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Fastest Contenders: Top Five Winners of Kentucky Derby 2021

The Kentucky Derby has been around to give sports fans the thrill and entertainment ever since 1875. From that year on, the competition has been held yearly on the first Saturday of May. This competition is one of the highest-standing horse races worldwide, where twenty horses go head to head to determine who is the fastest of them all.

The annual event is now at its 147th running held at Churchill Downs. The contenders in this competition have shown some staggering play, keeping the crowd on their toes from top to finish. If you missed out on this year’s derby, worry not, and check out this list to find out the top five finishers who raced their way to the top during the Kentucky Derby 2021.

O Besos

Rank: 5th place

Jockey: Marcelino Pedroza

Trainer: George Foley

Finishing in fourth place in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes in February and finishing third place in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March has led the contender, O Besos, to be qualified for the Kentucky Derby 2021. With  Marcelino Pedroza as its jockey and George Foley as its trainer, O Besos’ team showed a strong performance, finishing fifth.

The Kentucky derby future predictions have been the talk of the town for many people who placed their bets on the coming horse racing. Indeed, people anticipate the top picks of the race in a fun and enjoyable manner.  O Besos entered the race with 20-1 odds, signifying that the horse’s chances of winning were slim. However, the contender kept on improving and crossed the wire in fifth place during the competition.

Essential Quality

Rank: 4th place

Jockey: Luis Saez

Trainer: Brad H. Cox

Essential Quality is deemed as people’s favorite and top choice for the Kentucky Derby with 2-1 odds, considering that he remained undefeated during his first five career races – making this racehorse one of the target opponents to defeat by other racers. 

During the competition, Essential Quality from the 14th post held fourth place in the rank.  While the undefeated thoroughbred racehorse turns up to be on track for reliable performance in the Kentucky Derby 2021, several other horses in the field that day were also capable of winning, so there indeed was no assurance for his win.

Hot Rod Charlie 

Rank: 3rd place

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill

This colt secured third place in the race. Both he and Essential Quality were closing on the outside, fighting to be the third finisher, but Hot Rod Charlie victoriously claimed the spot. Indeed, it was a nerve-wracking scene to witness as fans became thrilled to see how the race would end. 

Trainer Doug F. O’Neill has already won the Kentucky Derby back in 2012 and 2016. In addition to this, it is undeniable how Hot Rod Charlie’s trainer puts trust in him. Charlie is given a little more break between his races, which dramatically shows how his trainer takes good care of him.


Rank: 2nd place

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Brad H. Cox

Mandaloun has won the Risen Star Stakes, Pegasus Stakes, and Grade I Haskell Stakes in his racing career. Although the son of red-hot stallion Into Mischief comes off as a sixth-place finisher during the Louisiana Derby, he grabbed the second-place rank in the Kentucky Derby 2021. 

After their intense play, trainer Brad Cox notified the crowd in an interview that he was not dismayed by the results because Mandaloun did run; however, he just only came short, and it was nobody’s fault. Second place is still a solid rank, and the crowd got to watch the contenders with delight and excitement.

Medina Spirit

Rank: 1st Place

Jockey: John R. Velazquez

Trainer: Bob Baffert

The crowd went wild as Medina Spirit won the competition in a thrilling finish. It was one of the tightest derby finishes where Medina Spirit started the lead during the game and finished off by being just ahead of Mandaloun in a very close length.

Medina Spirit was under the radar and did not pick up much attention from the other racers, so no pressure was instilled. With that said, when the racehorse was the first to cross the finish line, Medina Spirit’s team leaped for joy as it gave trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Derby triumph and jockey John Velazquez his fourth.

In a Nutshell

Every year, thousands of people assemble to see the Kentucky Derby. It is not a surprise that the horseracing community is becoming more prominent day by day since it boosts the enthusiasm of sports fans worldwide because of its electrifying experience. Betting in horse races requires tons of research, analysis, and a dose of luck to determine the possible horse racing odds and results. That is why if you wish to attend derbies like this, you should explore the different contenders of the race, and keep in mind to look into next year’s predictions of the Kentucky Derby top picks to make sure you can place your bets on the ones you think could beat the odds.

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