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Kentucky Derby: Necessary hopes to make history for a local coach

Date posted: May 1, 2021, 08:07 am

Last Updated: May 1, 2021, 04:46 h.

Steve Bittenbender

This is one of the most incredible statistics in all sports. In the previous 146 Kentucky Derby races, the Louisville-based coach never won the race. Brad Cox hopes to change that.

Kentucky Derby Essential Quality
Essential Quality is going through morning training at Churchill Downs on April 20. On Saturday it will likely be a favorite in the 147 Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Coady Photography / Churchill Downs)

Cox will have two entries for Saturday's Class 1 derby, including the likely favorite, the undefeated 2-year-old Essential Quality champion. He has won several Breeders' Cup races in his career, but never the Triple Crown race. In fact, Essential Quality and Mandaloun are his first Derby horses.

"I'm not too nervous yet, I'm just excited," said Cox, who grew up just blocks from the historic Churchill Downs. "This week has been a lot of fun and I'm really excited to be a part of it in this role."

Expect that to change as 6:57 pm ET fasting time approaches.

Essential Quality is not the only undefeated horse in square 19, but he is the most talented horse. Last year he won two 1st degree races, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. This year he won 2 Derby races, Southwest 3rd in the mud in Oaklawn Park and 2nd in the Blue Grass in Keeneland.

Blue Grass is one of the seven preparatory Derby races where the winner will receive 100 points to qualify for Run for the Roses. The stallion Tapita is the only favorite to win one of these races.

Luis Saez will travel to the Essential Quality, which will depart from Gate 14 on Saturday night.

"I think this will be a good place," Cox said. "He has good tactical speed, which will allow him to take a good position from there."

Three that are likely to challenge basic quality

Quirky Churchill Downs Mike Battaglia made Essential Quality a 2-1 favorite of the morning matchday, but his chances are likely to decline when Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale bets his millions on him. He has already put a $ 500,000 of his scheduled bet for Friday.

A large field means almost anything can happen. But Essential Quality's biggest rival is arguably in the gate alongside its. John Sadler trains Rock Your World, another undefeated stallion who won in class 1 of the Santa Anita Derby. It was only his third race and the first on gravel.

However, Sadler also decided to switch jockeys, driving with Joel Rosario over Umberto Rispoli.

Make no mistake, Umberto Rispoli is a great rider, said Sadler, who is also looking for his first Derby win. “He won Santa Anita stakes for me in the last two weekends and we've won many races together. But the analytics with Joel is so strong that I just couldn't miss the opportunity. Of course, I hope everything will work out. "

Rock Your World is bursting at 15 and taking a 5-1 morning rate.

Another top contender is the Known Agenda, which has 6-1 odds on the morning lane. However, the Todd Pletcher-trained Florida 1st Derby winner drew an inside goal. This means he will need a hard start to avoid being crowded at the railing by his 18 competitors.

"Of course, we weren't counting on that," said Pletcher. “But of course it's one of the things you can't control. Thanks to the new (20 - gate) we hope that everything will turn out better than it was in the past and the fast will not be so bad. "

Irad Ortiz gets a mount.

Hot Rod Charlie will be eliminated from ninth place. He has only two career wins in seven starts but won the Louisiana Derby in March. Flavien Prat rides a colt trained by Doug O'Neill, whose odds for the morning line are 8-1.

Value in the next Derby category (

The next tier of horses is the ones that might be able to win an upset Derby win and should be taken into account for exotic bets as well.

Highly motivated, they drove all the way through Blue Grass until Essential Quality caught up with him in the final steps. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, he will break out of 16 this post after King Fury has been scratched and has morning queue odds of 10-1.

Mandaloun, another Cox entry, comes in a disappointing sixth place in the Louisiana Derby. But he has three wins, including a step by step win, in his five career starts. Ridden by Florent Geroux, Mandaloun's course for the wounded line is 15-1.

Finally, you can never count Bob Baffert in the Kentucky Derby, especially since he has won the race six times. He will take his record seventh place with Medina Spirit, who finished second behind Rock Your World in Santa Anita and was at the box office in all five starts.

John Velazquez receives a call from Medina Ghost who breaks away from the eighth fast and has a 15 - 1 morning course.

The full box can be found here.

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