Kentucky Derby 2014: Horses with Momentum Heading into Preakness Stakes Race

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2014

In this image taken with a fisheye lens, jockey Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The 2014 Kentucky Derby was the 140th installment of the biggest horse race in the United States, and there are several horses that ran well at Churchill Downs that will translate the success to the Preakness Stakes.

The Preakness Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, at Pimlico Race Course, and this event is the second leg of the vaunted horse racing Triple Crown. After stealing the show at the Derby, California Chrome is looking to cement his spot in history at the Preakness.

There are several other horses that shined at Churchill Downs that will also run well at Pimlico.

Here are the horses with the most momentum heading into the 2014 Preakness Stakes.


California Chrome

The excitement every year during the time between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes is through the roof due to the Tripe Crown implications, but most years, the hope feels forced and unrealistic.

With California Chrome now winning five races in a row and dominating the field at Churchill Downs, the doubts that he could be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 are starting to disappear.

Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form believes in the horse after his run Saturday:

The horse racing community believes in California Chrome.

Add in veteran trainer Art Sherman building off his first career Derby victory and the budding relationship between jockey Victor Espinoza and the horse, and California Chrome will be a favorite to steal the show at the Preakness Stakes as well.


Commanding Curve

Few horse racing fans expected much out of Commanding Curve in the Kentucky Derby, but with an excellent run to the front, the horse managed a second-place finish in the biggest race of the year.

Commanding Curve’s trainer, Dallas Stewart, told Marty McGee of Daily Racing Form about the horse’s status for the Preakness Stakes:

Coming into the Derby, Commanding Curve had struggled to a sixth-place finish at the Risen Stakes in February, but he bounced back for a third-place run at the Louisiana Derby in March.

With a trainer like Dallas Stewart on his side and a talented jockey like Shaun Bridgmohan on the mount, there is no doubt that Commanding Curve has the speed out of the gates and the stamina to contend for a win at Pimlico.


Ride on Curlin

One of the horses most affected by the traffic was Ride On Curlin. As one of the fastest horses in the field, several stalled lanes forced him to the back of the field before a late charge forward to a seventh-place finish.

Ride on Curlin was piloted Saturday by star jockey Calvin Borel, and it was clear during the race that he was incredibly frustrated by the pace of the race and his inability to work through traffic.

If Borel stays with Ride on Curlin, his main goal will be getting out front early.

While this horse hasn’t won in each of his last four races, he finished in the top three in the Arkansas Derby, Rebel Stakes and Southwest Stakes. Add in the late run at Churchill Downs, and he will have a much better race at the Preakness Stakes.


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