The 2014 Kentucky Derby was one of the most exciting races of the year thus far, and after the purse payout was determined, it was clear that horse racing fans were treated to an ideal first leg of the Triple Crown.
California Chrome lived up to all of the expectations coming into the 140th Kentucky Derby by winning the race, and he managed to steal the show in his fifth race in a row by starting his quest for the Triple Crown with an ideal run.
Congrats #CaliforniaChrome. Owners bought you're mom for $10k against the odds, breed her to $2,500 stallion, now you're 140th Derby champ— Adam Johnson (@AJInsight) May 3, 2014
Here is how the payouts will be distributed for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
|First||California Chrome||Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin||Victor Espinoza||$1,442,800|
|Second||Commanding Curve||West Point Thoroughbreds||Shaun Bridgmohan||$400,000|
|Third||Danza||Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners||Joe Bravo||$200,000|
|Fourth||Wicked Strong||Centennial Farms||James A. Jerkens||$100,000|
|Fifth||Samraat||My Meadowview Farm||Jose Ortiz||$60,000|
Breaking Down the 2014 Kentucky Derby
The 2014 Kentucky Derby was won by the betting favorite California Chrome, and he proved to be the legitimate Triple Crown contender many experts believed he could be.
California Chrome won each of his previous four races leading into this event—he won the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes, California Cup Derby and King Glorious Stakes—and looks to have the momentum heading into the Preakness Stakes.
ESPN’s stat department shared some interesting statistics about California Chrome’s victory:
It's only the 2nd time since 1980 a morning-line favorite at 5-2 or shorter went on to win the Kentucky Derby (2002 - Fusaichi Pegasus).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2014
Trainer Art Sherman is the oldest Derby-winning trainer ever (77 years old).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2014
The race was drastically changed before it even began as well. With legendary trainer Bob Baffert scratching Hoppertunity, bettors were forced to look elsewhere for a favorite to bet on.
Baffert told Esther Marr of The Blood-Horse about why he made the choice:
"He could be fine tomorrow but I didn't want to risk it. -Bob Baffert on Hoppertunity being out #kyderby— Esther Marr (@BH_EMarr) May 1, 2014
While much credit goes to the spectacular runs of second-place finisher Commanding Curve and third-place finisher Danza, this was California Chrome’s introduction to the casual fans who will now be rooting him on for a Triple Crown victory.
The sports world has been desperate for another Triple Crown winner since Affirmed won in 1978, and with California Chrome looking strong enough to accomplish the feat, the frenzy over the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 17, will be through the roof.
The horse racing madness is only picking up steam.
*Stats via HorseRacingNation.com.