Kentucky Derby 2014 Contenders: Horses with Triple Crown Potential

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 06:  The Twin Spires are seen during the 137th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The 2014 Kentucky Derby is the biggest American horse race of the year, but those looking to place a wager on the May 3 event are already breaking down the contenders that can challenge for the win during the first leg of the Triple Crown.

With horses like California Chrome, Vicar's In Trouble and Wicked Strong all garnering the most attention as race day approaches, bettors are trying to find the contender with the best chance of winning all three Triple Crown events.

All three of the following horses have been set up to succeed at Churchill Downs, and the wagers will be coming in hot and heavy on each as the event draws near.


California Chrome

There will be plenty of competition in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, but no horse has the raw speed and strength of California Chrome. With four straight victories, including a huge win at the Santa Anita Derby, it is clear that California Chrome is the favorite to win it all this year.

Victories at the San Felipe Stakes, California Cup Derby and King Glorious Stakes all proved how much talent the horse possesses, but the main question for many gamblers looking to put down a wager is the ability of the horse to win on the East Coast.

Led by trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza, California Chrome has the opportunity to shine at Churchill Downs and start the Triple Crown chase with a win. Regardless of which post he draws, this horse will contend for the win.


Vicar's In Trouble

One of the most underrated contenders in this year’s race is Vicar's In Trouble. After finishing third at the Risen Star Stakes, the horse went on to dominate the field with a beautiful victory at the Louisiana Derby in March.

With the help of well-known trainer Michael Maker, Vicar's In Trouble has proved that he has the stamina to run the longer courses and the endurance to be a threat from start to finish.

Add in the support of popular jockey Rosie Napravnik, who knows what it takes to do well in the Kentucky Derby, and Vicar's In Trouble will be one of the fastest horses on the course this weekend and a serious contender to win the first leg of the Triple Crown.


Wicked Strong

One of the most important warm-up races for the Kentucky Derby is the Wood Memorial. This year’s precursor event was won by Wicked Strong, and the horse proved that he has the speed and the strength to run at the front of the field.

Led by the watchful eye of trainer James Jerkens, Wicked Strong has developed into a viable contender after struggling early in his career. While the jockey situation is fluid, the addition of a veteran rider who can lead this horse down the right path would be a huge boost.

If the team can find a good jockey who can avoid making mistakes, Wicked Strong put his talents on full display at the Wood Memorial and could very well steal the show once again at Churchill Downs.


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