In the days leading up to the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1), usracing.com is profiling all the contenders. The 1 ¼-mile Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs is May 1 and is the first leg of the Triple Crown. All profiles will be updated with post positions, odds, and jockeys following the draw on Tuesday, April 27.
Kentucky Derby 2021: Horse Profile
By Ed McNamara
His sire won the Belmont, and his damsire was the father of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, so nobody expected this $725,000 yearling to debut at 5 furlongs. Todd Pletcher didn’t run Dynamic One until mid-November, at 7 furlongs, and he finished ninth. He needed four starts to get his first victory, a 5 1/4-length runaway in March.
“The 1 1/8-mile maiden win, that’s what we needed to get to the Wood Memorial,” Pletcher said. “Going into the Wood, he was lightly regarded, but we thought he was coming in under the radar. He had been training much better than his past performances suggested.”
He went off at 15-1 in the Wood and ran to his workouts, leading at the eighth pole and losing by a head to stablemate Bourbonic, a 72-1 shot.
“Dynamic One, I think, is one that’s still sort of putting it all together,” Pletcher told horseracingnation.com. “He made the lead in the Wood and then got a little bit lost. But he’s another one that’s always shown a lot of promise in the morning.”
Many of Pletcher’s record 55 Derby starters were sprinter-milers for whom 10 furlongs was too far. Stamina is not a big concern with Dynamic One, Bourbonic, Florida Derby winner Known Agenda and Sainthood.
“The one thing I really like about this group is that they’re all bred to get a mile and a quarter,” Pletcher said. “A lot of times you come to the Derby hoping you can get the trip, but with these horses you get the feeling that they’ll handle the distance.”
Dynamic One is still eligible for a non-winners-of-1 allowance, and he’ll need a big forward move to contend with undefeated standouts Essential Quality and Rock Your World. If you like his chances, at least the odds will be very generous.
Kentucky Derby 2021: Horse Stats
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Owners: Repole Stable, Phipps Stable, St. Elias Stable
Career record: 5-1-2-0
Career earnings: $194,120
Derby qualifying points: 40 (16th)
Best Equibase speed figure: 103
Pedigree: Union Rags-Beat the Drums, by Smart Strike
Running style: Stalker/Midpack rallier
Notes: Dynamic One’s owners are used to winning big races. Mike Repole and Pletcher took the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Vino Rosso. The Phipps Stable co-owned 2013 Derby hero Orb, and St. Elias Stable co-owned Pletcher’s 2017 Derby champion Always Dreaming … A month ago, Pletcher was hardly mentioned in the Derby conversation. Now he has four contenders in Louisville. “In March we felt we had a couple of chances,” he said, “but I didn’t see four happening. Like everybody at this time of year, you need to have your horses improving.” … Jose Ortiz was riding highly regarded Greatest Honour before that colt was sidelined because of bone bruises in his front ankles. The 2017 Eclipse Award winner never has won the Derby.