Kentucky Derby 2014 Horses: Favorites' Odds, Projections and Lineup Review

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMay 3, 2014

The sports world will have plenty to take in on Saturday with a slew of NBA Game 7s and a title fight featuring the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. on tap. But the most exciting two minutes will take place not in Las Vegas but at Churchill Downs, site of the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

While horse racing fans have been following the action closely in the lead-up to Saturday's 140th Run for the Roses, even casual fans will be tuning in for the Triple Crown's first leg this weekend.

With the stage set for another classic, let's take a closer look at the Kentucky Derby field and the latest odds for each horse.

 

Date: Saturday, May 3

Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET

Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

 

2014 Kentucky Derby Lineup
PostHorseTrainerJockeyOdds
2Vicar's In TroubleMike MakerRosie Napravnik25-1
3Harry's HolidayMike MakerCorey Lanerie50-1
4Uncle SighGary ContessaIrad Ortiz Jr.35-1
5DanzaTodd PletcherJoe Bravo8-1
6California ChromeArt ShermanVictor Espinoza21-10
7SamraatRick Violette Jr.Jose Ortiz16-1
8We Miss ArtieTodd PletcherJavier Castellano33-1
9General A RodMike MakerJoel Rosario18-1
10VinceremosTodd PletcherJoe Rocco Jr.50-1
11Wildcat RedJose GaroffaloLuis Saez18-1
SCRATCHEDHoppertunitySCRATCHED
12Dance With FatePeter EurtonCorey Nakatani14-1
13ChituBob BaffertMartin Garcia22-1
14Medal CountDale RomansRobby Albarado22-1
15TapitureSteve AsmussenRicardo Santana Jr.20-1
16Intense HolidayTodd PletcherJohn Velazquez12-1
17Commanding CurveDallas StewartShaun Bridgmohan33-1
18Candy BoyJohn SadlerGary Stevens18-1
19Ride On CurlinWilliam G. GowanCalvin Borel18-1
20Wicked StrongJames A. JerkensRajiv Maragh8-1
SCRATCHEDPablo Del MonteSCRATCHED
Info via KentuckyDerby.com. Odds via Oddsshark.com

 

Field Projections

General a Rod Will Surprise

With the California Chrome bandwagon nearing capacity and everyone buzzing about Danza and Wicked Strong, watch for General a Rod to surprise on Saturday.

The dark-horse contender even has the support of former Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers:

Jockeyed by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Joel Rosario, General a Rod will run from post No. 9 this weekend. And while he's come up short in his two most recent outings at the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, the longer Derby distance should allow him to finish strong.

General a Rod boasts a strong pedigree, one that features several key stamina influences. That's important for a race at this distance where speedsters tend to fall off the pace late. 

General a Rod wouldn't be a huge upset, but based on his lack of notable victories coming in, it's safe to say few would have seen it coming. 

 

Danza, California Chrome Will Finish in the Money

As for the favorites, look for both Danza and California Chrome to both finish on the board on Saturday. The two contenders will start alongside each other in post Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, per Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde, and should each make their way into prime position heading into the first turn.

Danza's impressive display at the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby suggests he'll be a factor late, and California Chrome's four consecutive victories qualify him as a force to be reckoned with, per trainer Art Sherman, via ESPN.com's Gary West:

"He looked good out there. He's feeling good, and he's doing good. He's coming up to this race right."

Meanwhile, look for jockey Joe Bravo and Danza to come on strong toward the end similarly to the Arkansas Derby, overtaking California Chrome for second just ahead of the finish.

Although many consider Wicked Strong a favorite to finish in the money, his poor post draw is a concern. Only one horse has won from post No. 20 since 1929 and if jockey Rajiv Maragh is unable to navigate his colt through the traffic early, it's possible Wicked Strong could lose too much ground heading into the first turn.

A lack of execution early could easily derail Wicked Strong's entire trip.

Final Prediction: Win: General a Rod, Place: Danza, Show: California Chrome. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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