Much like Orb or I'll Have Another barreling toward the finish line, one of the most iconic sporting events in the world is fast approaching on the calender.
The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is less than a week away, meaning it's time to break out your big hats and mint juleps as everyone becomes a fan of horse racing for two minutes.
There's no spectacle in sports quite like the Run for the Roses, so let's take a look at everything you need to know to prepare yourself.
Because, believe me, it takes at least a week to prepare yourself.
Date: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET (check KentuckyDerby.ag for entire racing schedule)
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
|Date||Time (ET)||Event||Network||Live Stream|
|Saturday, May 3||9:30 a.m.||Kentucky Derby Undercard||HRTV|
|Saturday, May 3||11 a.m.||Kentucky Derby Undercard||NBC Sports Network|
|Saturday, May 3||4 p.m.||Access at the Kentucky Derby / Red Carpet Schedule||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|Saturday, May 3||5 p.m.||2014 Kentucky Derby||NBC||NBCSports.com|
*Note: Check KentuckyDerby.ag for entire weekend listings
Post Positions Info and Draw
The post position draw will occur Wednesday, April 30 at 5 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will televise the event in its entirety.
While it's not the be-all, end-all in fixating a horse's ultimate fate, the position in the stalls can be absolutely crucial.
Derby favorite California Chrome, who has somehow also mastered the use of Twitter, is already anticipating the draw:
One week til the @KentuckyDerby post draw. What post are you hoping to see me break from?— California Chrome (@CalChrome) April 23, 2014
According to KentuckyDerby.com, since the use of a starting gate in 1930, the most successful post in race history has been No. 16, which has produced a winner 11.9 percent of the time. Last year, Orb became the fifth horse to do so in just 42 attempts.
The No. 10 spot is just behind, though, with nine wins in 77 races (11.7 percent). That post also features the best percentage in the money, with 24 top-three finishes (31.2 percent).
So, while Saturday is when the horses will officially "be off," Wednesday will go a long way in helping to determine the 140th winner.
|Vicars In Trouble||10-1|
|Dance with Fate||16-2|
|General A Rod||25-1|
|Ride On Curlin||25-1|
Note: Odds courtesy of OddsShark, and are as of April 23 at 7:55 p.m. ET.
An unusual favorite at such a prestigious race, California Chrome was dirt cheap. According to The Guardian's Daniel Ross, owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn bred California Chrome for a minuscule $10,500; they bought Love the Chase for $8,000 and bred her with Lucky Pulpit for another $2,500.
And the creation, California Chrome, looks set to pay dividends. Like, in the form of millions of dollars.
The three-year-old colt has won its last four races, including an impressive performance in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, making easy work of Hoppertunity and the rest of the field:
California Chrome scored the most points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and the confidence displayed by Coburn, via Ross, isn't misguided:
I’m saying this right now: if this horse gets a clean trip, he will win the Kentucky Derby and he’ll go down in history.
There’s not another horse out there that has his speed and his ability. If you look at the statistics, there’s not another horse going to Kentucky that’s faster than him. So let the games begin.
This is an impressive field, with Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong and Arkansas Derby victor Danza also looking like strong favorites, but California Chrome will be the one to watch.