Kentucky Derby 2014 Predictions: Final Picks on Odds for Undercard and Main Race

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Kentucky Derby 2014 Predictions: Final Picks on Odds for Undercard and Main Race
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

You may want to pace yourself on Saturday, otherwise, you won't survive.

There's the three Game 7s in the NBA playoffs. The Stanley Cup playoffs boast two second-round games. Interspersed throughout the day is the slate of MLB games. At night you've got the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight.

And wedged between it all is the 2014 Kentucky Derby, "the most exciting two minutes in sports."

Of course, the more diehard horse racing fans will be watching all of Saturday's action at Churchill Downs, which begins in the morning and runs through the evening.

Here's a look at the schedule for Derby day. You can view the full lineups and morning lines for each of the 13 races on Equibase.com.

Churchill Downs Schedule of Events
Post Time (ET) TV Race
10:30 a.m. HRTV MdSpWt
11:00 a.m. HRTV MdSpWt
11:30 a.m. NBCSN OC $75k/N1X
12:04 p.m. NBCSN OC $75k/N1X
12:38 p.m. NBCSN OC $100k/N2X
1:19 p.m. NBCSN G3-Twin Spires Sprint
2:08 p.m. NBCSN G1-Humana Distaff
2:59 p.m. NBCSN G2-Churchill Distaff Turf Mile
3:51 p.m. NBCSN G2-Churchill Downs
4:46 p.m. NBC G1-Woodford Turf Classic
6:24 p.m. NBC G1-Kentucky Derby
7:20 p.m. HRTV OC $80k/N3$
7:50 p.m. HRTV Allowance N2$

http://www.gohorsebetting.ag/kentuckyderby

All of the attention, though, is focused on the Run for the Roses. While the Triple Crown boasts another two races, arguably none holds the prestige of the Kentucky Derby. Those two minutes turn talented horses into legends.

 

Derby Field and Odds

2014 Kentucky Derby Post Position
Pos. Horse Odds
1 Vicar's In Trouble 25/1
2 Harry's Holiday 50/1
3 Uncle Sigh 35/1
4 Danza 8/1
5 California Chrome 21/10
6 Samraat 16/1
7 We Miss Artie 33/1
8 General A Rod 18/1
9 Vinceremos 50/1
10 Wildcat Red 18/1
11 Dance With Fate 14/1
12 Chitu 22/1
13 Medal Count 22/1
14 Tapiture 20/1
15 Intense Holiday 12/1
16 Commanding Curve 33/1
17 Candy Boy 18/1
18 Ride On Curlin 18/1
19 Wicked Strong 8/1
Hoppertunity SCRATCHED
Pablo Del Monte SCRATCHED

KentuckyDerby.com

Note: The odds are courtesy of OddsShark.com and as up to date as May 3 at 2:12 a.m. ET.

 

Derby Analysis

California Chrome enters the Kentucky Derby as the favorite. The colt has won each of his last four races dating back to December 2013. The last win came at the Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

Also working in California Chrome's favor is that jockey Victor Espinoza has tasted success at Churchill Downs, winning the 2002 Derby with War Emblem.

There's very little not to like about this horse.

Joint-owner Steve Coburn remains confident of his chances heading into the race, per Matt Majendie for CNN.com.

"If he gets a clean run, he'll win," Coburn said. "I've said that before and I've been told I'm bold and arrogant. I'm not either of those. I'm just a man that loves this horse and believes in the fairytale."

Getting drawn in the No. 5 post also isn't much of a deterrent toward California Chrome's success. It's a little closer than Espinoza would've liked, but he's far enough off that with a good start, he shouldn't get stuck on the rail:

I'd like to give a bunch of scientific explanations for why I'm not taking California Chrome to win. All I've got are that favorites haven't had the best track record at Churchill Downs, and only eight horses have ever won the Kentucky Derby from the No. 5 position. The last to do so was Funny Cide all the way back in 2003.

Instead, I'm backing Wicked Strong.

Some may look at starting out in No. 19 as a death sentence. But Wicked Strong is at his best when running from slightly behind the lead.

The key will be not spending too much time getting on the rail. Jockey Rajiv Maragh must ensure that Wicked Strong remains tight on the leaders. He'll have enough left in the tank for a strong final kick, but that won't mean anything if he's sitting in eighth or ninth and lengths off the leader.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens discussed how sometimes the colt decides to do his own thing, per Mike Kane of The Courier-Journal:

"He's a colt and he wants his way," Jerkens said. "There is a give and take, almost like having a teenager at home. Sometimes you've got to let him have his way and then he turns around and gives you a little slack. That's the way he is. He's a tough little guy. He's kind of plain-looking, but he has a little streak in him that you like to see in a colt. We let him get away with things and then we have to make him mind us."

If you need to see what Wicked Strong is capable of, go back and watch the Wood Memorial. He didn't have the best of starts but recovered well to win by 3.5 lengths over Samraat.

Wicked Strong may struggle to overcome a similar start, but beginning so far on the outside should mean that Maragh doesn't have to navigate through the crowd like he did at the Wood.

The colt may not be the most talented horse in the field, but he's got more than enough to win.

Winner: Wicked Strong

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