With the 2014 Kentucky Derby field set—for the third time—it's time to decipher which horse has what it takes to don the garland of roses.
There's already been plenty of movement regarding the Vegas odds for the race due to horses pulling out and post positions shifting.
After the scratch of Hoppertunity on Thursday, followed by the scratch of Pablo Del Monte on Friday, here's a look at how the race's post positions and odds look, according to The Baltimore Sun:
|2||Vicar's In Trouble||20-1|
|8||We Miss Artie||50-1|
|9||General A Rod||15-1|
|12||Dance With Fate||20-1|
|19||Ride On Curlin||15-1|
With this knowledge in mind, let's move on to the predictions.
Starting on the inside is a daunting task. Luckily, due to the scratch of Pablo Del Monte, the first post position will remain vacant this year.
Vicar's In Trouble will stay on the inside but start from the second post. It's not much of a shift, but the horse's chances of getting pinned against the rail lessen slightly.
The happiest people to hear Wesley Ward scratch are the #1 Vicar's in Trouble folks. Inside 10 all move out a stall.— Richard Eng (@RichEng4ProPick) May 2, 2014
Danza, California Chrome and Samraat all figure to be heavy factors in this year's Run for the Roses. Each horse moves outward by one gate, with the favorite California Chrome starting from the sixth position.
The heavily favored Chrome now has a cleaner path in the beginning of the race and appears to be the one to beat this year.
Wildcat Red has high aspirations for this race; however, he moves from gate 10 to 11 after the last shift. This doesn't appear to be a drastic move at first glance; although, gates one and 11 are the first to be loaded. He'll have some time to wait before the race gets underway.
.@DRFDerby // meaning, Wildcat Red (No. 10) is victimized most by the change ... will be a 1st-loader and prev. would've been a last-loader— Marty McGee (@DRFMcGee) May 2, 2014
Commanding Curve wasn't exactly a favorite to begin with and now has the daunting task of starting from the 17th post—the only one which has never yielded a Kentucky Derby winner. That trend looks to continue for another year.
Uncle Sigh draws the 3 hole. Commanding Curve gets 17, the only post that has never produced a winner. Tapiture No. 15.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
Wicked Strong will start on the far outside in 20th position. This doesn't seem like a favorable spot; however, with a great deal of stamina and tremendous closing speed, this horse has what it takes to make up plenty of ground over the final furlong.
Scratch Pablo Del Monte from the Kentucky Derby. Wicked Strong will break from the far outside gate after all.— The Downey Profile (@DowneyProfile) May 2, 2014
Taking all of this into consideration, here's how the final standings of this year's race could look:
|6||Ride On Curlin||19|
|9||Dance With Fate||12|
|10||General A Rod||9|
|13||Vicar's In Trouble||2|
|17||We Miss Artie||8|
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions
Predicting this race isn't an exact science. There's plenty to take into consideration and there's always some dumb luck involved.
Although, one thing is for certain: This strong field is sure to make the 140th Kentucky Derby a sight to behold.