If you plan on only catching one horse race in 2014, it would be wise to make that event the Kentucky Derby.
This marquee Triple Crown race is truly one of a kind, blending tradition, celebrities gambling and many more factors to create a recipe for the most exciting two minutes in sports.
Even if you aren’t able to make it down to your local OTB, the racetrack or a Derby party, there are plenty of other methods to watch the Run for the Roses.
Keep reading to find out the complete race schedule for Saturday’s big day at Churchill Downs, as well as TV listings, live stream information and much more.
2014 Kentucky Derby Viewing Info
Date: Saturday, May 3
When: Coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET
Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCSports.com
|2014 Kentucky Derby Day Schedule|
|Race||Post Time (ET)|
|Churchill Distaff Turf Mile||1:19 p.m.|
|Humana Distaff||2:08 p.m.|
|American Turf||2:59 p.m.|
|Churchill Downs||3:46 p.m.|
|Woodford Reserve Turf Classic||4:44 p.m.|
|Kentucky Derby||6:24 p.m.|
|2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders|
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||Rosie Napravnik||Mike Maker||20-1|
|2||Harry's Holiday||Corey Lanerie||Mike Maker||50-1|
|3||Uncle Sigh||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Gary Contessa||30-1|
|4||Danza||Joe Bravo||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|5||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||5-2|
|6||Samraat||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette Jr.||15-1|
|7||We Miss Artie||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||50-1|
|8||General A Rod||Joel Rosario||Mike Maker||15-1|
|9||Vinceremos||Joe Rocco Jr.||Todd Pletecher||30-1|
|10||Wildcat Red||Luis Saez||Jose Garoffalo||15-1|
|11||Hoppertunity||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||SCR|
|12||Dance With Fate||Corey Nakatani||Peter Eurton||20-1|
|13||Chitu||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||20-1|
|14||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||20-1|
|15||Tapiture||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||8-1|
|16||Intense Holiday||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|17||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||Dallas Stewart||50-1|
|18||Candy Boy||Gary Stevens||John Sadler||15-1|
|19||Ride On Curlin||Calvin Borel||William G. Gowan||15-1|
|20||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||James A. Jerkens||6-1|
|21||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez||Wesley Ward||SCR|
Betting Trend to Note: Favorites Have Historically Struggled
Gambling is what makes the Kentucky Derby so exciting. Even if you don’t play the ponies too often—if ever—it’s still worth at least having something minor at stake when the horses cross the finish line.
While handicappers, analysts, gurus and just about everyone on Twitter will have a “stone-cold lock” that you “need to bet” this weekend, none of that advice is as valuable as the knowing only five favorites have been adorned with the blanket of roses since 1980.
That means the odds-on favorite that is usually extremely hyped has won approximately 15 percent of the last 33 races. Considering the terrible odds these horses are going off at come post time, historically backing a favorite is just about one of the worst bets you can make.
While some may point to Orb’s victory last year as a turning point in this trend, expect it to be bucked again with so many strong contenders in the field outside of California Chrome.
One major issue with Chrome is his California heritage. There hasn’t been a Kentucky Derby winner foaled in The Golden State since Decidedly made the trek to Churchill and won back in 1962.
If you are only going to make one bet on this year’s Derby, make sure it isn’t on the favorite. There are plenty of other options on the board that will not only pay out better but also seem more likely to win.
Horses like Wicked Strong—who has been tearing up the track recently and coming off a huge win at Wood Memorial—and Ride on Curlin, ridden by superstar jockey Calvin Borel, seem just as capable of emerging from this wide-open field.
Don’t forget about Danza either, as the colt’s namesake will be on hand to catch the action. That’s right, Tony Danza of Who’s the Boss? fame will be one of the many notables in the crowd and he tweeted out his excitement earlier this week:
Todd Pletcher, who won this event in 2007 with Super Saver and currently training Danza, is optimistic about this colt, telling Gary West of ESPN.com: "He's been working well and doing well, and we have to be pleased with how he's coming into this race. He's getting better and better."
Coming off a big, confidence-boosting win at the Arkansas Derby, it seems just about anything is possible. Definitely consider taking Danza, or any other decent horse in this field, over the favorite Saturday.