The sun shines bright on our old Kentucky home on this absolutely gorgeous Derby Day, where all eyes will be on Churchill Downs for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Post time for the Derby is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. ET, but races are scheduled throughout the morning, afternoon and evening, with the first race set to run at 10:30 a.m. There will be 14 races in all on Saturday.
As for the Derby itself, Brad Cox’s Essential Quality comes in as the 2-1 favorite, followed by Rock Your World at 4-1, Hot Rod Charlie at 6-1, Highly Motivated at 12-1, Known Agenda and Medina Spirit at 13-1, and Midnight Bourbon at 14-1 to round out the top contenders.
Check out the pole positions and the latest odds:
1. Known Agenda (13-1)
2. Like the King (55-1)
3. Brooklyn Strong (43-1)
4. Keepmeinmind (50-1)
5. Sainthood (42-1)
6. O Besos (41-1)
7. Mandaloun (31-1)
8. Medina Spirit (13-1)
9. Hot Rod Charlie (6-1)
10. Midnight Bourbon (14-1)
11. Dynamic One (43-1)
12. Helium (43-1)
13. Hidden Stash (38-1)
14. Essential Quality (2-1)
15. Rock Your World (4-1)
16. King Fury (SCRATCHED)
17. Highly Motivated (12-1)
18. Super Stock (30-1)
19. Soup and Sandwich (26-1)
20. Bourbonic (29-1)
Will one of the heavy favorites come away with the easy victory? Or with only seven horses with greater odds than 26-1, will we see a major upset in the most exciting two minutes in sports?
It all starts this morning when race one begins at 10:30 a.m.
Malathaat wins the 147th Kentucky Oaks
In a neck-and-neck finish down the stretch, 5-2 favorite Malathaat came away with the victory in the 147th Kentucky Oaks on Friday, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.99.
She held on to beat Search Results, who entered the day with 3-1 odds to win, by a neck to win the race in front of 41,472 fans at Churchill Downs.
Check out the entire replay:
WATCH IT AGAIN: Malathaat wins the 147th Kentucky Oaks! ???pic.twitter.com/uA1v2dOdVE
— Churchill Downs (@ChurchillDowns) April 30, 2021
Nolan Hickman Jr. decommits from Kentucky
John Calipari saw his first player ask for a release from his letter of intent on Friday, as 2021 five-star guard Nolan Hickman Jr. announced his decommitment from Kentucky. The standout senior’s departure means UK currently has zero point guards signed on for the 2021-22 season.
Why did Hickman back out of his commitment to the program after joining last August? Homesickness and the departures of Tony Barbee and Joel Justus, his father tells KSR.
“The connection with Tony Barbee, the rapport he developed with the coaching staff, that definitely had something to do with it,” Hickman’s father, Nolan Hickman Sr., told KSR on Friday. “We love the entire staff, with Calipari as well, but with Tony being his lead recruiter and not being there, and then Joel (Justus) being his second recruiter, it just made things rough.
“… He was like, “Dad, I can’t do it to myself.” More and more, he just felt like he didn’t want to be away (from home),” Hickman Sr. added. “He’s actually home for the week, and he was like, “I really have to think some things through. I can’t go through this again, being away, separated from you guys and family.” That’s how we got to this.”
Kentucky will now look to the transfer portal to add point guards to the roster, with Minnesota’s Marcus Carr and Georgia’s Sahvir Wheeler two players with confirmed mutual interest. 2021 five-star guard TyTy Washington is also considering Kentucky and is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.
Kelvin Joseph drafted by the Dallas Cowboys
Bossman Fat is a Dallas Cowboy.
The former Kentucky cornerback was selected by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the No. 44 overall pick. Joseph is the third UK defensive back taken in the last three years, following a pair of day two picks, Lonnie Johnson (Round 2, No. 54) and Mike Edwards (Round 3, No. 99).
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 1, 2021
In his lone season at Kentucky, Kelvin Joseph racked up 25 total tackles and 14 solo to go with four interceptions and one pass deflection in nine games. His four interceptions finished tied for eighth in college football.
Prior to his time at UK, Joseph’s college football career began at LSU, where he came in as a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 42 player overall in the 2018 recruiting class.
In Mel Kiper Jr.’s final Big Board released earlier this week, the standout cornerback came in at No. 67, while ESPN’s Todd McShay had Joseph coming in at No. 64 overall and No. 9 among cornerbacks. He would end up being the seventh cornerback taken and the 44th player selected overall.
Make us proud, Bossman Fat.
Adam Miller set to announce his decision
We’ll get some level of movement at the guard position on Saturday, as Illinois standout Adam Miller confirmed with Tipton Edits that a Derby Day announcement is coming, with Kentucky, Michigan and LSU listed among the top contenders.
Illinois transfer Adam Miller will announce his college decision on Saturday.
Kentucky, Michigan, LSU, among others involved.
— Tipton Edits (@TiptonEdits) April 30, 2021
Listed as the No. 33 overall prospect in the 2020 247Sports Composite Rankings, the freshman guard averaged 8.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 25.5 minutes per contest, shooting 34% from three on 4.9 attempts from deep per game. Playing for Illinois, a one-seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and a top-five team throughout the season, the true freshman had 13 double-digit scoring performances.
Sources told KSR as recently as Friday that LSU was in strong position to land the 6-foot-2 guard, but the buzz out there has always been that the additions of Antigua and Chin Coleman to the UK coaching staff could be a game-changer in Miller’s recruitment.
Will Kentucky be able to pull off the late upset and get the ball rolling again on the recruiting trail? Or will Calipari and his staff have to look elsewhere? We’ll find out this afternoon.