Predicting how things will shake out at the Kentucky Derby is never easy, but the dramatic 1.25-mile dash makes it hard to resist.
The odds have been changing constantly since Wednesday's post draw, and, with a pair of pre-race scratches shaking up the lineup, successfully projecting the final order for the 140th Run for the Roses has become a monumental task.
Below, you'll find the latest odds for each horse and breakdown of those with a shot to finish in the money on Saturday.
Date: Saturday, May 3
Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET
Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
|2||Vicar's In Trouble||Mike Maker||Rosie Napravnik||20-1|
|3||Harry's Holiday||Mike Maker||Corey Lanerie||50-1|
|4||Uncle Sigh||Gary Contessa||Irad Ortiz Jr.||30-1|
|5||Danza||Todd Pletcher||Joe Bravo||8-1|
|6||California Chrome||Art Sherman||Victor Espinoza||5-2|
|7||Samraat||Rick Violette Jr.||Jose Ortiz||15-1|
|8||We Miss Artie||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano||50-1|
|9||General A Rod||Mike Maker||Joel Rosario||15-1|
|10||Vinceremos||Todd Pletcher||Joe Rocco Jr.||30-1|
|11||Wildcat Red||Jose Garoffalo||Luis Saez||15-1|
|12||Dance With Fate||Peter Eurton||Corey Nakatani||20-1|
|13||Chitu||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||20-1|
|14||Medal Count||Dale Romans||Robby Albarado||20-1|
|15||Tapiture||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana Jr.||12-1|
|16||Intense Holiday||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez||8-1|
|17||Commanding Curve||Dallas Stewart||Shaun Bridgmohan||50-1|
|18||Candy Boy||John Sadler||Gary Stevens||15-1|
|19||Ride On Curlin||William G. Gowan||Calvin Borel||15-1|
|20||Wicked Strong||James A. Jerkens||Rajiv Maragh||6-1|
|SCRATCHED||Pablo Del Monte||SCRATCHED|
Info via KentuckyDerby.com. Odds via Oddsshark.com
Winner: General a Rod, 15-1
There's good reason to jump aboard the California Chrome bandwagon this weekend, but you can also make a strong case for some of the other lesser-known horses in this year's field.
After all, the 19-horse field is deep and features a handful of colts that possess natural speed.
One of those is General a Rod, a horse that finished in the money in his two most recent outings at the Grade I Florida Derby and Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes. On top of that, General a Rod will be jockeyed by Joel Rosario, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby atop Orb.
What's more, General a Rod will run from post No. 9 and will therefore have a chance to settle into favorable position early.
In addition to those factors, General a Rod boasts an impressive pedigree that features some encouraging stamina influences. That's key in a race that spans 10 furlongs.
Place: Danza, 8-1
A favorite to claim the roses on Saturday, the Grade I Arkansas Derby winner has emerged as one of the top contenders in this year's field.
Danza overcame 40-1 odds to win the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park last month, beating out previously-unbeaten Samraat in the process. Displaying sensational closing speed in that race, many have jumped aboard the Danza bandwagon this weekend.
President of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (the company that owns Danza), Aron Wellman admits that Danza's Arkansas Derby performance was a surprise, but also isn't counting out his horse this weekend, per The Courier-Journal's Jeff Greer:
"There are two schools of thought: One that says the Arkansas Derby had to be a fluke. The second is people delving deeper into his form and saying he hadn't done anything wrong and that maybe it wasn't a fluke. This could be the horse that's in the right place at the right time."
Starting from the favorable No. 5 post, watch for Danza to come on strong late, making a few key passes to place second.
Show: California Chrome, 5-2
California Chrome's dominance since December 2013 has been remarkable. The Art Sherman-trained colt has won four straight races, including recent wins at the Grade I Santa Anita Derby and Grade II San Felipe Stakes.
But ESPN.com's Gary West points out a potential concern for the favorite:
California Chrome's main problem in the Derby could be the pace and his position relative to the other speedsters. He has post position No. 5. To his inside, there are two horses, Uncle Sigh (No. 3) and Vicar's In Trouble (No. 1), who possess considerable natural speed. To the Derby favorite's outside, there are more speedsters -- Samraat (No. 6) and General A Rod (No. 8), but especially Wildcat Red (No. 10) and Chitu (No. 13).
California Chrome will start from post No. 6 as a result of a pair of scratches, but will still be surrounded by a handful of speedsters.
As West notes, the key for California Chrome will be patience. If jockey Victor Espinoza and his colt can settle in early and avoid getting caught up in a sprint to the front, their chances of success will be increased. However, with so much speed flanking him, there's no guarantee the favorite won't burn out down the stretch.
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