As the calendar turns to the month of April, a final round of preps races will finalize the actual 20-horse field for this year’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1.
The first Saturday in April is the biggest day left on the 2021 Kentucky Derby Trail with a trio of major graded events for this year’s class of three-year old Thoroughbreds. This is a coast-to- coast affair starting with the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.
The next prep is in Kentucky at Keeneland Racecourse with the running of this year’s Bluegrass Stakes. Later in the day on the West Coast, the Santa Anita Derby highlight’s Saturday’s card at Santa Anita Park.
2021 Wood Memorial Odds and Picks
Track – Aqueduct Racetrack
The Wood Memorial is a Grade 2 stakes race open to three-year old Thoroughbreds. This year’s event offers a total prize purse of $750,000 along with Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the top four horses. The presenting sponsor for this 1 1/8 mile-run on dirt is Resorts World Casino.
With an expected field of 10 entries, my top choice in this race is Weyburn coming off his recent victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at this same track. Trained by James Jerkens, the home track advantage gives this Pioneer of the Nile sired colt the inside edge in a very competitive field.
Prevalence should open as the morning line favorite and Brooklyn Strong is another colt to watch this Saturday at Aqueduct.
This year’s Bluegrass Stakes has a total prize purse of $800,000 plus Kentucky Derby qualifying points. This Grade 2 event is open to three-year old Thoroughbreds and it will contested over 1 1/8 miles on the dirt track at Keeneland.
The field is set for this race with nine contenders listed as entered. All eyes will be on Essential Quality as the early favorite to win this year’s Kentucky Derby on most horse betting futures boards.
Trained by Brad Cox, this Kentucky-bred colt was a champion two-year old after winning last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He won this year’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in his three-year old debut. Jockey Luis Saez will once again be on board.
A few other top contenders poised to round out the top three finishers in this race are Keepmeinmind and Tarantino.
The 2021 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby is sponsored by Runhappy with a $750,000 prize purse and Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Open to three-year old Thoroughbreds, the race covers 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita’s dirt track.
The featured Kentucky Derby prep of the day has 10 contenders listed as probable. The colt at the top of this list would be trainer Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit as the likely favorite on the morning line. This Florida-bred colt has past experience racing at this track with second-place runs in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.
The son of Protonico finished behind Life is Good in both of those races but that prized three- year old is not in Saturday’s field. Medina Spirit did win this year’s Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 30.
If you are looking for a pair of colts to round out the Top 3 in this race, you can add Roman Centurion and The Great One to the list.
A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites. I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.
It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.
The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.
My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.
I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.