Kentucky Derby 2014 Video: Replay Highlights, Race Results and Breakdown

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMay 4, 2014

Victor Espinoza celebrates after riding California Chrome to a victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

As the odds and pre-race hype suggested, California Chrome was the clear class of the Kentucky Derby field. 

The Art Sherman trainee won the 140th Run for the Roses by turning on the jets early on the homestretch and then cruising to victory. Although the win for the runaway favorite was no surprise, Commanding Curve's closing burst to place was. 

Leaving the gate at 50-1, Commanding Curve was not expected to be among the top finishers, but he proved how undervalued he was with a huge closing kick.

Behind Commanding Curve were a couple of pre-race favorites with Danza coming in third and Wicked Strong closing to fourth. Have a look at all the results. 

 

At 77, Sherman became the oldest trainer to ever win the Kentucky Derby, and this is just one fact about California Chrome's story that makes him such a charming and surprising winner. His recent performances are not one of those facts. 

California Chrome has now won five straight races, and he's been completely dominant in that stretch. On Saturday, he won by less than two lengths, but that does not tell the whole story. In case you missed it, here is the race. 

2014 Kentucky Derby Results
Pos.PostHorseJockeyTrainerEarnings
15California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman$1,442,800
217Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart$400,000
34DanzaJoe BravoTodd Pletcher$200,000
420Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkens$100,000
56SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.$60,000
612Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton
719Ride On CurlinCalvin BorelBilly Gowan
814Medal CountRobby AlbaradoDale Romans
913ChituMartin GarciaBob Baffert
107We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher
118General A RodJoel RosarioMike Maker
1216Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher
1318Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler
143Uncle SighIrad Ortiz Jr.Gary Contessa
1515TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen
162Harry's HolidayCorey LanerieMike Maker
179VinceremosJoe Rococo Jr.Todd Pletcher
1810Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo
191Vicar's In TroubleRosie NapravnikMike Maker
Scr.11HoppertunityMike SmithBob Baffert
Source: KentuckyDerby.com

Chrome had a bit of a stumble coming out of the gate but recovered quickly. Besides, the start was not all that important. There was a slow, early pace to the race. This allowed the top contenders to comfortably get in position to make a charge down the stretch. 

Chrome was in third for much of the race behind early pace-setters Uncle Sigh and Chitu. He had no problem leaving those two in the dust as he made his charge. In fact, a few strides into his closing burst, it quickly became apparent he was going to leave every horse in his wake. 

Although Chrome's race rightfully will grab all of the headlines, don't sleep on Commanding Curve. Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh helped highlight this: 

Before anyone starts using that to predict Commanding Curve derailing California Chrome's attempt at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, remember that jockey Victor Espinoza let up on the last few gallops to begin his well-earned celebration. 

Chrome deserves to go off at the Preakness as a big favorite, and the Triple Crown is a real possibility. Although it is hard to project the final leg, the Belmont, given that we have no idea what the field will look like, Chrome has the speed, stamina, finishing kick and competitiveness to pull off the task.