Kentucky Derby Contenders

2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders

2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Kentucky Derby 2014 is the most coveted race in all of thoroughbred horse racing. Betting on the Kentucky Derby exceeds that of any other race. In fact, it is one of the most wagered on events in all of sports. In 2013 a total of $130.5 million went through the windows for the Run for the Roses. The Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown which also includes the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

One of the best ways of finding a winner in the Derby is to start following the contenders closely early on. We will track the top contenders and list our top 10 every week on this page. Be sure to check back often!

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender California Chrome

#1 California Chrome

  • Sire: Lucky Pulpit
  • Dam: Love The Chase by Not For Love
  • Trainer: Art Sherman
  • Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  • Owner: Steven Coburn and Martin Perry
  • Road to Kentucky Derby Points: 150
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby (1st), Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes (1st)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 3-1
  • Comments: The smoke from the Road to the Kentucky Derby has cleared, revealing California Chrome as a very deserving favorite. If he can replicate the form flashed in his last two races, everyone else is running for second. However, that’s easier said than done.  Check out my review of his Santa Anita Derby win.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Ride on Curlin

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Ride on Curlin

#2 Ride On Curlin

  • Sire: Curlin
  • Dam: Magical Ride by Storm Cat
  • Trainer: William Gowan
  • Jockey: Jon Kenton Court
  • Owner: Daniel J. Dougherty
  • Road to Kentucky Derby Points: 55
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (2nd), Grade 2 Rebel Stakes (3rd)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1+
  • Comments: The latent talent this colt possesses has been evident from day one, but bringing that talent to the forefront has been hit and miss. He appears to be in the best form of his career right now and should be peaking at the right time. He is a son of young stallion and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, whose progeny definitely ripen during the Triple Crown. His ability to stay the distance is unquestionable and he can do something that many in this group cannot; pass horses. Look for Jon Court to have him rolling off the pace and perhaps pick them all off in the last furlong of the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Danza

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Danza

#3 Danza

  • Sire: Street Boss
  • Dam: Champagne Royal by French Deputy
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Joe Bravo
  • Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners
  • Road to Kentucky Derby Points: 100
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (1st), Grade 2 Saratoga Special (3rd)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 15-1+
  • Comments: Pedigree is no issue and he is a push button horse. The setup he figures to get at Churchill Downs is ideal. Don’t let the fact that he was a bomb in the Arkansas Derby fool you; this colt is for real.
Kentucky Derby contender 2014 Hoppertunity

Kentucky Derby contender 2014 Hoppertunity

#4 Hoppertunity

  • Sire: Any Given Saturday
  • Dam: Refugee by Unaccounted For
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Mike Smith
  • Owner: Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram & Paul Weitman
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 95
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby (2nd), Grade 2 Rebel Stakes (1st)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 12-1+
  • Comments: Sneaky good racehorse didn’t need to win the Santa Anita Derby, but still produced a good effort. He is lightly raced and his best is clearly in front of him. Can Bob Baffert get him to peak at Churchill Downs? The price is going to be big enough to make it worth taking a chance.

 

Kentucky Derby contender Tapiture

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Tapiture

#5 Tapiture

  • Sire: Tapit
  • Dam: Free Spin by Olympio
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
  • Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 52
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (1st), Grade 3 Southwest Stakes (1st), Grade 2 Rebel Stakes (2nd)
  • Comments: Didn’t have an answer in the Arkansas Derby, but keep in mind that he didn’t need to win. This colt is a Grade 2 winner at Churchill Downs and could still be getting better. Distance is obviously his biggest question. You have to be cold-blooded as a gambler, but as a fan I’d hate to watch Steve Asmussen win the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Medal Count

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Medal Count

#6 Medal Count

  • Sire: Dynaformer
  • Dam: Brisquette by Unbridled’s Song
  • Trainer: Dale Romans
  • Probable Jockey: Robby Albarado
  • Owner: Spendthrift Farm
  • Road to Kentucky Derby Points: 40
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes (2nd), Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes (1st)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 30-1+
  • Comments: Enters Kentucky Derby 2014 on the heels of a big time effort to finish second in Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes. He did so despite racing from a disadvantageous outside post. Many Kentucky Derby betting pundits will dismiss him as a turf and Poly Track specialist, but that is a hasty generalization. Sire Dynaformer is responsible for 2006 Derby winner Barbaro and Medal Count’s half-sister, Garden District, is a graded stakes winner on Churchill Downs main track.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Samraat

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Samraat

#7 Samraat

  • Sire: Noble Causeway
  • Dam: Little Indian Girl by Indian Charlie
  • Trainer: Richard Violette
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Owner: My Meadowview Farm
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 100
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Wood Memorial (2nd), Grade 3 Gotham Stakes (1st), Grade 3 Withers Stakes (1st)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1+
  • Comments: This colt is a warrior! That’s exactly what I want in my Kentucky Derby horse. He has all of the intangibles that many of the others are lacking. His biggest concern is his ability to get the distance. I plan to closely monitor his training when he arrives at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Wicked Strong

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Wicked Strong

#8 Wicked Strong

  • Sire: Hard Spun
  • Dam: Moyne Abbey by Unaccounted For
  • Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
  • Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
  • Owner: Centennial Farms
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 102
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Wood Memorial (1st), Grade 2 Remsen Stakes (3rd)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 8-1+
  • Comments: Late moving horse is built to succeed in classic races like those of the Triple Crown. However, he won the Wood Memorial under ideal circumstances and could be an underlay on the first Saturday in May. Check out my Wood Memorial review for more thoughts on this contender.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender General a Rod

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender General a Rod

#9 General a Rod

  • Sire: Roman Ruler
  • Dam: Dynamite Eyes by Dynaformer
  • Trainer: Michael Maker
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • OwnerJ. Armando Rodriguez
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 40
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 1 Florida Derby (3rd), Grade 2 Fountain of Youth (2nd)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1+
  • Comments: Hasn’t disgraced himself all season and I don’t think we’ve seen his best stuff yet. This will be one of the first races in which he can relax and try to come rolling late. That could make all the difference.
Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Vicar's In Trouble

Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Vicar’s In Trouble

#10 Vicar’s In Trouble

  • Sire: Into Mischief
  • Dam: Vibrant by Vicar
  • Trainer: Michael Maker
  • Jockey:Rosie Napravnik
  • Owner: Ken Ramsey
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 120
  • Marquee Efforts: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby (1st), Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes (1st)
  • Kentucky Derby Odds: 12-1+
  • Comments: Speed horse might need to be on the lead to win it, but he did make up ground before failing to win the Risen Star Stakes.