California Chrome drew the five post and was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, with post positions and betting odds released by Churchill Downs on Wednesday afternoon for the race, which will be contested on Saturday.
Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, the colt comes into this year’s race riding a four-race winning streak. The colt won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his last start, beating runner up Hoppertunity by 5 ¼ lengths.
The five post satisfied Sherman, who said, “I like it fine. Victor says he likes it. Says he won the Kentucky Derby from the five (on War Emblem in 2002). I’m happy and I feel no pressure.”
Morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia had settled on the Bob Baffert trained Hoppertunity as the second choice on the morning line at 6-1, but the colt was scratched on Thursday morning due to a foot injury.
Wicked Strong, the winner of the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5 drew the far outside 20 post and is now the second choice on the morning line at 6-1. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the colt will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh.
The colt has had a habit of acting up at the gate, but with the 19 slot he will be loaded next to last. “It might be that speed is quick and they get to rolling in a clump and he can draft in behind them and it’ll work out OK,” Jerkens said at the post position draw. “The one positive is that he’s not in the gate very long. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s not a bad post, but I don’t know if I can.”
The third choice now is Arkansas Derby (G1) upset winner Danza, who is 8-1. The colt is one four sent out by trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt will break from the four post with Joe Bravo aboard for the return call.
Intense Holiday was dropped from 12-1 to 8-1, while Candy Boy was lowered from 20-1 to 15-1 in the revised morning line.
California Chrome is currently listed at 11-4 in early betting odds at Bovada. The Racebook continues to offer advanced wagering on the Derby and Oaks and will offer a long list of props for the big race.
|2014 Kentucky Derby Field and Morning Line Odds
|1.||Vicar’s in Trouble||Rosie Napravnik||Mike Maker||20-1|
|2.||Harry’s Holiday||Corey Lanerie||Mike Maker||50-1|
|3.||Uncle Sigh||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Gary Contessa||30-1|
|4.||Danza||Joe Bravo||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|5.||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||5-2|
|6.||Samraat||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette Jr.||15-1|
|7.||We Miss Artie||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||50-1|
|8.||General a Rod||Joel Rosario||Mike Maker||15-1|
|9.||Vinceremos||Joe Rocco Jr.||Todd Pletcher||30-1|
|10.||Wildcat Red||Luis Saez||Jose Garoffalo||15-1|
|11.||Hoppertunity||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||SCR|
|12.||Dance With Fate||Corey Nakatani||Peter Eurton||20-1|
|13.||Chitu||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||20-1|
|14.||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||20-1|
|15.||Tapiture||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||12-1|
|16.||Intense Holiday||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|17.||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||Dallas Stewart||50-1|
|18.||Candy Boy||Gary Stevens||John Sadler||15-1|
|19.||Ride On Curlin||Calvin Borel||William Gowan||15-1|
|20.||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||James Jerkens||6-1|
|21||Pablo Del Monte||TBD||Wesley Ward||50-1|
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