Kentucky Derby 2014: Surefire Odds to Bet Before Post Draw

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 29: Wicked Strong is ridden by Kelvin Pahal during the morning exercise session in preparation for the140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Time is running out to cash in on the 2014 Kentucky Derby odds with the post draft on Wednesday, which will send the odds department into a serious upheaval.

The draw plays a huge factor in the proceedings and will subsequently have a major impact on the odds. Why? Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times helps to break it down:

The Derby now allows 20 horses in the Churchill Downs starting gate. In some ways, that makes the day of the post-position draw almost as important as the race itself. The dread, for most connections of Derby horses, is an inside or near-inside post. Many top-flight horses, including recently Lookin At Lucky, get squeezed down and blocked at the start with a near-rail post position. Lookin At Lucky went off as the favorite in the 2010 Derby and had to run around lots of horses just to come home sixth. Two weeks later, he won the Preakness.

So get those bets in before the draw to potentially grab a favorable underdog destined for a great post. Then get some more bets in once the draw has been decided.


2014 Pre-Draw Kentucky Derby Odds as of April 29 at 6 p.m. ET:
California Chrome5-2
Wicked Strong13-2
Dance with Fate20-1
Wildcat Red20-1
Vicar's in Trouble20-1
Ride On Curlin20-1
Ring Weekend25-1
Intense Holiday25-1
Candy Boy25-1
General a Rod33-1
Social Inclusion33-1
Source: OddsShark


Danza, 9-1

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 25:  Danza is riden by Ezekiel Perez during the morning exercise session in preparation for the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 25, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Named after Tony Danza, the hype for Danza has been slowly growing the past few months.

Get these odds before things boil over.

Why? Danza made a longer debut recently at the Arkansas Derby and blew away the competition. Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal has the scoop:

The Arkansas Derby win — the first time the colt had raced farther than seven-eighths of a mile — clued in the rest of the world. Danza entered the race at 40-1 odds. Even his exercise rider Bush only bet $2 across the board on Danza. He thought that was enough.

Danza stayed in the leading pack the entire race, saving ground throughout on the rail under jockey Joe Bravo. He broke through on the turn for home to blow past Bayern and leave fellow Kentucky Derby candidate Ride On Curlin in his wake.

Talk about a feel-good story of the comeback variety. As Greer notes, Danza spent seven months recovering from a knee injury last winter to make it to this point. 

Recent momentum is not a rule in most sports. It is here, especially as Danza begins to find form and do well against other competitors that will be at the Derby.


General a Rod, 33-1

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 29:  General A Rod is ridden by  Joel Barrientos during the morning exercise session in preparation for the140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Time for a long-shot special.

General a Rod isn't the most prestigious horse in the big event this year, but jockey Joel Rosario certainly is after winning it all last year atop Orb.

The duo mustered a third-place finish at the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March and have some semblance of momentum going into the big day.

Give Rosario a quality post and anything can happen. At these odds, it's certainly a set of circumstances to consider.


California Chrome, 5-2

Uncredited/Associated Press

Otherwise known as the king, or the odds-on favorite.

California Chrome has a seemingly unstoppable amount of momentum, and owner Steve Coburn isn't afraid to flaunt it, per Sam Gardner of Fox Sports:

He’s going to win the Kentucky Derby. This horse is going to win the Kentucky Derby, not a doubt in my mind. If he gets a nice, clean pass, he’s done — it’s over with.

There’s the big hype about Candy Boy, how Candy Boy is going to destroy California Chrome. Where did Candy Boy finish (at the Santa Anita Derby)? Third. And Hoppertunity finished second. Those are good horses, they’re fine horses, but they can’t keep up with the speed of this horse. If you look at how he’s run his races, he’s outrun these horses by two, three, four seconds. I just don’t see any speed out there.

Boom. Write it down, make the investment and cash the checks.

Heck, Chrome will be tutored by trainer Art Sherman, who got his first taste of action at the Kentucky Derby in 1955. Chrome has won four races in a row by a combined 24 lengths, so it's not surprising to see everyone in the horse's camp riding so high.

The payout isn't amazing, but bettors who want the surest thing of all—and odds that won't wildly fluctuate based on post position—can be confident putting their money into Chrome and the superb supporting cast.


Follow Chris_Roling on Twitter