2014 Kentucky Derby Field: Picks and Predictions for All Horses and Jockeys

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2014

Exercise rider Ezequiel Perez takes Kentucky Derby hopeful Danza for a morning workout at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

There is no exact science to properly predict the outcome of the Kentucky Derby, although through the years, it has become more obvious that post position mostly rules all.

Now that the draw is in the books—it wasn't an NFL draft by any means, but it was entertaining to see owners freak out over the results—we can take a better gander at how each horse will fare given the circumstances.

Here's a mock final standings of the epic two minutes, followed by some further analysis of some of the fine print.


2014 Kentucky Derby Picks

PlaceHorse Jockey
1California Chrome Victor Espinoza
2Hoppertunity Mike Smith
3Danza Joe Bravo
4Vicar's In Trouble Rosie Napravnik
5Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz Jr.
6Wicked Strong Rajiv Maragh
7Samraat Jose Ortiz
8We Miss Artie Javier Castellano
9General A Rod Joel Rosario
10Intense Holiday John Velazquez
11Wildcat Red Luis Saez
12 Dance With Fate Corey Nakatani
13 Chitu Martin Garcia
14 Medal Count Robby Albarado
15 Tapiture Ricardo Santana Jr.
16Commanding Curve Shaun Bridgmohan
17Candy Boy Gary Stevens
18Vinceremos Joe Rococo Jr.
19 Ride On Curlin Calvin Borel
20Harry's Holiday Corey Lanerie

Note: Pablo Del Monte replaces Hoppertunity if possible.


Danza Shocks Again

Garry Jones/Associated Press

Danza knows a thing or two about shocking the world of horse racing when just about everyone has counted him out.

Take the Arkansas Derby recently for example. The odds were way against Danza going into that showdown, and as Childs Walker of The Baltimore Sun details, things turned out great, which has his owner more than pleased for the event at Churchill Downs:

Danza, one of Todd Pletcher's four entries, is the fourth choice at 10-1. That represents a massive upgrade from the Arkansas Derby, where Danza shocked the racing world by beating a stacked field as a 41-1 underdog.

Pletcher was satisfied with the No. 4 post drawn by Danza. "It was good," he said. "He drew an inside spot at the Arkansas Derby, and I was happy enough with this. … He has some experience from inside, so I don't think it's a big disadvantage."

Danza apparently lives for the underdog role and sits pretty at the No. 4 slot. A strong finish while scaring the eventual winner is a sure thing at this point.


General a Rod Performs Better Than Expected

Garry Jones/Associated Press

General a Rod didn't get a lot of love in the odds department before drawing the No. 8 post position, and really, he still isn't getting enough love.

Let's take a historical stance first. His jockey won it all last year atop Orb. That No. 8 spot? It was only back in 2009 it produced its most recent winner, Mine That Bird.

Not only did the duo manage a third-place finish at the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March, Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form details just one of the numerous successful recent practices for the duo at Churchill Downs:

It's a mixture of history and momentum for General a Rod that is hard to ignore come Saturday.


Vicar’s in Trouble Overcomes the Post

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

It's all gloom and doom surrounding Vicar’s in Trouble after the draw decided the horse would race out of the dreaded No. 1 spot.

Just ask Matt Hegarty of DRF and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

The No. 1 spot is tough and hasn't featured a winner since 1986 but does tout eight overall. Vicar’s in Trouble is the type of horse that can overcome that history if he is quick off the line and keeps a similar burst throughout the race.

Good news—Vicar’s in Trouble can do just that. A smaller horse in stature, he was close behind California Chrome in the standings for good reason, as his outstanding burst kept him in most competitions and allowed him to take home first place at the Louisiana Derby.

That burst will allow Vicar’s in Trouble to beat out the pack and get much closer than most would have imagined to stealing the entire race.


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