Kentucky Derby Field 2014: Final Outlook for Race Lineup at Churchill Downs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

A horse goes for a morning workout at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Need a last-minute crash session before the Kentucky Derby starts so you can impress those around you in between sips of mint juleps? 

Fear not because we have a look at the broadcast schedule and the final outlook for every horse that includes the odds, trainers, jockeys and positioning relative to the rest of the competitors. The lines are courtesy of Odds Shark as of Friday, May 2:

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
2014 Kentucky Derby Odds and 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 know all of that critical information, let’s take a look at some quick facts for some of the horses to watch in the field.

Vicar’s In Trouble

Vicar’s In Trouble comes from Louisiana, where he won his home state’s derby in March. 

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

That victory clearly won’t hold as much weight as one in Churchill Downs would, but he drew the rail in the posting position. Fortunately, Vicar’s In Trouble has impressive early speed out of the gates, and he will need every last bit of that to avoid falling behind from that inside positioning.


You guessed it: This horse is named after actor Tony Danza. That is because the horse’s sire is Street Boss, and Tony Danza starred on the show Who’s the Boss? 

Morry Gash/Associated Press

On the actual track, Danza was sidelined by a knee injury for much of last year, but he did win the Arkansas Derby recently, so there is some momentum in his corner.

California Chrome

California Chrome is the overwhelming favorite because he has won four straight races in dominating fashion and six events overall. 

He is the best horse in the field, and jockey Victor Espinoza has won the Derby before. Look for California Chrome to jump out to an early lead and show the world why he has been so dominant lately.

Morry Gash/Associated Press

He will follow through on his status as favorite by winning. He won’t get caught on the rail, and he isn’t starting from too far outside. He also boasts incredible closing speed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have such impressive wins under his belt.

A quick start, solid finishing speed and an experienced jockey is a heck of a combination to beat. Throw that on top of the fact that perhaps his biggest challenger in Hoppertunity scratched before the race, and you have your Kentucky Derby winner right here.


Sports Illustrated's Mark Beech broke down this potential dark horse’s chances prior to the race:

He's won five times in six career starts, with his only defeat coming when he ran between rivals in the stretch to finish second to Wicked Strong in the Wood Memorial on April 5. Samraat is quick out of the gate and in every one of his races has run on or near the pace. There's no questioning his heart -- his record speaks for itself -- but the slightly built bay may be another for whom the Derby's 10 furlongs is too much.

Ultimately, Beech is probably right about the distance being an issue for Samraat, but those wins are hard to ignore. Don't be surprised if he challenges for a spot in the top three Saturday.

Wicked Strong

Perhaps the best challenger remaining now that Hoppertunity is no longer in the field for California Chrome is Wicked Strong.

Morry Gash/Associated Press

Wicked Strong is known as a closer who comes from off the pace, which is perfect considering he will be starting from the outside. Nobody wants to start that far out, but if there is a horse capable of making up that ground, it is Wicked Strong.

Trainer James Jenkins discussed the unfortunate posting, via Darren Rogers of

"It might be that speed is quick and they get to rolling in a clump and he can draft in behind them and it'll work out OK. The one positive is that he's not in the gate very long. I'm trying to convince myself that it's not a bad post, but I don't know if I can."

Watching California Chrome race to the finish probably won't help Jenkins convince himself that his horse's posting was solid either.

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