Todd Pletcher is a two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and he is likely to have four runners in the 2021 edition.
He is best known for winning the Kentucky Derby in 2010 with Super Saver and in 2017 with Always Dreaming. However, given how many runners he has lined up (40+), his success hasn’t translated at Churchill Downs.
This year could be different, so we look at his four contenders. Leading the way is Known Agenda, who won the Florida Derby. His other runners aren’t well-fancied in online betting markets, but they’re not without a chance.
The Kentucky Derby will be televised by NBC. It will air from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.
Form: Six starts, three wins, one second, and one third.
Feature win: Grade 1 Florida Derby
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Projected odds: +1000
Analysis: Known Agenda has been set the same path as Always Dreaming. The son of Curlin scored a win at Gulfstream before winning the Florida Derby, which was the recipe for Pletcher’s past success in the Kentucky Derby.
He is an improving 3-year-old who didn’t show much when running third behind Brooklyn Strong in the Remsen last season, but has come on greatly.
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 13, 2021
Known Agenda was too good for Greatest Honour in the Florida Derby and that should be a good form guide. It was a top-quality win and we’re not surprised he has firmed in Kentucky Derby betting markets.
He might not be the first horse on everyone’s ticket, but we can see Known Agenda finishing in the money.
Form: Six starts for three wins and one second placing.
Feature win: Grade 1 Wood Memorial
Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche
Projected odds: +1500
Analysis: Bourbonic caused a stir when winning the Wood Memorial at big odds and it could be a similar case on May 1.
The son of Bernardini won at odds of 72-1, which didn’t completely surprise Pletcher, who was hoping rather than expecting.
“We were hoping something would come together, and we always thought he had potential to step up,” the trainer told the Courier Journal. “It was good to see him do it.”
He is a three-time winner from only six starts, so he has the same win-rate as Known Agenda. However, repeating that effort will be much harder in the Kentucky Derby.
The Wood Memorial was run to suit and there is nowhere to hide at Churchill Downs. He will likely be under pressure approaching the turn and will do well to keep in touch.
Due to Bourbonic’s win in one of the best lead-up races, we expect plenty of bettors to feature him in selections. We wouldn’t go against that, but a win would be a shock.
Form: Five starts for one win and two second placings.
Feature run: Grade 1 Wood Memorial second placing
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Projected odds: +2200
Analysis: Dynamic One is a projected +2200 runner for Pletcher. He enters the Kentucky Derby with a similar form to stablemate Bourbonic after finishing second in the Wood Memorial.
He looked likely to win down the stretch but was caught by his stablemate, but the fitness helps for May 1. Dynamic One will likely sit out the back and hope there’s early pressure up front. If the race pans out as expected, he could finish over the top.
Our concern with the colt is that he’s a one-race winner. That came in maiden company at Aqueduct, but his first three maiden starts didn’t come against easy fields.
He finished second behind Greatest Honour at Gulfstream Park, so his form reads well enough to figure in the finish.
However, of the four Todd Pletcher-trained runners in the Kentucky Derby, he would be our third pick.
Form: Three starts for one win and two second placings.
Feature run: Grade 3 Jeff Ruby second placing
Projected odds: +4000
Analysis: The fourth and final runner for Pletcher is Sainthood, a lightly raced colt for China Horse Club.
He exited maiden grades when winning at Fair Grounds before earning a start in the Grade Jeff Ruby where he didn’t get much luck. He couldn’t find much room in the straight before getting checked at a crucial stage.
To his credit, Sainthood battled back to finish second, which was enough to squeak into the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
We can’t have him in our selections, but he is an interesting runner.