2014 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby 2014 Odds: Morning Line on Entire Field After Post Positions Draw

May 5, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Horses break out of the starting gate at the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs race track. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMay 1, 2014

Heavy favorite California Chrome drew the fifth post for the 2014 Kentucky Derby in what was a fairly neutral draw for the horse. 

In the fifth post, Chrome won't be able to have a conservative start. He would run the risk of getting bogged down in traffic as the field moves toward the rail. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden helps explain: 

So, Chrome is still bound to leave the gate as a big favorite, but he's certainly not the only horse to watch. With Wednesday's draw for the 2014 Kentucky Derby, the odds for the Run for the Roses are locking in. Have a look:  

140th Kentucky Derby Post Positions and Odds
PostHorseOddsJockeyTrainerOwner
1Vicar's In Trouble30-1Rosie NapravnikMike MakerKenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey
2Harry's Holiday50-1Corey LanerieMike MakerSkychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable, LLC, Terry Raymond & Jana Wagner
3Uncle Sigh30-1Irad Ortiz Jr.Gary ContessaWounded Warrior Stables & Anthony C. Robertson
4Danza10-1Joe BravoTodd PletcherEclipse Thoroughbred Partners
5California Chrome5-2Victor EspinozaArt ShermanSteve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin
6Samraat15-1Jose OrtizRick Violette Jr.My Meadowview Farm
7We Miss Artie50-1Javier CastellanoTodd PletcherKenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey
8General A Rod15-1Joel RosarioMike MakerStarlight Racing & Skychai Racing, LLC
9Vinceremos30-1Joe Rococo Jr.Todd PletcherWinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing
10Wildcat Red15-1Luis SaezJose GaroffaloHonors Stable Corp.
11Hoppertunity6-1Mike SmithBob BaffertKarl Watson, Mike Pegram & Paul Weitman
12Dance With Fate20-1Corey NakataniPeter EurtonS. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLC
13Chitu20-1Martin GarciaBob BaffertTanma Corporation
14Medal Count20-1Robby AlbaradoDale RomansSpendthrift Farm
15Tapiture15-1Ricardo Santana Jr.Steve AsmussenWinchell Thoroughbreds
16Intense Holiday12-1John VelazquezTodd PletcherStarlight Racing
17Commanding Curve50-1Shaun BridgmohanDallas StewartWest Point Thoroughbreds
18Candy Boy20-1Gary StevensJohn SadlerC R K Stable LLC
19Ride On Curlin15-1Calvin BorelWilliam G. GowanDaniel J. Dougherty
Sources: KentuckyDerby.com and OddsShark

Just for the sake of making a fully informed selection, have a look at how the post positions have fared since the introduction of the starting gate in 1930. 

Kentucky Derby Historical Winners by Post Position (Since 1930)
PostNo. of WinnersMost Recent
181986, Ferdinand
271978, Affirmed
351998, Real Quiet
452010, Super Saver
582003, Funny Cide
621993, Sea Hero
762007, Street Sense
882009, Mine That Bird
941972, Riva Ridge
1092005, Giacomo
1121998, Winning Colors
1231971, Canonero II
1332004, Smarty Jones
1421961, Carry Back
1532000, Fusaichi Pegasus
1652013, Orb
170N/A
1811982, Gato Del Sol
1912012, I'll Have Another
2012008, Big Brown
KentuckyDerby.com

 

Most Intriguing Favorites  

California Chrome 

Garry Jones/Associated Press

In a group of talented yet inconsistent horses, Caliornia Chrome stands head and shoulders above. The Art Sherman trainee was considered a heavy favorite leading up to the draw, and that wasn't likely to change after. It certainly wasn't going to change after he drew No. 5. 

Chrome has been supremely impressive. He will enter the derby having won four straight. Those wins have come by over a combined 24 lengths. The last two wins have come in graded stakes races, the last being the Santa Anita Derby. That race included Bob Baffert trainee Hoppertunity

This horse has looked spectacular, which is especially impressive considering his bargain-basement breeding. The owners certainly believe in this horse. As Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde reported in the link from the below tweet, the owners of California Chrome, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, have turned down many offers for this horse. One of those offers came a couple of months ago and was for $6 million:

As Forde stated, the owners admitted it would be "life-changing money," but they haven't flinched on selling. California Chrome and the people around him are in a unique and special moment in time, and this horse has all the looks of being ready to seize on that moment by winning the Run for the Roses.  

 

Wicked Strong

David Alcosser/Associated Press

Starting on the extreme outside isn't as bad as one might think. Sure, Wicked Strong has the furthest path to the finish line, but he will be safe from the traffic. Not to mention, with the form this horse showed in his last race, he has the speed down the stretch to win this race in the closing moments.  

After being a complete afterthought for the derby, Wicked Strong exploded into the public consciousness with a dominant showing in the Wood Memorial

Wicked Strong won just one of his first five races before the April 5 Wood Memorial for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. He won that prestigious race by 3.5 lengths. 

That race featured a strong field that included the previously undefeated Samraat, who, by the way, got a poor draw at No. 6.

Wicked Strong remains a favorite to win this race after the draw.

  

Danza

Morry Gash/Associated Press

Danza got the fourth post. That position has had moderate and recent success. In 2010, Super Saver won from post No. 4. Super Saver and Danza share the same trainer, Todd Pletcher

Admittedly, that is not a strong connection to predict a victory, but in this case it is a little icing on a late-blooming cake. Danza floundered a bit to start his career and then took a seven-month layoff due to some knee trouble.  

He's had two races since returning. The first was completely forgettable. The second was entirely unforgettable. Danza dominated the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park by four lengths. 

It's interesting that Danza and Chrome will be right next to each other. This could either help the horses set a sustainable yet quick early pace, or they'll wear each other out trying to get to the front first.

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