2014 Kentucky Derby

2014 Kentucky Derby: Projecting Order of Finish and Payouts for Entire Field

Dan Queenan walks Kentucky Derby entrant Commanding Curve after a morning workout at Churchill Downs Friday, May 2, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2014

The Kentucky Derby is a haven for bettors who want to cash in on favorable odds via risky bets that come in all shapes and sizes, but the participants themselves have a lot of finances on the line, too.

Believe it or not, the 2014 rendition of the extravaganza at Churchill Downs seems more favorable toward bettors than most years thanks to a clearly defined favorite in California Chrome and a few scratches that have narrowed the field.

Luck plays a major role in any bet, but that's even more so the case at the Derby as 20 (this year only 19) contestants in close proximity duke it out for position. Here's a quick look at a projected finish and the current Vegas lines.

2014 Kentucky Derby Picks
Place Horse JockeyOdds
1 California Chrome Victor Espinoza11-4
2 Vicar's In Trouble Rosie Napravnik25-1
3 Danza Joe Bravo8-1
4Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz Jr.33-1
5Wicked Strong Rajiv Maragh10-1
6Samraat Jose Ortiz18-1
7We Miss Artie Javier Castellano40-1
8General A Rod Joel Rosario18-1
9Intense Holiday John Velazquez14-1
10Wildcat Red Luis Saez16-1
11Dance With Fate Corey Nakatani22-1
12Chitu Martin Garcia28-1
13Medal Count Robby Albarado25-1
14Tapiture Ricardo Santana Jr.18-1
15Commanding Curve Shaun Bridgmohan40-1
16Candy Boy Gary Stevens25-1
17Vinceremos Joe Rococo Jr.50-1
18Ride On Curlin Calvin Borel20-1
19Harry's Holiday Corey Lanerie 66-1
KentuckyDerby.com. Odds via Odds Shark (as of May 2 at 8:45 a.m. ET)

 

It's simply unwise to bet against California Chrome, even if the individual payout isn't all that enticing. Chrome has won four races in a row and three with current jockey Victor Espinoza. The duo's most recent triumph came at the Santa Anita Derby, where the two actually eased off the gas in the final stages of the dominant showing, per Steve Anderson of Daily Racing Form:

With the No. 5 post in hand, trainer Art Sherman—who has experience at the Derby that dates back to the 1950s—is pleased with the historical implications, as he wrote for America's Best Racing:

Well, I feel as though we cleared another hurdle when we were assigned post five in the draw at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. Our jockey, Victor Espinoza, was very happy with it. He has one Derby victory, and that came when War Emblem broke sharply from the fifth position, took command early, and never looked back for the entire mile and a quarter in 2002.

I am not saying it will play out that way again. There are so many horses in this field capable of setting a hot pace. But that post will only add to Victor's confidence, and it gives him plenty of options as long as we enjoy a clean break.

California Chrome has a better chance than ever thanks to two scratches. The first was a horse with very sound odds to challenge for the top spot, but Hoppertunity had to bow out of the proceedings thanks to a minor injury scare:

Alternative Pablo Del Monte was the next domino to fall revealed by trainer Wesley Ward, per Marty McGee of DRF:

Pablo Del Monte wasn't exactly a favorite to take home first place, but there is now more breathing room for favorites like California Chrome to operate.

But what about those payouts? As if fans well-versed in the happenings of the Derby didn't know already, there is a hefty reward for the team that can land in first place.

2014 Kentucky Derby Purse
Finish Payout
First $1,442,800
Second $400,000
Third $200,000
Fourth $100,000
Fifth $60,000
Total Purse $2,202,800
KentuckyDerby.com

 

It's an interesting caveat of horse racing that only the top-five finishers at the Derby actually cash in on the total purse, so it makes sense that horses who are not 100 percent healthy are yanked from the competition in order to heal up for a better draw down the line.

For those that remain, the end goal is a shot at one of the top five slots and a gigantic payday. Of course, first place is ideal for a shot at the cash and a chance to make history via a Triple Crown title, but it's hard for any of the top five finishers to complain.

 

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