2014 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Picks 2014: Predictions and Odds for All Horses Before 140th Race

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02:  Untapable #13, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, and at this point, you know the field, the horses to watch and the jockeys of interest.

So, which horse will cross that finish line first? 

Here is a look at the predicted finish for the entire 19-horse field, as well as the odds for each one to put it in perspective. The odds are courtesy of Odds Shark as of Saturday, May 3.

2014 Kentucky Derby Odds and Predicted Finish
PostHorseJockeyTrainerOddsPredicted Finish
1Vicar's In TroubleRosie NapravnikMike Maker20-15
2Harry's HolidayCorey LanerieMike Maker50-117
3Uncle SighIrad Ortiz Jr.Gary Contessa30-116
4DanzaJoe BravoTodd Pletcher8-13
5California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman5-21
6SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.15-16
7We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher50-115
8General A RodJoel RosarioMike Maker15-17
9VinceremosJoe Rocco Jr.Todd Pletecher30-119
10Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo15-110
11HoppertunityMike SmithBob BaffertSCRATCHEDN/A
12Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton20-114
13ChituMartin GarciaBob Baffert20-113
14Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans20-112
15TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen12-111
16Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher8-19
17Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart50-118
18Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler15-18
19Ride On CurlinCalvin BorelWilliam G. Gowan15-14
20Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJames A. Jerkens6-12
21Pablo Del MonteJeffrey SanchezWesley WardSCRATCHEDN/A
odds courtesy of Odds Shark

Now that we know what the projected finish looks like, let’s take a glance at our top three picks.

 

California Chrome 

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 01:  California Chrome runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

California Chrome has done nothing but dominate since he turned three years old. In fact, he is undefeated as a three-year-old and has won six different times in 10 starts in his career.

California Chrome comes into the Kentucky Derby with four straight victories by a combined 24.5 lengths, so it is safe to say that he has momentum in his corner. Included in that stretch were solid wins in the San Felipe Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby.

If there is anything to watch out for, though, it is the fact that he will be racing outside of his home state of California. The Associated Press pointed out that California horses don’t have an illustrious recent history at Churchill Downs:

Despite that fact, California Chrome is the favorite for a reason.

He will jump out to an early lead from a solid posting position and cruise to victory from there. Hoppertunity is no longer a threat after scratching, and California Chrome has dominant closing speed. He has shown as much recently since turning three years old. 

Look for him to continue his hot streak by adding the most illustrious title in horse racing to his resume.

 

Wicked Strong

Morry Gash/Associated Press

Wicked Strong is known for his closing speed, especially after emerging from the middle of the pack to win the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

Owner Don Little Jr. discussed how crazy things have gotten since that win, via John Powers of The Boston Globe: “Since he crossed the line it’s been nonstop. The eight hours of sleep a night are long gone.” 

He will need that closing speed because he is starting on the outside at the Kentucky Derby. There are so many horses in the field that chasing down all of them is a monumental task, given the posting. Were it not for that rather unfortunate posting, Wicked Strong would probably be the most serious threat to California Chrome, but it will be too much to overcome Saturday in terms of winning the actual race.

 

Danza

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Danza dealt with a knee injury for much of last year, but he did win the Arkansas Derby in April and enters Churchill Downs with some momentum. 

He also boasts a pedigree that is a solid combination of speed and endurance, two critical traits when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. His sire, Street Boss, won the Bing Crosby, Triple Bend and Los Angeles Handicaps in 2008 and was known as more of a sprinter. His dam, Champagne Royale, was responsible for multiple winners over long distances (Consider Yourself and Majestic Harbor).

Danza, who is actually named after actor Tony Danza, will have to flash both speed and endurance to compete in this field. Unfortunately for him, it still won’t be enough to hold off the red-hot California Chrome.

 

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