Kentucky Derby 2014: Horses, Favorites and Contenders for This Year's Field

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Kentucky Derby 2014: Horses, Favorites and Contenders for This Year's Field
David Alcosser

There's plenty to look forward to when the Kentucky Derby rolls around each year. Whether you're looking over each oddsmaker's lines, preparing your best mint julep recipe or donning the latest fashionable derby hat, this race has something for everyone.

The horses, however, will always be the center of attention.

As the official draw approaches on Wednesday, it's important to know the top contenders and early favorites as they arrive at Churchill Downs.

Experts have been predicting which horses will be featured in this storied race, and oddsmakers have been hard at work predicting which ones have the best chances of donning roses upon the race's conclusion.

As the highly anticipated draw nears, let's take a look at the horses already in attendance, this year's top contenders and favorites to come away with the win.

 

Horses at Churchill Downs

Uncredited

Jonathan Lintner of The Courier-Journal tweeted on Wednesday that the barns at Churchill Downs were already filling out. Plenty of horses were already in attendance and others were on their way:

The arrival of favorite California Chrome was highly anticipated. The horse arrived on Monday and turned in a pre-race workout immediately. According to the Associated Press, via the Miami Herald, trainer Art Sherman was pleased with how his horse looked during the workout.

 

Top Contenders

Garry Jones

Despite plenty of horses already taking to the track at Churchill Downs, the field has yet to be set. We know which top contenders should be participating, but the final draw won't take place until Wednesday.

Until then, here's a look at the top contenders according to their season standings, via the Kentucky Derby's official website:

2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders
Contender Season Ranking Season Points
California Chrome 1 150
Vicar's In Trouble 2 120
Dance With Fate 3 108
Wicked Strong 4 102
Samraat 5 100
Danza 6 100
Hoppertunity 7 95
Intense Holiday 8 93
Wildcat Red 9 90
We Miss Artie 10 60
Ride On Curlin 11 55
Chitu 12 54
Tapiture 13 52
Ring Weekend 14 50
General A Rod 15 40
Medal Count 16 40
Candy Boy 17 30
Uncle Sigh 18 24
Vinceremos 19 20
Harry's Holiday 20 20
Commanding Curve 21 20
Pablo Del Monte 22 20
Bayern 23 20
Social Inclusion 24 20
Big Bazinga 25 14
Strong Mandate 26 11

KentuckyDerby.com

Lintner has also been keeping tabs on his projected field for the race. Here's his latest look, according to a tweet he posted Tuesday: 

 

Early Favorites

Charlie Riedel

California Chrome is the early favorite for this year's race; however, several horses have what it takes to claim the Kentucky Derby crown.

Odds Shark compiled an early list of odds for the top contenders:

2014 Kentucky Derby Odds
Contender Odds
California Chrome 5-2
Wicked Strong 13-2
Danza 9-1
Hoppertunity 12-1
Samraat 16-1
Dance With Fate 20-1
Ride On Curlin 20-1
Vicar's In Trouble 20-1
Wildcat Red 20-1
Candy Boy 25-1
Intense Holiday 25-1
Chitu 33-1
General A Rod 33-1
Social Inclusion 33-1
Tapiture 33-1
Commanding Curve 40-1
Medal Count 40-1
Uncle Sigh 40-1
We Miss Artie 40-1
Harry's Holiday 50-1
Pablo Del Monte 50-1
Vinceremos 50-1

OddsShark.com

California Chrome has the best odds due to the horse's dominance over the last several races. Winning in decisive fashion numerous times has Chrome looking like a serious threat for the Triple Crown.

Take a look at how impressive this horse has been. Here's a glance at Chrome's performance at the Santa Anita Derby:

Wicked Strong should be well in the mix with California Chrome.

A blazing performance in the Wood Memorial against other Kentucky Derby contenders really set the tone for Wicked Strong's appearance at Churchill Downs:

Danza is a big favorite as well—for good reason. Winning the highly contested Arkansas Derby over Ride On Curlin by 4 3/4 lengths bodes well for the continued success of this horse:

Even though there are some clear early favorites, anything is possible at the Kentucky Derby. The next step is the official draw. After that, picking a winner based on facts and a little bit of luck will provide plenty of excitement until the derby takes place on May 3.

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