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'Derby Bill' Watson gives his Kentucky Derby picks

'Derby Bill' Watson gives his Kentucky Derby picks

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Essential Quality is 2-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby hopeful Rock Your World works out at Churchill Downs Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

'Derby Bill' predicts the Kentucky Derby

“Derby Bill” Watson was the official handicapper at Colonial Downs for six years and has been a professional handicapper for 24. Hear him, Nick Hahn, Frank Vespe, Mike Barone and Darrell Wood each Saturday from 10-11 a.m. on “Off to the Races” on WXGI or Watson’s Kentucky Derby superfecta: No. 15 Rock Your World; No. 1 Known Agenda; No. 8 Medina Spirit; No. 14 Essential Quality.

Horse Jockey Trainer Odds

1. Known Agenda Irad Ortiz Jr. Todd Pletcher 6/1

Pletcher catches the dreaded rail with the Florida Derby champ. Colt does have four starts at 1⅛ miles.

2. Like the King Drayden Van Dyke Wesley Ward 50/1

Grade 3 win at Turfway earns spot, same as 137th Derby champ Animal Kingdom. Sire won '13 Belmont Stakes.

3. Brooklyn Strong Umberto Rispoli Daniel Velazquez 50/1

$5,000 purchase by Brooklyn native owner has earned $225 large as last one in Derby.

4. Keepmeinmind David Cohen Robertino Diodoro 50/1

Sixth in Rebel Stakes, fifth in Bluegrass keeps solid 2-year-old background way out of my mind.

5. Sainthood Corey Lanerie Todd Pletcher 50/1

Owner combo won 2018 Triple Crown with Justify, but Sainthood title to anyone picking this longshot.

6. O Besos Marcelino Pedroza Gregory Foley 20/1

Daddy was 2013 Derby champ Orb and may be the only true closer here, with improving numbers every race.

7. Mandaloun Florent Geroux Brad Cox 15/1

Post-time favorite every race, until now. Last colt to win Derby off fifth or worse prep race was 1956 Needles.

8. Medina Spirit John Velazquez Bob Baffert 15/1

Baffert's 3-year-olds demand respect. This gritty fifth-stringer is steadily in the money, a rare value at 15/1.

9. Hot Rod Charlie Flavien Prat Doug O’Neill 8/1

Louisiana Derby champ rested. O‘Neill looking for Derby hat trick (2012 I’ll Have Another and 2016 Nyquist).

10. Midnight Bourbon Mike Smith Steven Asmussen 20/1

7-for-7 record in the moolah! Tiznow-sired switches to Mike Smith, who is adding his 27th Derby.

11. Dynamic One Jose Ortiz Todd Pletcher 20/1

Lost to 72/1 Bourbonic, with owner Mike Repole needing something stronger than his Vitamin Water.

12. Helium Julien Leparoux Mark Casse 50/1

Tampa Bay Derby winner was not Super Bowl-like vs. possibly weakest competition since 7-9 NFL division winner.

13. Hidden tash Rafael Bejarano Victoria Oliver 50/1

Female trainer and Syracuse basketball coach/owner looking for Cinderella Final Four finish.

14. Essential Quality Luis Saez Brad Cox 2/1

0-11 Derby record has the Sheik Mohammed Bin far from the ruler of Churchill Downs ... until now?

15. Rock Your World Joel Rosario John Sadler 5/1

First win on dirt was Santa Anita Derby, where 10 winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.

16. King Fury Brian Hernandez Jr. Kenneth McPeek 20/1

Lexington win has Curlin-sired colt rolling; has Virginia Derby/Oaks Champion trainer; two wins at Churchill.

17. Highly Motivated Javier Castellano Chad Brown 10/1

History says Bluegrass Stakes losers far better in Derby (Street Sense 2007 and Thunder Gulch 1995).

18. Super Stock Ricardo Santana Jr. Steven Asmussen 30/1

Owner Erv Woolsey has steered career of Arkansas Derby winner and country music great George Strait.

19. Sour and Sandwich Tyler Gaffalione Mark Casse 30/1

Owner on board with Campbell Soup Co. But must add some spice to be M'm! M'm! Good! vs. tougher field.

20. Boubonic Kendrick Carmouche Todd Pletcher 30/1

Stunned at 72/1 in Wood Memorial win. Does historic Calumet Farm has another Carmouche stunner in tank?

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