Kentucky Derby 2014 Horses: Race-Day Overview for Entire Field and Undercard

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

The 140th Kentucky Derby takes top billing and for good reason, but there is an entire day of horse racing action Saturday at Churchill Downs. 

For those who won’t be in attendance, NBC Sports Network will cover the undercard races from 11 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET. has the entire undercard schedule available.

However, it is the actual Derby and its loaded field that draws the majority of the interest. Here is a look at the broadcast information for the Run for the Roses:

2014 Kentucky Derby Schedule
DateTime (ET)TVLive Stream
Saturday, May 34-7 p.m. (actual race expected around 6:32 p.m.)NBCNBC Sports Live Extra
NBC Sports

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Kentucky Derby for a certain sector of viewers is the betting line for each horse. California Chrome is the sure-fire favorite, but there are a handful of intriguing odds. Posting numbers and jockeys also come into play when determining the odds, so here is an overview of all that information, as of Odds Shark on Friday, May 2:

2014 Kentucky Derby Overview
1Vicar's In TroubleRosie NapravnikMike Maker25-1
2Harry's HolidayCorey LanerieMike Maker50-1
3Uncle SighIrad Ortiz Jr.Gary Contessa35-1
4DanzaJoe BravoTodd Pletcher8-1
5California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman21-10
6SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.16-1
7We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher33-1
8General A RodJoel RosarioMike Maker18-1
9VinceremosJoe Rocco Jr.Todd Pletecher50-1
10Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo18-1
11HoppertunityMike SmithBob BaffertSCRATCHED
12Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton14-1
13ChituMartin GarciaBob Baffert22-1
14Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans22-1
15TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen20-1
16Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher12-1
17Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart33-1
18Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler18-1
19Ride On CurlinCalvin BorelWilliam G. Gowan18-1
20Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJames A. Jerkens8-1
21Pablo Del MonteJeffrey SanchezWesley WardSCRATCHED
Odds Shark

Now that we have the details on the broadcast information, the posting numbers, the jockeys and the odds, let’s take a look at a few notable storylines heading into the race.


Shrinking Field 

The Kentucky Derby’s official Twitter page and the L.A. Daily News alerted horse racing fans of the absences of two different horses in the field:

It was originally supposed to be a 20-horse field, and Pablo Del Monte was going to take Hoppertunity’s place. However, instead we will have 19 competitors Saturday, which still makes for a crowded field. There should be plenty of jockeying in the early going, as riders try to avoid being trapped against the rail or falling too far behind.

Hoppertunity was seen as one of the primary contenders to keep California Chrome off the winner’s stand, so his absence is particularly notable.


The Favorite

The aforementioned California Chrome is the definitive favorite in the Derby, and he arrives at Churchill Downs with four straight dominating victories. In fact, he won by a combined 24.5 lengths over the course of those four runs and has six victories in 10 tries.

Hoppertunity is out of the field, and another formidable contender in Wicked Strong is starting from an outside gate. Jockey Victor Espinoza won the Derby in 2002 with War Emblem and will hope to add to his legacy Saturday.

He says that California Chrome does all the work, according to Beth Harris of the Associated Press, via ABC News: "He's so light on his feet. He just does things so easy and makes my job easy."

If Espinoza guides California Chrome to victory, trainer Art Sherman would become the oldest trainer to win the Run for the Roses at age 77.

That is exactly what will happen.

California Chrome is on an absolute tear and will jump out to an early lead from the No. 5 posting. From there, he will cruise to victory, especially with no Hoppertunity in the field. 

It will set up discussion of a potential Triple Crown and drum up more interest in the sport than we have seen in quite some time.


Rosie Napravnik’s Quest for History

California Chrome won’t dominate all the coverage, though, because Rosie Napravnik is trying to make history.

If she guides Vicar’s In Trouble to a win, she would become the first-ever female jockey to capture the Kentucky Derby crown. The only problem is she is starting from the No. 1 posting, and emerging from that position in a favorable spot in such a crowded field will be a monumental task.

Napravnik’s resume is impressive nonetheless. She was the first woman to win at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, the first woman to win the Louisiana Derby and the first woman to win the Kentucky Oaks. What’s more, she placed in fifth at the Derby last year, which is the best mark for a woman of all time.


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