2014 Derby Contenders
The 140th Kentucky Derby was nothing short of exhilarating and as expected, it was odds-on favorite California Chrome who stole the limelight in front of a near-record breaking crowd of 164,906, gunning it at the top of the stretch to win the first leg of the Triple Crown by 1 3/4 lengths.
As soon as the bell sounded it was Uncle Sigh and Chitu who set the pace, but by the time they made their way into the far turn, the colts began to lose momentum, creating the perfect opening for California Chrome to gallop his way up to the front. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pack was Vicar’s in Trouble. Though he entered the race as the second-highest point earner, his success on the road to the Kentucky Derby didn’t end up serving him well. Jockey Rosie Napravnik could not get him moving quick enough and wound up finishing last.
One of the biggest surprises of the day was long shot Commanding Curve, who hustled his way up from 18th to finish second. Had he won the race, he would have made it into the record books as being the first horse in Derby history to win from the 17th post. Though this wasn’t the case, a second place finish was a victory in and of itself for this colt, who’d won only one of his career starts. As far as the rest of the lineup faired, the lightly raced Pletcher trainee, Danza, came in third while Wicked Strong and Samraat finished fourth and fifth respectively.
California Chrome entered the race with four straight victories under his belt and effortlessly nabbed his fifth. He finished the race with a time of 2:03:66 and is now looking like the favored horse to win the Preakness.
2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders
||Trainer & Jockey
||Vicar's In Trouble
||Mike Maker Rosie Napravnik
||Won the Louisiana Derby and finished third in the Risen Star Stakes.
||Mike Maker Corey Lanerie
||This colt ran well in the Spiral Stakes and earned his spot in the top 20 when Midnight Hawk was taken out.
||Gary Contessa Irad Ortiz
|| Placed second in the Withers and Gotham Stakes, but had a disappointing run in the Wood Memorial Stakes.
||Todd Pletcher Joe Bravo
||This long shot won the Arkansas Derby and is shaping up to be a serious Derby contender.
||Art Sherman Victor Espinoza
||This colt's the clear-cut Derby favorite, having won his last four races by over 24 lengths total.
||Rick Violette Jr. Jose Ortiz
|| Five wins in six career starts for this colt, including victories in the Gotham and Withers Stakes.
||We Miss Artie
||Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano
||Won the Breeders' Futurity and the recent Spiral Stakes but when it comes to the dirt, this colt struggles.
||General A Rod
||Mike Maker Joel Rosario
|| What this colt has going for him is consistency. He's finished in the money in every race he's run and won't be slowing down any time soon.
||Todd Pletcher Joe Rococo Jr.
||Though he won the Sam F. Davis Stakes and placed second in the Tampa Bay Derby, he needs to bounce back from his week Blue Grass performance.
||Jose Garoffalo Luis Saez
|| This fighter's won plenty so far, including the Fountain of Youth and the Hutcheson Stakes.
||Dance with Fate
||Peter Eurton Corey Nakatani
||He may prefer the turf, but his Blue Grass Stakes win is what landed him a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs.
||Bob Baffert Martin Garcia
||A second place finish at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and a win at the Sunland Derby (G3) for this lightly raced colt.
||Dale Romans Robby Albarado
||His road to the Derby started off shaky but he still managed to win the Transylvania Stakes and place second in the Blue Grass Stakes.
||Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr.
||Though he won his share of prep races, a shaky run in the Arkansas Derby has some wondering if he has what it takes to succeed at Churchill Downs
||Todd Pletcher John Velazquez
||The Risen Star winner has a solid amount of racing experience and knows when to kick it in to high gear.
||Dallas Stewart Shaun Bridgmohan
||This young colt is definitely the Derby's longest shot, having won only one race in six career starts.
||John W. Sadler Gary Stevens
||Won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, finished third in the Santa Anita Derby and is heading into the Derby in top shape.
||Ride On Curlin
||William G. Gowan Calvin Borel
||This colt's got a nice pedigree and some solid performances working for him, but it may not be enough to lead him to victory.
||James A. Jerkens Rajiv Maragh
||Made the top 20 by gunning it from seventh to first in the Wood Memorial and finishing third in the Remsen.
||Pablo Del Monte
||Wesley Ward Jeffrey Sanchez
||This last minute entry finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes and secured his spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs after Hoppertunity was scratched.
*Post Positions and odds as of May 1, 2014