Rock Your World Odds to Win the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Picks and Predictions
Outside of last year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby when Authentic won at a price of 8/1, the Derby hadn’t had much by way of a group of horses that are seemingly all interchangeable and capable of winning the Run for the Roses. In 2019, Country House was the default winner because Maximum Security got disqualified for interference in the stretch. Prior to that, the Derby featured stone-cold locks to win the race such as Justify, Nyquist, American Pharoah, and California Chrome. This year, there are a handful of horses that could find themselves in the winner’s circle, and Rock Your World is one of them.
Odds: Rock Your World is currently listed as the second betting choice on the board at odds of +500 online and +550 at William Hill. I urge you to shop around for the best available line when possible.
Breeding: In order to understand the breeding and pedigree of Rock Your World, we must first look at the family tree (if you will). Rock Your World is a Dark Bay/Brown colt, bred in Kentucky by way of Candy Ride (Arg) and Charm the Maker. Candy Ride was a very impressive horse that won three stakes races in Argentina as a three-year-old before venturing over to America to win two more stakes races as a four-year-old. In all, Candy Ride finished with six wins in six starts before retiring. The breeding for stamina might come into question as Candy Ride ran 1 1/14 mile (the Derby Distance) just once. His mom, Charm the Maker, didn’t exactly have an impressive career, winning just two stakes races in 16 tries and three races in total in 19 starts.
Trainer: It’s been a modest year for John W. Sadler, who has a winning percentage of 20 so far, this 2021 horse racing campaign. However, he does have three stakes wins to his name: the Grade 3 Astra Stakes with Quick (GB), the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes with Flagstaff and the latest triumph, the Grade 1 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby with his Derby entrant, Rock Your World. Sadler has won more than 2,500 races in his illustrious career but has never tasted success on the first weekend in May. However, he does know how to find the winners circle in big races as he’s taken home top prize in races like the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Accelerate and the Dubai Golden Shaheen with Our New Recruit.
Jockey: This is where it gets dicey for the connections of trainer John W. Sadler and owner Hronis Racing LLC and Talla Racing LLC. Jockey Umberto Rispoli has been aboard Rock Your World every step of the way so far, but he won’t be in the saddle come Derby Day. Sadler decided to make the change and bring aboard Joel Rosario for the ride on May 1. Why? Well because Rosario became available after his horse in the Arkansas Derby (Concert Tour) finished third and didn’t qualify for the Derby. Had he won, Rosario would have stayed aboard Concert Tour for Bob Baffert and all would have been a moot point. The selection of Rosario speaks volumes for what he’s accomplished so far in his career, and Sadler is looking for a jockey with a little more experience than Rispoli could offer. Rosario is having a solid year, posting a win percentage of 23 percent (52 wins in 222 starts). He’s won 16 stakes races this year alone, including the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup. He has also tasted success in the Derby, piloting Orb to the winner’s circle in 2013.
Last race: Rock Your World’s last race came in the RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby on April 3. In that race, Rock Your World went off at 5/1 and led wire-to-wire for a four-length win. It was a relatively straightforward win for the colt as he managed to keep his undefeated record intact (three wins from three starts, two Stakes wins).
Prior experience: Rock Your World made his debut as a three-year-old on Jan 1, 2021, at Santa Anita Park. He was running a six-furlong Maiden Special Weight race and went on to win that race. From there, he moved to the Stakes scene and claimed the Pasadena Stakes on February 27 at Santa Anita. He then had over a month layoff before prepping, running in, and winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 3. That win punched his ticket to the Derby. And with the horse in solid form, Rock Your World could prove tough to beat.
Can Rock Your World Win the 2021 Kentucky Derby? Similar to Essential Quality, Rock Your World will be looking to be just the 10th horse in 30 tries to exit the Kentucky Derby with his unbeaten record still intact. Mind you, three wins from three starts isn’t a big sample size. However, the way this horse has impressively run those races gives him a good shot at romping home in the Derby. Not to mention, the change in jockey is something I don’t mind given the fact that Rosario has experience in big moments whereas Rispoli – no disrespect -- has not “been there or done that” before. Can he win? Yes. Would it shock me to see him win? No. Will he win? Make sure he’s in your exacta or trifecta bets.
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