On Wednesday at 5pm, final entries were taken and post positions were drawn for the 139th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1). A full field of 20 three-year-olds will go 1 1/4 miles on Saturday at Churchill Downs. 21 horses were entered, with Pablo Del Monte getting in as an also eligible who will draw in the race if someone scratches by 9am Friday.
Unlike the "draft draw" held for several years, Churchill Downs reverted back to the traditional double-blind draw a couple of years ago. After the numbers were drawn, handicapper Mike Battaglia announced the morning line. As expected, West Coast invader California Chrome is the 5-2 favorite out of post 5, coming to Kentucky off a 4 race winning streak including the San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1). Regular rider Victor Espinoza gets the call for trainer Art Sherman. In to challenge him include 6-1 second choice Hoppertunity out of the 11 hole, second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) after winning the Rebel (G2) for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, and 8-1 third choice Wicked Strong, who drew the far outside 20 post and won the Wood Memorial (G1) for his final prep. Rajiv Maragh gets the call for trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
Update: Hoppertunity was scratched on Thursday morning due to a bruised left front foot which allowed Pablo Del Monte in the race. His trainer ultimately decided not to let him start, so only a field of 19 now. Everyone from post 12 and out will move in one space. The morning line was changed after this and I have updated it below.
Below is the field listed in post position order with morning line odds. Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo where available. A star next to the dosage index indicates a dual qualifier.
The Kentucky Derby will be televised on NBC from 4-7:00pm EDT but you can watch most of the Derby card on NBC Sports Network from 11:00am-4:00pm. Free past performances for the Kentucky Derby will be available here. (scroll down to find the Derby horses for the link) The Kentucky Derby goes off at 6:24pm ET, carded as Race 11 of a 14-race card on Saturday May 3rd.
2014 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced again this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate. New!
Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard - the points earned by contenders in these designated prep races are what will determine who gets in the Kentucky Derby and Oaks at entry time this year. Updated weekly.
2014 Triple Crown Late Nominations - 10 more thoroughbreds were made eligible for the three Triple Crown races for a fee of $6000 by the late nomination deadline, including El Camino Real Derby runner-up Dance With Fate and Spiral Stakes runner-up Harry's Holiday. Any not nominated now will have to pay a huge supplement fee to enter. Check out the list here.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2014 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks. Revamped for 2014 to new format with additional info.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager - This year there were 4 pools starting in November of 2013 plus a single pool for the Oaks. Surprisingly, thie field of all other 3-year-olds was the favorite in all 4 pools.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.