Kentucky Derby 2014: Video Highlights, Payouts and Churchill Downs Results

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  California Chrome with Victor Espinoza up crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Churchill Downs isn't a place typically fond of huge favorites, but that changed on the first Saturday in May at the 2014 Kentucky Derby as California Chrome took home the victory.

With 5-2 odds heading into the race, the thoroughbred was the overwhelming pick among bettors after coming in with a whopping four-race win streak—all of which came in runaway fashion. 

California Chrome validated that ridiculous hype with a masterful race. Jockey Victor Espinoza kept the racehorse near the rail, taking advantage of a No. 5 post position and staying within a few lengths of the leader throughout.

When things entered the final stretch, it was California Chrome who mustered up enough to pull away from the pack. Stride for stride, he made it no doubt that the favorite would make it five straight convincing victories and begin the talk of a Triple Crown.

Check out the entire replay here:

And the official results from Churchill Downs:

2014 Kentucky Derby Results
15California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman2:03.66
217Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart1 3/4
34DanzaJoe BravoTodd Pletcher3
420Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkens5 3/4
56SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.5 3/4
612Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton6 1/4
719Ride On CurlinCalvin BorelBilly Gowan6 3/4
814Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans7 1/2
913ChituMartin GarciaBob Baffert8
107We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher8 1/4
118General A RodJoel RosarioMike Maker8 1/4
1216Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher9
1318Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler11 3/4
143Uncle SighIrad Ortiz Jr.Gary Contessa15
1515TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen16 1/4
162Harry's HolidayCorey LanerieMike Maker22 1/2
179VinceremosJoe Rococo Jr.Todd Pletcher28
1810Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo28 1/4
191Vicar's In TroubleRosie NapravnikMike Maker38 1/4
11SCRHoppertunityMike SmithBob BaffertSCR
Per NBC Broadcast

Here's a look at the payout table for the top three finishers, per

It wasn't just the champion generating buzz. Commanding Curve finished in second after a thrilling run that seemed to come out of nowhere.

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  California Chrome #5, ridden by Victor Espinoza, comes out of the fourth turn enroute to winning the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Image
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Only two horses in the field had worse chances of reaching the winner's circle, per, than Commanding Curve, who saw 37-1 odds of winning. And despite starting on the 17th post, this underdog made for the big secondary storyline of the afternoon.

Along with him was Danza, who finished third. One of four Todd Pletcher-trained horses in the field, Danza proved his big 8-1 odds weren't undeserved with a strong run. But the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner fell just short of testing California Chrome down the final stretch. 

Let's see what all of the top finishers earned:

2014 Kentucky Derby Payout
1California ChromeSteve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin$1,417,800
2Commanding CurveWest Point Thoroughbreds$400,000
3DanzaEclipse Thoroughbred Partners$200,000
4Wicked StrongCentennial Farms$100,000
5SamraatMy Meadowview Farm$60,000

Of course, the champion, California Chrome—and possibly a few of the top finishers from Saturday—won't have much time to soak in the result before getting ready for the Preakness.

With just two weeks separating the races, trainer Art Sherman plans to keep his winner in Churchill Downs for the week before making the trek to Maryland and Pimlico Race Course, per Daily Racing Form:

When he gets there, California Chrome figures to be one of the biggest favorites in a major horse race in quite some time. He was already slotted with eye-popping 6-5 odds minutes after the Derby concluded, per's Trev Rogers

How well California Chrome has been dealt with over the past few months will be key in his performance at the Preakness. Nearly a month was separated between his Santa Anita Derby win and Saturday—close to the same time span that lies between all three Triple Crown legs. 

David Goldman/Associated Press

At the Preakness, there will be a much-shortened field—it's typically 10 to 12 horses instead of Churchill Downs' 20—and the race track is of a slightly shorter distance, at about a 1/16-mile less than the Kentucky Derby. That will open things up for whoever has the freshest legs and whoever has the best getaway ability.

As for the latter, California Chrome doesn't look to have much competition. His most dangerous threats—horses like Danza and Samraat—looked to be a few levels below the California-bred thoroughbred on Saturday. Hoppertunity could bounce back for Pimlico but missed Saturday's race after being scratched due to injury. 

Horse racing is as unpredictable as they come, even when there are big favorites. But California Chrome has been easy money throughout this racing season, and there aren't a whole lot of serious contenders looking like threats to end his budding Triple Crown bid.