Essential Quality early favorite to win Kentucky Derby

Essential Quality, trained by Brad Cox, is expected to be the favorite to win the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1.

That’s according to TwinSpires handicapper Ed DeRosa, who predicted the opening odds for the son of Tapit will be 7/2. TwinSpires is the official wagering partner of the Kentucky Derby.

“After Concert Tour’s disappointing third in the Arkansas Derby, there is now no doubt in my mind that undefeated champion Essential Quality will start the Derby a well-supported favorite,” DeRosa said Sunday in a news release.

“The combination of his unblemished record, fast times, local trainer and color (grey) will all add up to a large amount of public support.”

Essential Quality
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Undefeated To Date

Essential Quality has won all five of his career races, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

DeRosa pegged three other horses to start at single-digit odds, all at 8/1. They are Rock Your World, winner of the Santa Anita Derby; Highly Motivated, the Blue Grass Stakes runner-up; and Hot Rod Charlie, who was victorious in the Louisiana Derby.

“Choosing the favorite is easy, but finding a clear second pick is more difficult with a bunch of contenders all looking to go off around the 8/1 to 10/1 range,” he said.

Concert Tour is expected to begin at 12/1 odds, DeRosa said.


  • Essential Quality 7/2
  • Hot Rod Charlie 8/1
  • Rock Your World 8/1
  • Highly Motivated 8/1
  • Known Agenda 12/1
  • Concert Tour 12/1
  • Super Stock 14/1
  • Medina Spirit 18/1
  • Midnight Bourbon 20/1
  • Mandaloun 20/1
  • Like The King 30/1
  • Bourbonic 30/1
  • Soup and Sandwich 30/1
  • Dynamic One 30/1
  • Caddo River 30/1
  • Helium 40/1
  • Crowded Trade 40/1
  • Sainthood 40/1
  • Others 50/1+

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)