California Chrome remains the favorite to win the 140th Kentucky Derby after the Art Sherman trainee drew the fifth post on Wednesday.
Vicar's In Trouble fit his name, as the Mike Maker trainee drew the first post. The first spot has not fielded the eventual winner since Ferdinand pulled off the feat in 1986. With a full 20-horse field, it is easy to get locked against the rail as the pack works inside.
As a result, Vicar's In Trouble is listed at 30-1 in the morning line after he was checking in at 20-1 at OddsShark prior to the draw.
Have a look at the post positions for the Run for the Roses and my predictions.
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||30-1||6|
|7||We Miss Artie||50-1||18|
|8||General A Rod||15-1||11|
|12||Dance With Fate||20-1||12|
|19||Ride On Curlin||15-1||14|
Source: NBC Sports
How the Race Will Play Out
This is going to be a fun race, and the draw will help with that. The fifth spot is a solid position for California Chrome, but it isn't ideal. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden helps explain:
California chrome draws the 5. Not great, not disastrous. Gonna have to go a little.— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) April 30, 2014
Plenty of horses have succeeded from the fifth post. The fifth spot has been the home of eight eventual winners of this race since 1930. The last horse to win from this position was Funny Cide in 2003.
Considering that California Chrome has won four straight races by over a combined 24 lengths and his last win came in the Santa Anita Derby over Hoppertunity, he will ride this spot to victory.
Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza will have to be careful not to spend too much energy at the start to get clear of the field. He will be helped with this task by Danza, who is lining up in the fourth spot.
Which horse will finish the highest?
Danza, trained by Todd Pletcher, enters this race off a dominant win at the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. He showed the kind of speed and stamina it takes to win the Derby and is primed for a good race.
Danza and Chrome will be able to pace each other and create some space as the field jostles around them. This will leave them in a perfect place to charge down the stretch.
Chrome will flash too much speed for Danza to handle, and both will almost be caught by Wicked Strong.
Wicked Strong burst onto the scene with a dominant victory in the Wood Memorial. He outraced Social Inclusion and the previously undefeated Samraat to the finish in that one.
In the 20th position, Wicked Strong has a long path to the finish but won't have to deal with the traffic. This plays well into his strong finishing kick. He won't have the speed to catch the top two horses, but he will come up in show.