Kentucky Derby 2014 Post Positions: Updated Picks and Predictions After Draw

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Kentucky Derby 2014 Post Positions: Updated Picks and Predictions After Draw
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

All that's left to do is to run the race. 

With the Kentucky's Derby's post positions set on Wednesday and the morning-line odds released, we now have a few days to analyze every last aspect of the horses, the track, the potential runs and strategies the jockeys will take and the ideal mint julep recipe. 

In other words, Derby week has truly begun. Let's take a look at the draw and break down some of the intriguing aspects of this year's post positions.

  

Post Positions

Kentucky Derby Field
Post Horse Owner(s) Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Vicars in Trouble Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey Mike Maker Rosie Napravnik 20-1
2 Harry's Holiday Skychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable, LLC, Terry Raymond & Jana Wagner Mike Maker Corey Lanerie 50-1
3 Uncle Sigh Wounded Warrior Stables & Anthony C. Robertson Gary Contessa Irad Ortiz Jr. 30-1
4 Danza Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners Todd Pletcher Joe Bravo 10-1
5 California Chrome Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin Art Sherman Victor Espinoza 5-2
6 Samraat My Meadowview Farm Rick Violette Jr. Jose Ortiz 15-1
7 We Miss Artie Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 50-1
8 General A Rod Starlight Racing & Skychai Racing, LLC Mike Maker Joel Rosario 15-1
9 Vinceremos WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Todd Pletcher Joe Rococo Jr. 30-1
10 Wildcat Red Honors Stable Corp. Jose Garoffalo Luis Saez 15-1
11 Hoppertunity Karl Watson, Mike Pegram & Paul Weitman Bob Baffert Mike Smith 6-1
12 Dance With Fate S. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLC Peter Eurton Corey Nakatani 20-1
13 Chitu Tanma Corporation Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 20-1
14 Medal Count Spendthrift Farm Dale Romans Robby Albarado 20-1
15 Tapiture Winchell Thoroughbreds Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 15-1
16 Intense Holiday Starlight Racing Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 12-1
17 Commanding Curve West Point Thoroughbreds Dallas Stewart Shaun Bridgmohan 50-1
18 Candy Boy C R K Stable LLC John Sadler Gary Stevens 20-1
19 Ride On Curlin Daniel J. Dougherty William G. Gowan Calvin Borel 15-1
20 Wicked Strong Centennial Farms James A. Jerkens Rajiv Maragh 8-1

Morning Line Odds are cited

 

Analysis

Rob Carr/Getty Images

California Chrome's connections likely would have liked to see the horse draw a little more to the inside, but the race favorite still has a solid starting position (remember, Chrome started at the No. 5 post in the Santa Anita Derby).

The one concern for Chrome will be that both Samraat and Danza can really get out and run early, so the possibility of getting squeezed and trapped inside of the pack is a concern. But if California Chrome gets out to a strong start, it shouldn't really be an issue. 

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports isn't terribly concerned for Chrome:

One of the horses to really benefit from the draw was Danza, who will come in at 10-1 odds after landing the No. 4 post. Danza has great early speed and will have the opportunity to clear the field from the inside. As Forde notes, there's some historical significance to the position as well:

Danza is going to be a popular pick with bettors, one would imagine, given a strong starting place and his victory at the Arkansas Derby.

The other horse in the California Chrome sandwich, Samraat, probably didn't get quite the draw that would have most benefited the horse. As Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated pointed out, however, his owner was looking on the bright side:

Hoppertunity comes into the race with the second-best odds (6-1) and has an excellent starting position on the No. 11 post. Intense Holiday is also going to become a very popular horse on the No. 16 post. 

One horse that could see its odds become more favorable closer to the race, however, is Wicked Strong. Despite morning line odds of 8-1, the horse drew the No. 20 post, meaning he'll have a long run to settle into the main group in this race.

Wicked Strong has an excellent final kick, but he's not a deep closer. He needs to be able to remain four or five lengths off the leaders to really make his move late, so he's going to have to break off the start perhaps a little faster than jockey Rajiv Maragh would prefer. 

Don't be surprised if his odds are more favorable by the morning of the race as folks steer clear.

While that's the general round-up of the current favorites, which dark horse is worth monitoring?

Candy Boy is intriguing. He'll start on the No. 18 post and is the sort of deep stalker that doesn't need to rush to join the pack closer to the rail. The fact that he won't get bogged down early in the pack but can rather run his race is appealing.

And so is the fact that Gary Stevens will be riding him, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby.

 

Predictions

Rob Carr/Getty Images

1. California Chrome

2. Intense Holiday

3. Danza

 

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