Kentucky Derby Entries 2014: Horse Names, Post Positions, Vegas Odds and More

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2014

Exercise rider William Delgado takes Kentucky Derby entrant California Chrome for a morning workout at Churchill Downs Friday, May 2, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Garry Jones/Associated Press

Gentlemen, start your horses. Or something like that. The Kentucky Derby is almost here!

And you need information, folks. You need horse names, post positions, odds and perhaps some betting tips, mint julep recipes, big-hat advice and Hunter S. Thompson columns, and...

Okay, whoa, I should slow down. You really just want more information on the horses, I'm sure. Well, you've come to the right place. 

1Vicar's In TroubleKenneth L. and Sarah K. RamseyMike MakerRosie Napravnik20-1
2Harry's HolidaySkychai Racing LLC, Sand Dollar Stable, LLC, Terry Raymond & Jana WagnerMike MakerCorey Lanerie50-1
3Uncle SighWounded Warrior Stables & Anthony C. RobertsonGary ContessaIrad Ortiz Jr.30-1
4DanzaEclipse Thoroughbred PartnersTodd PletcherJoe Bravo8-1
5California ChromeSteve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise MartinArt ShermanVictor Espinoza5-2
6SamraatMy Meadowview FarmRick Violette Jr.Jose Ortiz15-1
7We Miss ArtieKenneth L. and Sarah K. RamseyTodd PletcherJavier Castellano50-1
8General A RodStarlight Racing & Skychai Racing, LLCMike MakerJoel Rosario15-1
9VinceremosWinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks RacingTodd PletcherJoe Rococo Jr.30-1
10Wildcat RedHonors Stable Corp.Jose GaroffaloLuis Saez15-1
11Hoppertunity (SCRATCHED)
12Dance With FateS. Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLCPeter EurtonCorey Nakatani20-1
13ChituTanma CorporationBob BaffertMartin Garcia20-1
14Medal CountSpendthrift FarmDale RomansRobby Albarado20-1
15TapitureWinchell ThoroughbredsSteve AsmussenRicardo Santana Jr.12-1
16Intense HolidayStarlight RacingTodd PletcherJohn Velazquez8-1
17Commanding CurveWest Point ThoroughbredsDallas StewartShaun Bridgmohan50-1
18Candy BoyC R K Stable LLCJohn SadlerGary Stevens15-1
19Ride On CurlinDaniel J. DoughertyWilliam G. GowanCalvin Borel15-1
20Wicked StrongCentennial FarmsJames A. JerkensRajiv Maragh6-1
21Pablo Del Monte (SCRATCHED)

The race is already down two contestants, as both Hoppertunity and his replacement, Pablo Del Monte, have been withdrawn from the race. From the Derby's official Twitter account:

Hoppertunity was one of the top contenders to challenge race favorite California Chrome, making his withdrawal particularly disappointing. One of his owners, Mike Pegram, talked to, via, about that disappointment:

This is part of the business you don't like, but they're athletes and these things happen. This happens a lot, but this just happened in the Kentucky Derby. You don't get that many shots. That's the reason you never apologize when you win.

I'm just lucky to have partners like Paul [Weitman] and Karl [Watson], who are gentlemen and take it in stride. I can tell you we may have a happy face but we're dying inside.

So, who will win? And who should you be betting on?

The former is pretty hard to discern. There are a couple of ways to approach the latter. 

You could go with past performances, in which case California Chrome is probably your horse. He's coming into the Derby with four straight wins, including a dominating performance in the Santa Anita Derby. 

Of course, Danza won the Arkansas Derby, always a pretty good indication of which contenders might fare well in the Kentucky Derby, so Danza will be a popular choice in this race.

Wicked Strong is fresh off a victory at the Wood Memorial making him a major contender and arguably the top competition for California Chrome after Hoppertunity's withdrawal.

Of course, people often focus on post position when picking a winner. Danza is an early runner, so his spot on the inside benefits his style. California Chrome will be pleased with his starting post as well, though if he doesn't run well early, he could get squeezed between fast starters Danza and Samraat. 

Wicked Strong is going to have a difficult run starting so wide from the outside. He'll need to put himself in position to stalk the leaders and not fall too far down the pack. If the latter happens, he'll be in trouble. 

Tapiture and Intense Holiday will be pleased with starting spots just outside of the main pack, while Calvin Borel is going to have a heck of a time getting Ride On Curlin to the inside given the horse's starting post.

And hey, what's in a name? If you just want to wear a fancy hat or suit, drink mint juleps and have a good time, perhaps you aren't too concerned with past performances or post positions. If that's the case, perhaps you should just pick the best name. 

There's Danza, for you Who's the Boss? fans. If you were originally turning your nose up at General A Rod, don't worry—he isn't named after the baseball player.

There's Wildcat Red, who sounds less like a horse and more like a 1970s comedian with a scotch in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And of course, there is Wicked Strong, named to honor the victims of last year's Boston Marathon bombings.

It's hard to top a name with as much meaning as that. 


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