2014 Kentucky Derby
There were 164,906 spectators on hand for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, making it the second-largest crowd in Kentucky Derby history. They bought tickets to see what was expected to be one of the most competitive fields of all time. As it turns out, one horse cut through the traffic quite easily en route to the big win. The victory was so impressive that it has fans and bettors pondering a Triple Crown.
California Chrome was the leader in the Kentucky Derby points standings heading into the race, collecting the most points of anyone along the Derby trail. That led to him being posted as an 11/5 favorite early in the week. He was the trendy pick going into the race too, dropping to 5/2 by race time.
Although the race was competitive, it was also a pretty straightforward run for California Chrome. Uncle Sigh and Chitu set the pace early on but California Chrome ran in the top three until the final turn. At that point, California Chrome had another gear that the other two leaders – and pretty much everyone else in the field – didn’t have. As California Chrome turned on the afterburners, he opened up a lead as much as five lengths down the home stretch, eventually winning by 1 ¾ lengths.
One horse that flashed some impressive closing ability was Commanding Curve. Listed at 50/1 on the morning line, he sure looked like a long shot when he raced dead-last for most of the race. But as the horses came around the final turn, Commanding Curve made his move and charged all the way into second place. Danza took third place while Wicked Strong finished fourth and Samraat fifth.
California Chrome earned a cool $1.418 million for the win and became the first California-bred horse to win the Run for the Roses since Decidedly did back in 1962. With his impressive performance, he has everyone wondering about the potential of a Triple Crown. Next up will be the Preakness, on Saturday, May 17. The Preakness is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races at just 1 3/16 miles. The early lines for the Preakness list California Chrome as the -130 favorite with the rest of the field at -110.
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