After months of grueling competition, a stellar field of contenders and favorites has been assembled for tonight’s 2014 Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The first leg of the Triple Crown will be broadcast nationally on NBC (Miami TV-6) and streaming (online) live at NBC Sports Extra (Post time schedule: 6:24 p.m. EST).
According to a May 2 ESPN report, the field for the 140th Run for the Roses underwent yet another modification on Friday evening. Approximately 24 before post time, trainer Wesley Ward announced that Pablo Del Monte would not participate in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, shrinking the field back down to 19.
The son of Giant’s Causeway was brought in to replace Bob Baffert’s Hoppertunity, who was the projected runner-up in most oddsmakers’ eyes. However, after Pablo Del Monte (50-1 longshot) drew the far outside post (position), Ward pulled the plug and opted to wait for the Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico.
As far as contenders to win tonight’s race are concerned, it comes as no surprise that California Chrome remains the outright favorite moments away from post time. Trained by Art Sherman, the son of Lucky Pulpit will try and stretch his win streak to five starts.
The California-bred colt is coming off wins at King Glorious Stakes, California Cup Derby, San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. Racing out of post position No. 5, California Chrome is a 9/4 (+225) favorite above the rest of the field, and has already began stirring up talks about a potential run at the 2014 Triple Crown.
According to oddsmakers, tonight’s projected runner up is none other than Wood Memorial Stakes winner, Wicked Strong. Tagged with 6-1 (+600) odds, the son of Hard Spun is the biggest threat to California Chrome and sits alone in second place in the betting category.
Rounding out the top-three 2014 Kentucky Derby favorites is Danza, another colt that knows all about stunning defeats. Overlooked as a 9-1 longshot (+900), people seem to forget that Todd Pletcher’s trainee shocked the horse-racing world with his win at the Arkansas Derby last month.
Who will become the next Triple Crown hopeful with a victory in tonight’s 2014 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs? Will California Chrome prove oddsmakers right with another dominant performance, or will one of the underdogs rise to the challenge to become an overnight sensation?
Don’t miss the 140th edition of the Run for the Roses via NBC’s national TV broadcast. Those trying to watch this year’s Kentucky Derby online are in luck. Courtesy of NBC’s family of networks, the first leg of the Triple Crown will be streaming live and free beginning at 6:24 p.m. EST (click NBC on link provided above).