2014 Kentucky Derby Field: Post Positions and Betting Info for Churchill Downs

Shehan PeirisCorrespondent IIIMay 3, 2014

May 4, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Joel Rosario aboard Orb (16) is led to the winner's circle after winning the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Mint juleps, big hats and bigger money make up a large chunk of the spectacle surrounding the Kentucky Derby, but all eyes will be on the horses as they Run for the Roses. Here is all the information you need to know about the participants—namely the post positions and most up-to-date odds.

 

Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 3

Where to Watch (TV): NBC

Where to Watch (Live Stream): NBC Sports Live Extra

 

The Field

2014 Kentucky Derby Positions & Odds
Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerOdds
1Vicar's In TroubleRosie NapravnikMike Maker20-1
2Harry's HolidayCorey LanerieMike Maker38-1
3Uncle SighIrad Ortiz Jr.Gary Contessa27-1
4DanzaJoe BravoTodd Pletcher9-1
5California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman2-1
6SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.14-1
7We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher22-1
8General A RodJoel RosarioMike Maker29-1
9VinceremosJoe Rococo Jr.Todd Pletcher50-1
10Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo16-1
11HoppertunityMike SmithBob BaffertScratched
12Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton14-1
13ChituMartin GarciaBob Baffert26-2
14Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans23-1
15TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen38-1
16Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher14-1
17Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart31-1
18Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler16-1
19Ride On CurlinCalvin BorelBilly Gowan15-1
20Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkens7-1
21Pablo Del MonteJeffrey SanchezWesley WardScratched
Odds via KentuckyDerby.com

 

Horses to Keep an Eye On

California Chrome (2-1)

Apr 29, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Groom Raul Rodriguez washes Kentucky Derby hopeful California Chrome while exercise rider William Delgado holds the horse steady following a morning workout out at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODA
USA TODAY Sports

California Chrome is the clear favorite in the field, according to Vegas, and his recent form greatly supports that line of thinking. The California-bred horse has won four consecutive races in spectacular fashion—by a combined total of 24 1/4 lengths.

The most recent triumph came in the Santa Anita Derby, where California Chrome eased to victory, complete with a Usain Bolt-like stroll across the finish line because he was so far ahead of the pack.

His jockey, Victor Espinoza, has experience at Churchill Downs and won on the back of War Emblem in 2002—from the same No. 5 post he will be starting from Saturday night.

California Chrome has the form of a favorite, but his versatility also bodes well for him. Over his last four wins, we’ve seen him go wire-to-wire in the lead (San Felipe) and come from behind with that tremendous closing speed (California Cup Derby).

Espinoza has been purposely varying his tactics, according to Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated:

"I wanted to try different things with him," says Espinoza. "I know that sounds crazy, but I wanted to see what he could do. And he can do anything."

The Derby is a race where anything can happen and where favorites have historically not done as well as was initially predicted. Regardless, California Chrome has given us no reason to doubt the odds and will definitely be in the hunt as the horses gallop into the home stretch.

 

Wildcat Red (16-1)

Garry Jones/Associated Press

The aforementioned favorite looks to be in a league of his own in the Run for the Roses, but there are a cluster of horses with similar odds. At least one of the horses is a good bet to wind up in the winner’s circle, and my money is on Wildcat Red.

There are two reasons for my faith: post position and a history of always being in the mix near the finish line.

Wildcat Red will be starting from post No. 10, the winningest starting position since the traditional starting gate was introduced in 1930. Coming out of the gates in the middle of the pack will allow jockey Luis Saez to get to the rail early—especially considering the strong starting speed of his horse (he ran the first furlong in 13.5 seconds during his "last real work").

According to Frank Angst of BloodHorse.com (via ESPN.com), trainer Jose Garoffalo was very optimistic after that last workout despite an underwhelming overall time:

He's the kind of horse that doesn't need too much to do. I know most people like the clock, they were expecting a minute flat or a :59 seconds or so, but I'm not too worried about it. The nice thing about it is he finished strong, the last quarter of a mile was very strong. And after the wire, the gallop out was very solid.

While Wildcat Red has the initial burst of a sprinter, the horse also has tremendous fight and saves enough juice for the home stretch. As a result, he has never finished worse than second in his seven-race career.

This horse has always come through and been a factor in the dying seconds, with his biggest loss being by 3/4 of a length. He will be a major player down the stretch again on the sport’s biggest stage.

 

Ride On Curlin (15-1)

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 29: Ride On Curlin is ridden by Bryan Beccia during the morning exercise session in preparation for the140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Pedigree is an important factor in horse racing, and Ride On Curlin is the son of Hall of Fame horse Curlin. Furthermore, his jockey is a three-time winner at Churchill Downs since 2007 and has accomplished the feat on long shots and favorites alike.

Starting so far on the outside (post No. 19) isn’t good for Calvin Borel’s hopes of getting to the rail, but Ride On Curlin displayed brilliant closing speed to finish the Arkansas Derby, and that racing style generally does well in Louisville, the horse’s hometown.

Ride On Curlin doesn’t have great odds, but the combination of Borel and the horse’s closing speed make him one to watch toward the end of the fastest two minutes in sports.