3 up, 3 down may sound like the result of one inning of major league baseball with a great pitcher, but we are referring of course to the 140th Kentucky Derby. It seems like this time of year there are one or two three-year-old thoroughbreds which look like locks to make a run for the Triple Crown, only to have injuries or head scratching poor performances remove them from that designation, if not the race altogether. But this year we have no fewer than six major names moving up and down the Kentucky Derby odds board. And the smart equestrian gambler need only look back to 2006 (Barbaro at 6 to 1) and 2011 (Animal Kingdom at 21 to 1) for some relevant Kentucky Derby betting information. Barbaro won easily as a favorite, and Animal Kingdom had a moderately easy time in victory as well. However, both horses were running very strong heading into the first leg of the United States thoroughbred horse racing Triple Crown, which often proves enough for victory. Heating up are Intense Holiday, Candy Boy and Medal Count. Cooling off at the wrong time are Wildcat Red, Vicker’s in Trouble and We Miss Artie.
Las Vegas Odds on Kentucky Derby Favorites
California Chrome is undoubtedly the odds on favorite to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby, and it’s not even close. Finishing third to California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, Candy Boy has to be considered a Vegas odds on favorite in the Derby as well. Hoppertunity finished second in the strong Santa Anita Derby field and also won the Rebel Stakes, and could take home the Derby title as well. As mentioned above, Intense Holiday has been extremely strong lately and seems to be percolating at just the right time. Wicked Strong might be the fastest horse in the field, with the only chance to outrun California Chrome in a dead sprint. Samraat was at one time the favorite to win the first leg of the Triple Crown, and will probably finish in the top three. Medal Count is quietly strong currently, and Danza (the horse, not Tony) could provide a nice payday as well.
Las Vegas Odds on Kentucky Derby Sleepers
General A Rod has a legitimate shot at a top three finish, which would make for an attractive payday. Dance With Fate would have to be considered a sleeper, although the horse is probably narrowly ranked in the top half of the field. With previously strong candidates Social Inclusion and Bayern out, the hard charging Wildcat Red also has a chance at history. We Miss Artie probably has the longest odds that accompany a horse with a decent chance at finishing in the top three. And Chitu, off a victory in the Sunland Derby, the same race that put long shot Mine That Bird on the map in 2009, delivers some long odds and is in the respected Bob Baffert stable. Ride on Curlin could also be seen as a possibility, as he has three time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle. If anyone can take a longshot to victory, the man who spurred Mine That Bird to the second biggest upset in Derby history can definitely get the job done.
2014 Kentucky Derby Start time, Winner’s Purse
The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs on the evening of Saturday, May 3. The winner is guaranteed at least $1.24 million, a reward for winning a race so steeped in history and tradition. The historic Churchill Downs racetrack began awarding the traditional Garland of Roses to the Kentucky Derby winner back in 1896, after the presentation to all the ladies at the fashionable Louisville Derby party was such a hit. The Striking Twin Spires which are part of the Churchill Downs grandstand were actually drafted by a young 24-year-old, Joseph Dominic Baldez in 1895. And as the horses first step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade, My Old Kentucky Home is played by the band as attendees sip Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby for nearly 2 decades.
Kentucky Derby Post Position Trivia and Other Triple Crown Facts
It was only two years ago that I’ll Have Another became the first thoroughbred ever to move from the 19th post on to Kentucky Derby victory. The number 1 and 5 post positions are the most attractive starting spots, with 12 victories each. The number 4 slot has seen 11 victories all-time, and the number 17 post position for the Kentucky Derby is the only spot which is winless. Having said that, post-position will be drawn on Wednesday, April 30 at the Churchill Downs Racetrack Clubhouse. The last time a horse won all three races of the Triple Crown was 1978, with Steve Cauthen aboard Affirmed as the youngest jockey ever to achieve the elusive Triple Crown title. Since then, Real Quiet has made the most noise as a possible Triple Crown winner, losing the Belmont Stakes barely by a nose in 1998. Only 11 horses all time have gone on to win the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes after winning The Run for the Roses to make horse racing history as a Triple Crown winner.