Kentucky Derby 2014: Post Positions, Odds and Sleepers at Churchill Downs

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2014

A horse gets a bath after a morning workout at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Now that the official post positions and corresponding odds were announced Wednesday for the 2014 Kentucky Derby, the real speculation can begin.

Will favorite California Chrome take advantage of the No. 5 post, which is tied with the No. 1 post for the most winners (12) since 1900? How much trouble is Vicar’s in Trouble really in with the rail position in a 20-horse field? Will one of the long shots stun the entire field? 

With those questions and more in mind, let’s take a glance at the post positions for the whole field:

2014 Kentucky Derby Post Positions
Post PositionHorse
1Vicar's in Trouble
2Harry's Holiday
3Uncle Sigh
4Danza
5California Chrome
6Samraat
7We Miss Artie
8General A Rod
9Vinceremos
10Wildcat Red
11Hoppertunity
12Dance With Fate
13Chitu
14Medal Count
15Tapiture
16Intense Holiday
17Commanding Curve
18Candy Boy
19Ride On Curlin
20Wicked Strong
NBC Sports Broadcast

Updated odds were announced on the NBC Sports Network immediately after the broadcast. This is what they looked like, as of Wednesday, April 30:

2014 Kentucky Derby Odds
Post NumberHorseOdds
1Vicar's in Trouble30-1
2Harry's Holiday50-1
3Uncle Sigh30-1
4Danza10-1
5California Chrome5-2
6Samraat15-1
7We Miss Artie50-1
8General A Rod15-1
9Vinceremos30-1
10Wildcat Red15-1
11Hoppertunity6-1
12Dance With Fate20-1
13Chitu20-1
14Medal Count20-1
15Tapiture15-1
16Intense Holiday12-1
17Commanding Curve50-1
18Candy Boy20-1
19Ride On Curlin15-1
20Wicked Strong8-1
NBC Sports Network Broadcast

 

Sleepers to Watch

Samraat

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

It would be easy to simply assume that the favorite California Chrome is going to run away from the rest of the field, but there will be other horses that contend for the crown. 

One of those is Samraat, who is unfamiliar with anything but winning based on his recent pedigree. In fact, Samraat has five victories under his belt and even held off Uncle Sigh in the Grade 3 Withers and Gotham Stakes.

Horse racing writer Sam Hollingsworth feels that Samraat’s post position could help him continue his winning ways:

Interestingly, Samraat has never raced outside of the state of New York. Whether that will come into play or not remains to be seen, but with a favorable posting in the middle of the pack and the momentum from recent victories, expect Samraat to contend for the Derby. 

Adam Coglianese/Associated Press

He doesn’t have to be worried about getting trapped against the rail in the early push like Vicar’s in Trouble does, so Samraat should get a favorable position in the pack after the initial burst. From there, he can use his speed and closing ability, which may just be enough to register a surprising victory.

 

Wildcat Red

Morry Gash/Associated Press

Samraat may have a number of wins under his belt, but Wildcat Red knows nothing but first and second-place finishes in his seven starts.

Wildcat Red won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes and will have jockey Luis Saez leading the way at Churchill Downs. Saez actually won atop Wildcat Red at Gulfstream, so there is a degree of familiarity there.

Trainer Jose Garoffalo stressed the fact during training that his horse loves racing against others, according to Frank Angst of Bloodhorse (via ESPN.com): "In the case of my horse, he needs competition. He needs horses beside him."

There isn’t a more heated competition in all of horse racing than the Kentucky Derby, so Wildcat Red should feel right at home.

 

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