Kentucky Derby 2014 Contenders: Race-Day Picks for Top Horses and Jockeys

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  A horse and jockey walk past the twin spires prior to the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2014 Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest horse races of the entire year, and the focus on which contenders will fight for the victory in the first leg of the Triple Crown has fans of the sport in a frenzy.

With possible contenders like Candy Boy, Vicar's In Trouble and Intense Holiday all looking to fight for a huge victory, the competition and depth in this year’s race will make it one of the best in a long time.

Here are the top horses and jockeys to watch during the fastest two minutes in sports.


2014 Kentucky Derby Post Positions, Odds and Other Vital Info
Post Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Vicar's In Trouble Mike Maker Rosie Napravnik 20-1
2 Harry's Holiday Mike Maker Corey Lanerie 38-1
3 Uncle Sigh Gary Contessa Irad Ortiz Jr. 26-1
4 Danza Todd Pletcher Joe Bravo 9-1
5 California Chrome Art Sherman Victor Espinoza 2-1
6 Samraat Rick Violette Jr. Jose Ortiz 14-1
7 We Miss Artie Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 22-1
8 General A Rod Mike Maker Joel Rosario 29-1
9 Vinceremos Todd Pletcher Joe Rococo Jr. 50-1
10 Wildcat Red Jose Garoffalo Luis Saez 16-1
11 Hoppertunity (SCRATCHED) N/A
12 Dance With Fate Peter Eurton Corey Nakatani 14-1
13 Chitu Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 26-1
14 Medal Count Dale Romans Robby Albarado 23-1
15 Tapiture Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 38-1
16 Intense Holiday Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 14-1
17 Commanding Curve Dallas Stewart Shaun Bridgmohan 31-1
18 Candy Boy John Sadler Gary Stevens 16-1
19 Ride On Curlin William G. Gowan Calvin Borel 15-1
20 Wicked Strong James A. Jerkens Rajiv Maragh 7-1
21 Pablo Del Monte (SCRATCHED) 21 N/A
Source: Horse Racing Nation. Odds via OddsShark as of May 3.


Candy Boy

There are many fans overlooking Candy Boy for Saturday’s race at Churchill Downs, but this is the type of horse that can run to the front of the pack early and stay there throughout the 1 1/4-mile event.

Bettors are looking at Candy Boy’s third-place finish at the Santa Anita Derby as a negative, but the traffic he contested against and his previous success and victory at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes proves he has what it takes to be victorious.

While Candy Boy will have to start from post No. 17, the combination of trainer John Sadler and legendary jockey Gary Stevens could be the boost this horse needs to overcome the odds and win the Derby.

Predicted Finish: First


Vicar's In Trouble

Starting from the first post will be a tough challenge for Vicar's In Trouble, but with a trainer on his side like Mike Maker and a jockey as red hot right now as Rosie Napravnik, this horse should be considered a major contender.

The key for Vicar's In Trouble will be the start. Napravnik knows that the horse will be trapped in traffic if he doesn’t get out of the gate fast, and getting trapped against the rail with a less-than-stellar start will ruin his chance at victory.

A third-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes has many fans questioning his ability to win at Churchill Downs on Saturday, but a huge victory at the Louisiana Derby in March has momentum and confidence on this horse’s side.

Predicted Finish: Second


Intense Holiday

The main issue that many fans looking to make a wager have with betting on Intense Holiday is his inconsistency. With only one win in his last six races, the skepticism is fair.

While Intense Holiday finished second at the Louisiana Derby in March, the horse and jockey John Velazquez managed to win the Risen Star in February. In his last three races, Intense Holiday has looked much stronger than in months prior.

Not only does Intense Holiday have a legendary jockey like Velazquez on his back, but he also has world-renowned trainer Todd Pletcher in his corner as the horse prepares for the biggest race of his life.

Predicted Finish: Fourth


*Stats via


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