners are more superfecta fillers than trifecta fillers, in a best-case scenario.

#7 MANDALOUN (Into Mischief/ Empire Maker) 15-1

98 Beyer, 100 Brisnet, 113 Timeform

Pros: Has a win over the Churchill Downs dirt, and if you can find an excuse for the 6th place clunker last out in the Louisiana Derby (good luck), it’s worth noting that the 98 Beyer he earned while winning the 9f Risen Star before that is the third highest figure in the field. Reports from the track in regard to his workout pattern have been extremely positive.

Cons: In two tries at 9f and beyond, the Brisnet Late Pace figures he earned of 88 and 71 don’t inspire much confidence in terms of ability to get this 10f distance. Until Authentic won the two biggest 10f races in the nation last year, progeny of Into Mischief were always a virtual toss in this event. The six-week layoff since the Louisiana Derby is a historical obstacle as well, although perhaps it will give trainer Brad Cox the needed time to sort out the cause of that debacle, for which he has yet offer any public reasoning.

Conclusion: Even if bettors are able to find an excuse for his last, it bears mention that no colt that finished 5th or worse in his final prep has won the Derby since Needles in 1956. However, there is back form here that suggests he could hit the board by running back to prior efforts. Best guess on our end is that he was simply a bit too close to a fast pace in the Louisiana Derby. If Flourent Geroux can settle back behind the fray this time, it could pay dividends.

#18 SUPER STOCK (Dialed In/ Closing Argument) 30-1

92 Beyer, 97 Brisnet, 116 Timeform

Pros: Upset winner of the 9f Arkansas Derby last out enjoyed a perfect setup with two speed horses dueling on the lead and fading late. Has plenty of bottom, with a field-high eight career races; that one was his first victory since August 2020, with four races in between.

Cons: Arguably the single worst bred colt in the field for classic distances, with sire and damsire AWDs coming in at 6.5 and 6.3 respectively. Not surprisingly, the Arkansas Derby did not come back as a fast race figure wise, but perhaps what is surprising is how truly slow the late pace in that race was even for the closers. This upset winner managed to win while covering the final 3/8 in just :39.27, the second slowest in the field, earning just an 86 Brisnet Late Pace figure.

Conclusion: Between the closing fractions, accompanying late pace figures, speed figures and pedigree concerns, this colt has the most red flags of any runner in this field, and cannot be endorsed on any level.


#20 BOURBONIC (Bernardini/ Afleet Alex), 30-1

89 Beyer, 94 Brisnet, 104 Timeform

Pros: Upset winner of the 9f Wood Memorial at 70-1 last out, this royally bred Todd Pletcher trainee earned a 109 Brisnet Late Pace figure for that effort while closing into slow fractions, which ranks as the second highest late pace number in the field. Has won three of last four after adding blinkers, albeit against questionable company.

Cons: That race as a whole came back astoundingly bad across the board from a figure standpoint, with the lowest winning Beyer, Brisnet and Timeform numbers of any major prep, and it really isn’t even close.

Conclusion: One could argue that the runner up in the Wood Memorial, today’s foe Dynamic One, ran the better race that day after a tough trip, and their respective Timeform figures bear that out. That one has also been outworking him recently. There are just a lot of question marks here, and we are inclined to throw out the runners from that race entirely for trifecta purposes.

#6 O BESOS (Orb/ Soto)

96 Beyer, 94 Brisnet, 113 Timeform

Pros: Final 3/8 split in Louisiana Derby of :37.29 is the fourth fastest in the field, earning a moderate Brisnet Late Pace figure of 96. Sire won this race in 2013 in a field similarly lacking in accomplishment in terms of speed figures. Shows ascending Brisnet speed figures in all five career races, with a progression of 76-82-88-91-94; no other colt in this field can say that. Notably, the Thoro-Graph number of “2 ¾ “ he earned for the Louisiana Derby was the best figure in what was a pretty strong race, and is tied for the sixth best last out number in the field.

Cons: Although the Brisnet figures are all in ascension, they are still rather slow relative to the rest of the field. The six-week layoff is a concern historically, but all of the Louisiana Derby runners will have to contend with that, and whether that race moving to 9.5f begins to change that trend remains to be seen as the years progress. Bottom of the pedigree is woof (6.8 AWD), confirmed with a field low Tomlinson Distance Rating of 225, and the connections aren’t your usual suspects in the Derby winner’s circle. Has never won a race longer than 6f.

Conclusion: Steadily improving sort needs a rail trip and a hot pace. The post position draw did him a favor in that regard, but the defections of Caddo River and Concert Tour did the opposite as one of just two Brisnet “S” types in the field. Notably galloped out past the winner in the Louisiana Derby and well beyond Midnight Bourbon, who nabbed the place spot in a photo. Has a bit of wise-guy feel, but will most definitely be coming late and looms a candidate to impact the trifecta, if a bit of a stretch to wear the roses.

#13: HIDDEN STASH (Constitution/ Smart Strike), 50-1

83 Beyer, 93 Brisnet, 107 Timeform

Pros: Has a win at Churchill when breaking his maiden in third try, and is bred well enough to get this distance.

Cons: Seems heavily up against it from a speed figure perspective with the lowest two turn Beyer in the field. Brisnet Late Pace figure (94) isn’t a red flag but is quite middling, and from a visual aspect this is a colt that seems to hang and not finish races well. Finished 2nd behind today’s foe Helium two back in the 8.5f Tampa Bay Derby and a well beaten 4th by double digit lengths last out in a strong running of the Blue Grass Stakes.

Conclusion: One of several colts in this field that is difficult to make a strong case for inclusion anywhere in exotic bets. Cannot use.

#4: KEEPMEINMIND (Laoban/ Victory Gallop), 50-1

92 Beyer, 86 Brisnet

Pros: His lone career win came over the Churchill Downs dirt as a two-year-old in the 8.5f Kentucky Jockey Cup. Runs third off the lay for Robertino Diodoro, who wins with 24% of his entrants in that stage of their form cycle. Three-year old campaign was thrown off completely by the winter weather at Oaklawn setting his training regimen into chaos and flux, so he does have some excuse for the poor form lines to start the year.

Cons: Was absolutely nowhere in two starts this year, finishing a combined 24 lengths behind the winners. Final fractions of :14.13 and :39.22 for the final 1/8 and 3/8 when 5th in the 9f Blue Grass last out are among the worst in the field, and the 77 Brisnet Late Pace figure is the very lowest in the field. Closer seems unlikely to get an ideal pace setup with so much pace defection, and with late pace figures like that, it hardly matters.

Conclusion: Sneaks into the field off of points earned in two-year old races, but appears off form at the moment, valid excuses or not. It bears mention that he’s lost head to head to today’s foes Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie, Super Stock, Highly Motivated and Hidden Stash. That’s a pretty long list, but he did run 3rd beaten only two lengths by the former two in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Considering he hasn’t run back to his two-year-old form, this is a big ask, but you could do a lot worse for 50-1 shot.


WIN CANDIDATES: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated

2ND PLACE CONTENDERS: Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie

TRIFECTA BOMBERS: O Besos, Midnight Bourbon

NOT USING BUT WORTH CONSIDERING: Mandaloun, Medina Spirit, Soup and Sandwich, Dynamic One, Bourbonic

TOSSING: Keepmeinmind, Sainthood, Super Stock, Helium, Hidden Stash, Brooklyn Strong, Like The King


  1. Known Agenda
  2. Essential Quality
  3. Highly Motivated
  4. Rock Your World
  5. O Besos
  6. Hot Rod Charlie
  7. Midnight Bourbon
  8. Medina Spirit
  9. Mandaloun
  10. Soup And Sandwich
  11. Dynamic One
  12. Bourbonic
  13. Sainthood
  14. Keepmeinmind
  15. Super Stock
  16. Helium
  17. Hidden Stash
  18. Brooklyn Strong
  19. Like The King


$0.50 Trifecta ($30):

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated/

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated, Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie/

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated, Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie, O Besos, Midnight Bourbon

$1.00 Trifecta ($12):

Known Agenda, Essential Quality/

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated, Rock Your World/

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated, Rock Your World

$0.50 Trifecta ($6):

Known Agenda, Essential Quality/

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated,

Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Highly Motivated, Rock Your World, Hot Rod Charlie

$1 Exacta Box ($2):

Known Agenda, Highly Motivated

$12 Win, $24 Place- Known Agenda

$ 2 Win, $4 Place, $8 Show- Highly Motivated

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