For the 140th time, 20 jockeys will ride well-trained horses on Saturday at Churchill Downs in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
Annually one of the globe's most renowned sporting events despite the true randomness of how the proceedings play out, the Derby will garner millions in sales, bets and broadcast revenue before all is said and done.
Not bad for a two-minute race.
Suffice it to say, it's an event fans won't want to miss. Here's a look at the post positions and viewing info.
2014 Kentucky Derby 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 & Jana Wagner|
|3||Uncle Sigh||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Gary Contessa||Wounded Warrior Stables & 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 & Skychai Racing, LLC|
|9||Vinceremos||Joe Rococo Jr.||Todd Pletcher||WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing|
|10||Wildcat Red||Luis Saez||Jose Garoffalo||Honors Stable Corp.|
|11||Pablo Del Monte (Potentially)*|
|12||Dance With Fate||Corey Nakatani||Peter Eurton||S. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & 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|
* Pablo Del Monte replaces Hoppertunity if possible.
Kentucky Derby Race Schedule
What: 140th Kentucky Derby
When: Saturday, May 3
Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Broadcast: 4–7 p.m. ET on NBC
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
1. California Chrome
2. Vicar’s in Trouble
Is it too safe to roll with California Chrome?
Perhaps, but the safe bet is just that for a reason, and the draw did nothing to really sway the consensus opinion that he's headed for a major victory on Saturday.
Chrome has won four races in a row by more than 24 lengths total and resides in the fifth spot, which isn't bad all things considered. He has the burst to get through the pack early and the breakaway speed to stay out in front, which has been the case in most of his recent performances.
Owner Steve Coburn has turned down some rather lucrative offers for California Chrome, as detailed by Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:
The reported $6 million offer for the colt, from an undisclosed buyer, came after he won the San Felipe Stakes on March 9. The first offer was for total ownership. The second offer was for 51 percent ownership.
'The answer wasn't just no, it was hell no,' Coburn said. '… We thought about it for about 30 seconds. [The prospective new owners] would be getting all the glory and not having put a dollar into the work.'
As Forde points out, five isn't the best spot for California Chrome, but Coburn certainly can't be mad about the draw when one takes recent momentum and history into account:
California Chrome gets No. 5. Wanted 6-10 but certainly won't complain about that.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
What California Chrome brings to the table will be just enough to fend off Vicar’s in Trouble, a smaller horse with perhaps the best burst of all contestants, which will help him to overcome the dreaded No. 1 slot.
That's a nice surprise, especially after all the drama of the draw, but Danza may have the biggest surprise of all in store thanks to closing speed that will allow him to get closer than most would have guessed before the race.
Why? Danza pulled off a major underdog win at the Arkansas Derby and profited from Wednesday's draw, as At the Races' Steve Byk points out:
Tidbit often cited around Derby time: No horse unraced at age 2 has won the Derby since Apollo in 1882. Hoppertunity: no starts at 2.— Mike Wilkening (@mikewilkening) May 1, 2014
Like California Chrome, Danza has an incredible burst off the line and is in a prime position to stay away from the pack before distancing himself.
Given the fact the draw is about as important as the race itself, it's easy to see why the results of the draw weigh so heavily in the final prediction. When one marries post position with skill set, it typically results in the greatest odds of success at the Derby.