It is almost the start of the triple crown event this year where the first race, the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to start on May 1, 2021, and the Preakness Stakes on May 15, 2021, then followed by the Belmont Stakes on June 5, 2021.
With these three races on the way, bettors and fans alike already started to look into the triple crown contenders they think will win the Triple Crown Trophy this year. The last triple crown winner was three years ago where Justify dominated the three triple crown races and brought home the trophy. This year, another chance is given to the contenders to win this elusive trophy, and the top five contenders that fans have been eyeing are the following:
Essential Quality is the early favorite of the Kentucky Derby and is also the most favored to win the triple crown this year. Currently, Essential Quality has 140 points and positioned number one on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.
He is one of the horses who contend to win the Triple crown trophy, which has a promising future due to his ability and background. Essential Quality is Bred by Godolphin and trained by Brad H. Cox, a well-known and top-rated horse trainer. In addition to his background is his performance on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, as he is still undefeated since he became active in horse racing.
Known Agenda, a new player on the leaderboard, is trained by Todd Pletcher and bred by St. Elias Stables, LLC. Although he does not have a clean winning record, his trainer Todd Pletcher is known to produce significant threats in the Derby, and Known Agenda is the best among Pletcher’s group this year. His latest race has earned him a sure spot at the Kentucky Derby as he finished it as number one.
It was also the race that determined Todd Pletcher’s triple crown contender. Known Agenda is currently holding 102 points and is the number five contender on the leaderboard of the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2021. Pletcher believes that Known Agenda has what it takes to become a triple crown winner.
Hot Rod Charlie
The third horse contending for the triple crown is Hot Rod Charlie, who is second on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with points of 110. Like Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie also became one of the popular names when the derby prep race started. He is trained by Doug F. O’Neill and bred by the late Edward A. Cox, Jr.
Hot Rod Charlie did not go beyond third place in his three derby prep races which earned him his points and put him on the second-highest points earner of this year’s derby prep race. If he continues his outstanding performance, he can overcome all his opponents and win each of the triple crown races.
The fourth top contender of the triple crown is Highly Motivated. Sired by Into Mischief, a great racer during his time and trained by Chad Brown. You better watch him closely as he can easily snatch the chance to win the Kentucky Derby this year as well as the other two triple crown races with his great sprints and a jockey that can lead him to victory.
He won the Nyquist Stakes at Keeneland last November 6 while he finished the Gotham Stakes in third place last March and second in his latest race, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, this April 6. Even though he couldn’t maintain an undefeated title, he still stayed within the top three finishers on all of his races. His trainer, along with the rest of his team, is full of hope with Highly Motivated, given that he is a progeny of a known racehorse who was also an achiever in his time.
The next player you must watch out for in this year’s race for the triple crown trophy is Midnight Bourbon from Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC. He is also trained by Steve Amussen, who already won three triple crown races, which are the 2007 and 2008 Preakness Stakes and 2016 Belmont Stakes. Additionally, Asmussen also trained five Breeder’s Cup winners.
On the other hand, Midnight Bourbon has participated in five derby prep races this year, where he finished all of them, staying within the top three finishers. This only shows that Midnight Bourbon can win each triple crown race and take home the trophy.
In the End
All horses competing on the triple crown are unique and talented in their ways. For decades, we have seen so many triple crown races where competing horses are all deserving. However, aside from a horse’s talent, luck also has a massive part in winning. In the end, whoever wins the triple crown has both the skills and luck.