With the announcement on Thursday morning that Hoppertunity will not run in the Kentucky Derby due to a foot bruise, the betting odds of California Chrome are sure to drop. Hoppertunity was the second choice on the original morning line at 6-1.
Trainer Bob Baffert said the colt has an issue with his left front foot. With a victory in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park followed by a runner up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the colt had finished seventh in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Points Standings.
California Chrome, who beat Hoppertunity by 5 ¼ lengths in the Santa Anita Derby, was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, but his price is likely going to head south with the scratch of one of his main rivals.
There will still be a 20-horse field as also-eligible Pablo Del Monte will gain entry into the Derby field, but the colt is a 50-1 longshot on the 2014 Derby odds list and will not have much impact on the overall wagering on the Run for the Roses.
The second choice honors likely will go to Wicked Strong, who was originally 8-1 on the morning line, or Danza, who is listed at 10-1. Wicked Strong won the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5, but drew the 20 post for the Derby. He now has company as Pablo Del Monte will now break to the outside of him.
Danza pulled off one of the biggest upsets on the 2014 Derby Trail, winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park at betting odds of 41-1. The colt is currently listed at odds of 8-1, according to USRacebook.com.
The Kentucky Derby anchors an outstanding 13-race card on Saturday. First post is 10:30 a.m. (ET), with Derby post time coming at 6:24 p.m. (ET). NBC Sports Network and NBC will have coverage on both Kentucky Oaks Day on Friday and Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday.