Kentucky Derby 2014 Betting Preview: California Chrome Top Pick

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Favorite California Chrome looks to become the first California horse in a half century to beat the Kentucky Derby odds and win on the First Saturday in May.

The Kentucky Derby has been providing horse bettors with some big payoffs in recent years.

Will the 140th edition of the Run for the Roses, this Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, do the same, despite the presence of a heavy favorite?

It's been 52 years since a California-bred has won the Kentucky Derby, but California Chrome is likely to go off Saturday as the post-time favorite. Chrome has won his last four races, including an impressive five-length victory over placer Hoppertunity in the Santa Anita Derby back on April 5.

The chestnut colt, with jockey Victor Espinoza up top, broke well that day, shadowed the pace-setter from the first turn on, then took the lead at the head of the stretch and roared to victory in maybe the most noteworthy performance of any of this year's Derby entrants.

Largely on the strength of that win SportsInteraction's Kentucky Derby odds menu has California Chrome as a 9/4 favorite on its 2014 Kentucky Derby betting board.

Wicked Strong, winner of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct earlier this month, is the second choice on that board at 7/1.

Danza, winner of the Arkansas Derby three weeks ago at odds of 41/1, with smokin' Joe Bravo aboard, comes next at odds of 10/1.

Hoppertunity, second-best to California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, has made a switch at jockey, to the great Mike Smith. That pairing is listed at 12/1 on Bovada's Kentucky Derby board.

Intense Holiday, who has already run in six graded stakes races in his career, follows at 16/1.

Samraat, who had won his first five races until placing second in the Wood Memorial, is listed at 18/1.

And Dance with Fate, the Cal-bred who just won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland; Ride On Curlin, with three-time Derby winner Calvin Bo-Rail aboard; and Vicar's in Trouble, who's won three of his last four races, are all listed at 20/1 on Bovada's Derby board.

Elsewhere, Wildcat Red, who's four-for-seven in his career, is getting 25/1; Tapiture, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs back in November, is lined at 28/1; and Commanding Curve, who's finished first, second and third in three career starts at the Downs, is getting 40/1.

Last year Orb, off as a lukewarm 5/1 favorite, won the Kentucky Derby by 2 ½ lengths over Golden Soul and another length over Revolutionary. With Golden Soul off at 34/1 and Revolutionary at 6/1, the $2 exacta paid $980 and the $2 trifecta paid $6,900.

Two years ago I'll Have Another, at 15/1, overtook favorite Bodemeister in deep stretch to win the Kentucky Derby. That exacta paid $306, and with 8/1 shot Dullahan taking third the trifecta paid $3,065.

See updated Kentucky Derby 2014 lines and news updates, courtesy of OddsShark.com.

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