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

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30:  California Chrome is washed during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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
PostHorseOwner(s)TrainerJockeyOdds
1Vicars in TroubleKenneth L. and Sarah K. RamseyMike MakerRosie Napravnik20-1
2Harry's HolidaySkychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable, LLC, Terry Raymond & Jana WagnerMike MakerCorey Lanerie50-1
3Uncle SighWounded Warrior Stables & Anthony C. RobertsonGary ContessaIrad Ortiz Jr.30-1
4DanzaEclipse Thoroughbred PartnersTodd PletcherJoe Bravo10-1
5California ChromeSteve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise MartinArt ShermanVictor Espinoza5-2
6SamraatMy Meadowview FarmRick Violette Jr.Jose Ortiz15-1
7We Miss ArtieKenneth L. and Sarah K. RamseyTodd PletcherJavier Castellano50-1
8General A RodStarlight Racing & Skychai Racing, LLCMike MakerJoel Rosario15-1
9VinceremosWinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks RacingTodd PletcherJoe Rococo Jr.30-1
10Wildcat RedHonors Stable Corp.Jose GaroffaloLuis Saez15-1
11HoppertunityKarl Watson, Mike Pegram & Paul WeitmanBob BaffertMike Smith6-1
12Dance With FateS. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLCPeter EurtonCorey Nakatani20-1
13ChituTanma CorporationBob BaffertMartin Garcia20-1
14Medal CountSpendthrift FarmDale RomansRobby Albarado20-1
15TapitureWinchell ThoroughbredsSteve AsmussenRicardo Santana Jr.15-1
16Intense HolidayStarlight RacingTodd PletcherJohn Velazquez12-1
17Commanding CurveWest Point ThoroughbredsDallas StewartShaun Bridgmohan50-1
18Candy BoyC R K Stable LLCJohn SadlerGary Stevens20-1
19Ride On CurlinDaniel J. DoughertyWilliam G. GowanCalvin Borel15-1
20Wicked StrongCentennial FarmsJames A. JerkensRajiv Maragh8-1
Morning Line Odds are cited

 

Analysis

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30:  Danza ridden by Ezequiel Perez goes over the track during the morning exercise session in preparation for the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30:  Intense Holiday ridden by Isabelle Bourez trains on the track during the morning exercise session in preparation for the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Get
Rob Carr/Getty Images

1. California Chrome

2. Intense Holiday

3. Danza