Kentucky Derby 2014: Pablo Del Monte drops out of race

Kevin C. Cox

Pablo Del Monte was afforded a rare opportunity to race at the Kentucky Derby when Hoppertunity was scratched. The horse's owners have opted to save the horse for the Preakness, however.

Pablo Del Monte won't be running in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, according to reports. His owners chose not to run him despite the opportunity presented after Hoppertunity was scratched by Bob Baffert. Pablo Del Monte would have been running out of the No. 20 post on the far outside of the course, however, giving the long shot longer odds.

Pablo Del Monte was the only also-eligible horse entered in the Kentucky Derby, meaning he was the only alternate available in case another gate opened up. Now that he is out of the race, the field will be reduced to 19 horses from a maximum of 20. Post No. 1 will be left empty at the start of the race, leaving more room between the field and the rail. Vicar's in Trouble, initially set to start out of the No. 1 post, will start out of the No. 2 post instead, and horses initially slotted in gate Nos. 2-10 will slide over accordingly.

Pablo Del Monte would have had 50-1 odds had he raced. Rather than risk an almost-certain loss, the horse's owners will get him ready for the Preakness Stakes two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. A pace-setting horse, there is some optimism that Pablo Del Monte can put together a strong run at the shorter Preakness after he finished third at the Blue Grass Stakes in April.

Full odds for the Hoppertunity-less Kentucky Derby field can be found at SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. California Chrome is still the favorite at 5-2. ADTSTC's Matt Gardner profiled the horse last month:

The Derby pace will be fast, as is almost always the case, but I don't think it will be a problem for California Chrome to sit four or five lengths back of the lead, if necessary. As long as Victor Espinoza can keep him clear of trouble, this colt should have an excellent shot at giving trainer Art Sherman is first Kentucky Derby winner.

Even better, you can place your bets based on Rodger Sherman's guide to horse Twitter.

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