Life is Good absence upsets 2021 Kentucky Derby odds

On a day when VCU was beaten by COVID before they could try to beat Oregon, and when the epitome of durability LeBron James sat on the shelf indefinitely with a cranky ankle, horse racing was also caught in the sport wear whirlwind.

While Las Vegas settled the basketball drama, it also reacted to Life is Beautiful sharply exiting the Triple Crown trail for what turned out to be an ankle chip. Kentucky Derby the futures pools which are usually put on hold just before the Saturday preparation races were hastily closed hours earlier.

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When the lights came back on, the new favorites weren’t as expensive as Life Is Good before main owner Elliott Walden and coach Bob Baffert confirmed his setback.

At Circa Sports on Saturday night, the undefeated 2020 Youth Champion Essential Quality was reposted as a 9-2 co-favorite with Life Is Good’s stablemate Concert Tour. On Sunday morning, William Hill Nevada made Essential Quality his 4-1 favorite. These prices may have set a bar for higher value, certainly more than Life Is Good raised to 7-2.

The timing is also casting a growing shadow on the futures market. Where triple-digit odds might have been appealing at the start of winter, they’re absolutely repulsive with just 40 days to go to the Derby. As the days shrink, so does the horse list. And so are the chances.

While most of the attention was on the top of the Derby futures, four horses were added below over the past week.

Gretzky the great (80-1 approximately). With this name, he must have been brought up in Canada. Sure enough, this $ 295,000 Nyquist colt owned by Aron Wellman and Gary Barber won first year last summer on Woodbine turf. Almost four months after finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Gretzky The Great set the tone before finishing third as a tied favorite last month at Battaglia Memorial. It was on the synthetic course at Turfway Park, where coach Mark Casse nominated him for Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). This race could have the sweetest field of all “win and you participate” Derby preparations. Since getting to Louisville is half the battle, the relatively short term price is understandable.

Rebellious romance (Approximately 125-1). Co-favorite beaten in the Saudi Derby, this gelding trained in the United Kingdom by Dubawi is trying to regain its former form during the United Arab Emirates Derby (G2) on Saturday in Meydan. A native of Godolphin coached by Charlie Appleby, he was 3-for-3 before finishing fifth last month in Riyadh. His most recent victory came as a favorite in the UAE 2,000 Guineas, a one-mile race on the same track where he will run 1 3/16 miles this weekend. A win or maybe a second place would qualify him for the Kentucky Derby, where 16 former Derby riders from the United Arab Emirates tried and failed to finish better than fifth.

Disbursed (150-1 William Hill). Baffert dropped the name of this closest when track spokesperson Mike Willman asked if Medina Spirit would have a stable mate to keep him company during the April 3 race at the Santa Anita Derby (G1 ). As the fourth pick 8-1 after a six-month hiatus, the $ 210,000 colt Dialed In beat his young daughter two weeks ago in a six-stadium sprint in Santa Anita. Defunded was “the other Baffert” in this race, so he will play a familiar role next month.

Excellent timing (150-1 William Hill). Barely bought by a partnership led by Michael Dubb and Sol Kumin, this latecomer made a strong impression in his first race for his new trainer Chad Brown. Sent as favorite on March 14 to Aqueduct, he won by 6 3/4 lengths in the Damon Runyon Stakes of seven stages for the 3-year-old bred in New York. Dubb didn’t look like he wanted to rush Excellent Timing down the Triple Crown trail afterwards. “We want him to get used to winning,” he said. “I hope once we do that he can open a business.”

Rightandjust opened at Circa last week at 250-1, but was eliminated after finishing seventh in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

25 other names, including Life Is Good, were deleted in Las Vegas, leaving those 96 to Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada, displayed along with their Kentucky Derby futures odds:


100-1 Alain barow


125-1 Big Lake

250-1 Fern

250-1 breeze on by

100-1 50-1 Brooklyn strong

30-1 85-1 Caddo River

100-1 150-1 Rocket Man Candy

200-1 Capo Kane

100-1 Cazadero

22-1 30-1 Collaborate

9-2 6-1 Concert tour

200-1 cousin larry

200-1 Cowan

50-1 125-1 Crowded shop

150-1 Disbursed

The democracy

200-1 200-1 Donegal Bay

150-1 Clear the clock

70-1 60-1 Dream Shake

200-1 Of the day

55-1 125-1 Dynamic One

9-2 4-1 Essential quality

200-1 Ethical judgment

175-1 Excellent timing

200-1 Fire at will

300-1 225-1 Founder

I found my ball

75-1 Freedom fighter

300-1 Gagetown

200-1 150-1 Get his number

75-1 Ghazaaly

5-1 8-1 Greater honor

80-1 Gretzky the great

40-1 45-1 Helium

300-1 Herd immunity

65-1 28-1 Hidden hiding place

50-1 26-1 Very motivated

9-1 12-1 Hot Rod Charlie

35-1 25-1 Hozier

125-1 Hush of a storm

75-1 Jackie’s Warrior

100-1 Jaxon traveler


60-1 50-1 Keep in mind

25-1 28-1 Known agenda

300-1 110-1 Lamutanaatty

125-1 La Perouse

85-1 Pop Lemon

250-1 Friendly

175-1 Like the king

Law of luck

25-1 30-1 Mandaloun

45-1 16-1 Spirit Medina

30-1 24-1 Midnight Bourbon


225-1 Mr. Impossible

200-1 Never surprised

225-1 Next

125-1 125-1 Nicky the vest

200-1 125-1 Nova Rags

60-1 100-1 O Besos

200-1 125-1 Exceeded


300-1 Parnelli

300-1 Petruchio

24-1 14-1 Prevalence

150-1 The first factor

50-1 45-1 Agent

300-1 Real conversation

Rebellious romance

200-1 Flip the ring

400-1 Ricochet

22-1 24-1 Risk taking

40-1 50-1 Rock your world

100-1 75-1 Roman centurian

125-1 55-1 Rombauer

300-1 Magic of the track

300-1 scarred

250-1 Sitting on the road

200-1 175-1 Smiley Sobotka

100-1 85-1 Soup and Sandwich

30-1 35-1 Spielberg

200-1 Stage raider

200-1 250-1 Super Stock

125-1 200-1 Swiftsure

70-1 150-1 Tarantino

200-1 Merchant Team

125-1 The chosen Vron

100-1 75-1 The Great

300-1 250-1 The journey of a lifetime

95-1 125-1 Untreated

50-1 85-1 Weyburn

90-1 Double Whiskey

Willy Boi

250-1 Wipe the slate

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