Triple Crown 2014: Power Ranking the Horses Ahead of the Kentucky Derby

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Triple Crown 2014: Power Ranking the Horses Ahead of the Kentucky Derby
Morry Gash/Associated Press
California Chrome, on paper, appears to be the best shot this year at a Triple Crown.

Fans who follow horse racing preach of a need for a Triple Crown winner. It's been a long time, 36 years, since Affirmed buried his rival Alydar three straight times to become No. 11.

But horse racing doesn't need a Triple Crown winner. No, it just needs a Triple Crown threat. So long as a horse wins the Derby and Preakness, that's enough electricity to power Spider-Man's latest villain

And that's what we have here in this list: A handful of horses capable of stringing together three winning races in five weeks. 

What makes these horses over the other 10 in the race a consideration is their class and their running styles. These horses have the greatest potential to win the Derby (Step 1 in winning a Triple Crown. Duh.). And in most cases, stalkers take precedence over closers, because stalking horses don't necessarily need a fast pace to win a race ... unlike closers.

There were nine slides, but with the scratch of Hoppertunity, there are eight horses who could make a run at becoming No. 12. Continue reading to find out what makes the following horses capable of winning the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

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