2014 Kentucky Derby Has Odds To Be One Of Most Competitive In History

Kentucky Derby California ChromeThe field for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby has been finalized, and it’s a top-notch concoction of the best 3-year-olds in the United States.

Before you start mixing up those mint juleps and breaking down the field, remember to check out the weather conditions this weekend. This race has been run in sloppy, wet conditions in three of the last five years, which makes an already tough race even more difficult to pick.

Here’s our examination of the field in Saturday’s big race, including the Kentucky Derby betting odds on each contender:

Favorites

California Chrome is the favorite at Bovada with 11-5 odds. That’s not surprising after winning the Santa Anita Derby. He’ll be joined near the top by the likes of Wicked Strong (15-2), who won the Wood Memorial, and Danza (10-1), who won the Arkansas Derby in early April. Hoppertunity was scratched this morning, so that leaves in the mix Ride On Curlin (18-1) and Intense Holiday (16-1), who both finished second in two big derbies (the Arkansas and Louisiana, respectively).

Vicar’s In Trouble (18-1) won the Louisiana Derby, and Wildcat Red (22-1) came in second at the Florida Derby. Tapiture (33-1) was fourth in the Florida Derby, but that was his worst finish in seven career starts. Samraat (18-1) is another horse to watch after finishing second to Wicked Strong at the Wood. Dance With Fate (20-1) won the Blue Grass, but since that is run on synthetic and the Derby is run on dirt, he might be overvalued.

Mid-Tier

Chitu (33-1) leads the middle of the pack after winning the Sunland Derby, but this is the best field he has ever raced against, so he’ll have to step it up a notch. Candy Boy (22-1) could make a charge after finishing third in the Santa Anita, and General a Rod (28-1) was third in the Florida Derby. Any of these horses could end up with the garland of roses around their neck Saturday, and they might not even need the favorites to fail. This could be one of the better Kentucky Derby fields in years, if all the horses race to their potential.

Long shots

We Miss Artie (45-1) kicks off the long shots after winning the Spiral, but as a Grade 3 race, it doesn’t hold much weight. He’ll need the race of his life to win the Kentucky Derby. Commanding Curve (40-1) was third in the Louisiana Derby, and Uncle Sigh (40-1) was fifth at the Wood. They are capable of winning, but the odds clearly suggest a race of this caliber just might be out of their reach. Medal Count (40-1) and Harry’s Holiday (50-1) both ran the Blue Grass, finishing second and 14th, respectively. Medal Count has never had good results on dirt, so that will put him near the bottom of the list, and Harry’s Holiday has spent most of his time on synthetic in 2014, and that likely will cost him in the odds for Saturday’s race.

Photo via Twitter/@ABRLive