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Kentucky Derby Preview: Bet the Favorite to Win

It’s that time of year again when we remind you that the Kentucky Derby is a “must-bet” event for any type of gambler. Why, you may ask? Two words (or three, depending on how you count): Pari-mutual wagering. In horse racing, you aren’t betting against the house. Sure, the house is going to get their take, but you are betting against every other person’s opinions.

And for horse racing, the Kentucky Derby brings out the masses to bet on what is deemed the greatest two minutes in sports. Grandmas, your teachers, and people who don’t even follow the sport double park their Buicks outside the OTB to make bets on the Kentucky Derby because one of their horses is named after their cat or deceased aunt. They went to a derby party once and liked it, so they continued the tradition. More money is tossed on hunches than in any other big wagering event this country has to offer.

This makes favorites who should be 1-1 on a Wednesday go off at 3-1 at Churchill Downs. This makes exotic wagers like trifectas pay in the tens of thousands of dollars. And this is why, with a little homework, there is money to be made wagering on the Kentucky Derby. But who wants to do homework? This race is simple, and betting with TVG has made it a must play! New account users to TVG will receive a $300 risk-free win bet (any horse to win, for your first wager).

TVG is available in 33 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey (under 4NJBets), New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota,  Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

You must be at least 18 years old to open a TVG account in most states.


Bet the Favorite- Essential Quality to Win.

Here are the facts by the historical numbers. Fifty-one favorites have won the Kentucky Derby in 146 attempts, not counting disqualified winners. This means the favorite wins more than a third of the time. You want recency? Since 2013, six favorites have crossed the finish line first, and yes we are counting Maximum Security, who was disqualified in 2019. And because the Kentucky Derby is expected to fill all 20 available horses for the field, this year’s Derby favorite will be going off at between 3-1 and 5-1.

Now onto the actual horses who will be the favorite. Essential Quality is coming into the Kentucky Derby undefeated. He was voted the two-year-old champion male horse of 2020 by winning the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. He’s won graded stakes over wet tracks, like Oaklawn this spring, and fast dirt tracks, like the Toyota Bluegrass at Keeneland. The Toyota Bluegrass really showed this horse’s form. At the top of the stretch turning for home, he was four lengths back of Highly Motivated and came out victorious. Highly Motivated is a very solid racehorse, trained by Chad Brown, who will also be racing in the Derby, and Essential Quality dug in and put that horse in its place by the time they reached the wire.


Need more convincing? Ok. Essential Quality’s jockey, Luis Saez just annihilated the Keeneland meet. Most, if not all, of the top jocks came to race in Keeneland’s short three-week spring meet, and Luis Saez won 30% of his mounts. He won 7 more races than any other jock. To say he is hot would be an understatement. Let’s also not forget who this horse is trained by: Brad Cox. Although not a household name to most, if you are in the racing industry, you know Brad Cox. He’s the new, up and coming trainer in North America. He’s won over $8 million in purses this year alone, and his horses’ win percentage this year is a healthy 27%. 

Last but not least, let’s talk about the looks of the horse. If data isn’t your cup of tea, then one glance at this future stud will make you think he is built like the super horses of the past. Did I forget to mention he’s gray? I’m no scientist, but I do know weather calls for cloudy skies on Saturday, and on a cloudy day, you always bet a gray.

Bet the Favorite- Essential Quality to Win.


Written by OutKick Bets

One Comment

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  1. U might be right but I’m leaning the 9 hot rod Charlie. He won the Louisiana derby and almost got to elusive quality at the breeders cup. Good post at the 9 hole. Seems to be progressing
    Other thought Rock your world (15) I believe the top Beyer in the group at 100.
    Bets 9
    Exacta box 9, 15
    Tri box 9, 15, 14 – adding in elusive quality.

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