Kentucky Derby Odds
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s time to do your last bit of final research and get your bets in for the race. Only three horses are currently listed with odds better than 10 to 1. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three favorites, plus I’ve added a table at the bottom with a complete list of odds for the rest of the field.
California Chrome (+250)
California Chrome is the overwhelming favorite and it’s hard to argue after his dominating performance at the Santa Anita Derby earlier this month, where he finished 5 1/2 lengths ahead of the field and posted the fourth fastest time (1:47.52) ever. That win was the fourth straight victory for California Chrome and it came over a couple of strong Derby contenders in Hoppertunity and Candy Boy.
The big question that won’t be answered until he takes the track at Churchill Downs, is how will his West Coast dominance transfer outside the state. We have seen a lot of strong horses out of California fail to deliver at the Kentucky Derby. Keep in mind that California Chrome’s time at the Santa Anita Derby was the fastest since Indiana Charlie back in 1998. Indian Charlie was one of the favorites going into the Kentucky Derby and ended up finishing 3rd.
Wicked Strong (+500)
Wicked Strong climbed up the ranks as a serious Derby contender with his upset win at the Wood Memorial, where he brought home a 3 1/2-length win over a couple of strong horses in Samraat and Social Inclusion. We have seen a lot of horses that have run well at the Wood Memorial carry over that success to Churchill Downs. What I really liked about his performance at the Wood Memorial was he came from the back of the back with a huge surge down the stretch run. It’s a strategy that has worked well at the Derby.
The concern with Wicked Strong is that he was far from impressive in his first two starts of 2014, including a disappointing 9th place finish at the Holy Bull-G2. On the positive side of this, both of his poor starts came at the same track (Gulfstream Park), which favors horses with a lot of speed out of the gates and is much shorter than Churchill Downs at just 1 1/16 miles.
Hoppertunity may come into the race as the third favorite, but he does not have history on his side. He did not race as a juvenile (2-year-old) and that has been a recipe for failure. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old was Apollo in 1882. It also doesn’t help his cause that he finished 5 1/2 lengths back of California Chrome at the San Anita Derby.
While the odds appear stacked against Hoppertunity, the fact that he’s listed at 8 to 1 tells you a lot of people aren’t giving up on him just yet. Trainer Bob Baffert has tried to make up for some of the lost time as juvenile by sending out this horse five times in 2014. He’s got a couple of wins, including a victory at the Rebel Stakes-G2 just prior to his runner-up at the Santa Anita Derby. We may have not seen the best of what this horse has to offer.
The Rest of Field
|Dance With Fate||+2000|
|Ride On Curlin||+2400|
|Vicars In Trouble||+2400|
|General A Rod||+3500|
|We Miss Artie||+4000|
|Pablo Del Monte||+6000|