2014 Kentucky Derby Contenders
When it comes to Kentucky Derby betting, knowing the contenders and top picks by the experts is a great place to start coming up with your own betting strategy for the race. Knowing what horses others have picked to do well in 2014 makes it easier to come up with a personal list of 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders.
About Kentucky Derby Contenders
The Kentucky Derby will bring together the best three year old race horses in the world on the first Saturday in May, 2014. At this early juncture, however, you'd have a better chance correctly picking lottery numbers than guessing which horses will be entered in the race. Thoroughbred race horses begin their competitive career slowly and most are raced lightly as two year olds. The ones that are raced more heavily usually don't run much until later in their two year old campaign. The first big measure of two year old race horses and the first glimpse the public will get at which horses will be the class of next year's three year olds comes at the Breeder's Cup Juvenile. It's not uncommon to see the winner of that race emerge as the presumptive Kentucky Derby favourite contender for the following year based on that performance alone.
A Big Crop of Three Year Olds
With the start of the 2014 racing season there will be somewhere between 350 and 400 three year olds that will 'declare' for the Kentucky Derby contenders. The nomination process is largely symbolic, with owners putting up $600 to gain eligibility for the three Triple Crown races. With a maximum of 20 horses accepted into the Kentucky Derby field there will be a significant process of elimination among this group of three year olds. This is done via a formal qualification procedure involving the major Derby 'prep races' in the early part of the 2014 racing season.
The Derby Field Starts to Emerge
As the 2014 Kentucky Derby draws closer a number of the entrants will start to become apparent. The top three year olds will qualify for Derby inclusion early and easily and their connections will make clear their intention to make the 'Run for the Roses'. Other horses may have to play a 'waiting game' to see if they'll make the field. The final entrants for the 2014 race won't be known until the post position draw on the Wednesday before the running of the Kentucky Derby.
The Current Top Contenders
With over 150 horses still listed on the Wynn Las Vegas Kentucky Derby futures it's simply not possible to determine even a hypothetical list of contenders. That will start to change over the next few weeks as horses are entered in Derby prep races and the picture will continue to clarify as the Kentucky Derby draws closer. Currently there are only two horses priced at odds less than 15/1:
--Honor Code (12/1): Honor Code is trained by Shug McGaughey who trained 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. He's the son of AP Indy and is expected to enter the Rebel Stakes in his next Derby Prep challenge. Honor Code missed some training time with ankle bruising earlier this year but that isn't seen as much concern by the betting market.
--Cairo Prince (8/1): Trained by Kieran McLaughlan, Cairo Prince's victory in the Holy Bull Stakes is definitely the most impressive Derby Prep showing to date. His next big challenge is the March 29 Florida Derby, a win in that race will almost certainly send him to the Kentucky Derby as the favorite.
As you can see, the contenders for the 2014 Kentucky Derby are just starting to get listed around the Internet. Keeping up to date on the latest contenders as the 2014 race nears is important for those who are really serious about Kentucky Derby betting odds.