Kentucky Derby 2014 Horses, Jockeys with Best Odds of Winning at Churchill Downs

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Kentucky Derby 2014 Horses, Jockeys with Best Odds of Winning at Churchill Downs
USA TODAY Sports


The 2014 Kentucky Derby draw will take place on Wednesday, and three days later, the 20-plus field will take to the 1 1/4 mile dirt track at Churchill Downs for the 140th Run for the Roses.

Here, I'll break down the latest odds for every entry and highlight some horses and jockeys to keep a close eye on this weekend in Louisville. 

*Odds according to OddsShark.com.

 

2014 Kentucky Derby Odds
Horse Odds
California Chrome 11-4
Wicked Strong 7-1
Danza 9-1
Hoppertunity 10-1
Samraat 16-1
Intense Holiday 18-1
Dance With Fate 20-1
Ride on Curlin 20-1
Vicar's in Trouble 20-1
Wildcat Red 20-1
Candy Boy 25-1
Tapiture 28-1
Social Inclusion 33-1
General a Rod 33-1
Chitu 33-1
We Miss Artie 40-1
Medal Count 40-1
Uncle Sigh 40-1
Commanding Curve 40-1
Vinceremos 50-1
Pablo Del Monte 50-1
Harry's Holiday 50-1

As of April 28. Odds via OddsShark.com

 

Contenders to Bet On

California Chrome

Uncredited

Odds-on favorite California Chrome has been awfully impressive since December 2013, winning four straight races by a combined 24 lengths, including the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in early April.

Trained by Art Sherman, who is returning to the Derby for the first time in 59 years, California Chrome is looking to become the first California-bred horse to win the Triple Crown's first leg since 1962 and just the fourth such horse to ever win the event.

Sherman, who attended the Run for the Roses in 1955 as an exercise rider for eventual Derby-winner Swaps, is thrilled about the possibility of breaking through at Churchill Downs as a trainer nearly 60 years later.

"Any trainer that says the Derby doesn’t mean anything is crazy," Sherman said via The New York TimesMelissa Hoppert. "It’s not an easy race to win. I think it’s a prestigious race, and at least you know, Man, I won the Kentucky Derby. Then I’d be able to say that I’ve done it all."

Sherman's return is one of the top storylines surrounding this year's Derby and could potentially make for a memorable result on Saturday evening.

 

Wicked Strong

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Wicked Strong may only have two career victories to his name, but one of those wins came in his most recent outing at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes in early April, where he beat out the previously unbeaten Samraat.

Jockeyed by Rajiv Maragh and trained by James A. Jerkens, Wicked Strong has emerged as one of the favorites to finish toward the top on Saturday.

On Monday, Daily Racing Form's Mike Welsch pointed out that Wicked Strong appeared "focused" when hitting the track for the first time: 

Wicked Strong isn't the only closer in this year's field, but there's no question his eye-opening performance at Aqueduct a month ago will win over plenty of bettors this weekend.

 

Jockeys to Watch For

Calvin Borel

Hans Pennink

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel will sit atop Ride on Curlin this weekend, and many consider the tandem a dark-horse contender on Saturday.

Borel and Ride on Curlin enter Derby week with 20-1 odds of winning, but that could change if the duo draw post near the rail on Wednesday. Borel is often referred to by the nickname "Bo-Rail" for his successful strategy of taking the shortest path to the finish.

Borel has won the Run for the Roses on three separate occasions since 2007 and last won atop Super Saver in 2010. 

Calvin "Bo-Rail" at the Kentucky Derby
Year Finish Horse Post
2007 1 Street Sense 7
2009 1 Mine That Bird 8
2010 1 Super Saver 4

HorseHats.com

In August 2013, Borel was inducted into horse racing's Hall of Fame as a result of his tremendous accomplishments on the sport's biggest stage.

"I had to work very hard but it paid off. It takes time," Borel said, via The New York Daily NewsJerry Bossert. "I have no idea how long I’m going to ride because I love the game so much. It’s worse than drugs. I love to get up in the morning and go to work and see my friends and I’ll just go from there.

While Ride on Curlin hasn't experienced the same level of success as odds-on favorites like California Chrome, Wicked Strong and others, he's a closer and the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who finished third at the Kentucky Derby in 2007.

Not to mention Ride on Curlin earned a second-place finish in his most recent outing and toughest test at the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 12.

 

Joel Rosario

USA TODAY Sports

Joel Rosario won the 2013 Kentucky Derby atop Orb and will look to become the first back-to-back winning jockey at Churchill Downs since Borel in 2010 when he takes to the post on General a Rod on Saturday.

Rosario, who rode the favored Orb to victory from post No. 16 last year, rode General a Rod to a third-place finish at the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March and will look to take a different route to the winner's circle in 2014.

Rosario isn't nearly as accomplished as Borel, but by climbing the mountain in 2013, he must be considered a contender atop General a Rod this weekend. 

With 50-1 long-shots like Mine That Bird (2009) and Giacomo (2005) shocking the field at the Kentucky Derby over the past decade, let's just say that anything is possible. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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