Hear that? It's casual and hardcore bettors racing to Las Vegas in a stampede to throw down hard-earned cash on the 2014 Kentucky Derby odds that are now set in stone after the post-position draw.
While there were odds available before the draw—a risky endeavor, no doubt—now it's easy to see which jockey-horse combos have favorable or iffy odds based on the skill of the duo and the historical performance of each position.
As CBS' Kenneth Moultry points out, the post draw decides the fate of many:
Here's a look at the draw results, updated Vegas odds and some predictions to take to the bank now that we know the official order.
Official Post Positions
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||Rosie Napravnik||Mike Maker||Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey|
|2||Harry's Holiday||Corey Lanerie||Mike Maker||Skychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable LLC, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner|
|3||Uncle Sigh||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Gary Contessa||Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony C. Robertson|
|4||Danza||Joe Bravo||Todd Pletcher||Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners|
|5||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin|
|6||Samraat||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette Jr.||My Meadowview Farm|
|7||We Miss Artie||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey|
|8||General a Rod||Joel Rosario||Mike Maker||Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing LLC|
|9||Vinceremos||Joe Rocco Jr.||Todd Pletcher||WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing|
|10||Wildcat Red||Luis Saez||Jose Garoffalo||Honors Stable Corp.|
|11||Hoppertunity||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman|
|12||Dance With Fate||Corey Nakatani||Peter Eurton||S. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing LLC|
|13||Chitu||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||Tanma Corporation|
|14||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||Spendthrift Farm|
|15||Tapiture||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||Winchell Thoroughbreds|
|16||Intense Holiday||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||Starlight Racing|
|17||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||Dallas Stewart||West Point Thoroughbreds|
|18||Candy Boy||Gary Stevens||John Sadler||C R K Stable LLC|
|19||Ride On Curlin||Calvin Borel||William G. Gowan||Daniel J. Dougherty|
|20||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||James A. Jerkens||Centennial Farms|
Updated Vegas 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|
California Chrome Blows Away the Field
Look, the draw was going to change little in regard to one thing this year—California Chrome remains the favorite.
In fact, take it to the bank that California Chrome rides to the finish line first.
Post position is one thing, but recent dominance and training quality are others. California Chrome comes into the race with major advantages in both. Not only has he won four races in a row, but trainer Art Sherman is also a legend with experience at the Derby that dates back as far as 1955.
There's a reason California Chrome's owners have turned down lucrative offers for their prized horse, as Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde captures:
"The answer wasn't no. It was hell no." Why California Chrome's owners declined a huge offer for their Derby horse. http://t.co/Kt1Ws1lE7c— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
California Chrome is the sexy pick, and sometimes that's the only way to roll. As Forde points out, the fifth post is not a bad thing in any way:
California Chrome gets No. 5. Wanted 6-10 but certainly won't complain about that.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
Those who want to play it safe and earn some easy cash are in good hands thanks to Sherman and the horse on the biggest roll of all.
Hoppertunity Comes in a Close Second
Deja vu, no?
Hoppertunity came in second place recently at the Santa Anita Derby behind California Chrome and displayed great closing speed that makes the horse a favorite at Churchill Downs.
The only issue here is just how great Chrome has been and the fact he didn't race as a two-year-old and has little experience in a field with so many other contestants.
Now take the post position into consideration. Eleven is a sound way to start for a horse that needed to avoid the clutter and get off to a fast break. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden put it best:
Hoppertunity draws 11. Good spot. Down goes Apollo?— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) April 30, 2014
All things considered, closing speed will once again play a big factor for Hoppertunity, but it simply won't be enough to take down the top horse in the field.
Danza Shocks the Field and Stays in Contention to Finish Third
Any horse named after Tony Danza has to do great on such a big stage, right?
There's a lot to like about Danza, including a recent win at the Arkansas Derby by quite a large margin. But there's also reason to exercise caution, such as the fact the horse spent seven months near the tail end of last year rehabbing a knee injury.
Danza has the look of a healthy, dominant horse. Now add in a very interesting draw position, as Forde details:
Arkansas Derby winner Danza draws No. 4. Trainer Todd Pletcher won from that post in 2010 w Super Saver.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
Translation—Danza is a major beneficiary of the draw and is therefore an extremely strong bet for those who want a little more return on their bets.