The Kentucky Derby draw is an absolute crucial moment for horses, jockeys and trainers. Not only are the contenders selected for the most prestigious horse racing event of the year, but realizing post positions rapidly changes strategies for everyone involved.
No matter how dominant a horse has been to this point, starting in a bad position could severely hinder the chance for continued success.
On the flip side, a horse not previously heralded as a favorite could quickly emerge as a big threat given a great position.
Everyone will be waiting with bated breath to learn their fates April 30.
This spectacle isn't only for the Derby's participants. It's extremely intriguing to watch as a potential bettor or casual fan of the storied race at Churchill Downs.
Be sure to tune into the nail-biting draw and watch as the 2014 Kentucky Derby's field unfolds.
What: 2014 Kentucky Derby Draw
Date: Wednesday, April 30
Time: 5 p.m. ET
TV Info: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Visit NBCSports.com for a broad view of the event's essential information.
Many horses have already arrived at Churchill Downs and all await the highly anticipated draw. Until we know the field and the post positions, here's a look at the top contenders based on season standings, courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com:
|2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders|
|Contender||Season Ranking||Season Points|
|Vicar's In Trouble||2||120|
|Dance With Fate||3||108|
|We Miss Artie||10||60|
|Ride On Curlin||11||55|
|General A Rod||15||40|
|Pablo Del Monte||22||20|
Even though the draw has yet to take place, oddsmakers have already been hard at work to determine which horses have the best shots to join elite company as the Kentucky Derby champion.
As expected, the dominant California Chrome is heavily favored; however, there are plenty of other contenders figuring to make some noise as well. Here's how the folks at OddsShark.com see the favorites:
|2014 Kentucky Derby Odds|
|Dance With Fate||20-1|
|Ride On Curlin||20-1|
|Vicar's In Trouble||20-1|
|General A Rod||33-1|
|We Miss Artie||40-1|
|Pablo Del Monte||50-1|
California Chrome has the most favorable odds at 5-2. That was expected.
This horse has delivered some sparkling performances of late, winning his last four races by a total of 24 1/4 lengths.
Chrome sets a great early pace and has plenty of stamina to finish strong. Here's a look at his masterful performance at the Santa Anita Derby:
Wicked Strong has emerged as the second favorite with 13-2 odds, according to oddsmakers.
After winning at Belmont Park in October, Wicked Strong delivered another dazzling performance at the Wood Memorial, defeating several horses poised to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
Watch Wicked Strong's fantastic finish, as he blazes by Social Inclusion and Samraat over the final furlong:
The third favorite in oddsmakers' eyes is Danza with 9-1 odds.
After overcoming a knee injury, Danza came back strong to win the highly contested Arkansas Derby. Pulling away with authority over the final stretch, Danza left Ride On Curlin in the dust:
These past performances show just small glimpses of what these contenders have in store for us when they take to the track at Churchill Downs May 3.
Beginning with the official draw Wednesday, the 2014 Kentucky Derby promises to bring plenty of memorable moments to the horse racing world.