Louisville - The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown, which is a true test of endurance for three-year-old horses going the farthest distance of their young career at 1-1/4 miles.
Most Kentucky Derby prep races are between 1-1/16 miles making the Kentucky Derby the longest for these contenders to date.
Naturally, there is a lot of talk about California Chrome. There is a lot to like about this horse. He pulled the 5 post position and has the foundation to make this happen Saturday. If you look back at his previous races and you start thinking this horse can not get any better he does. He pulled away in the stretch in the Santa Anita Derby with ease.
Trainer Art Sherman believes his horse has the right demeanor and hasn't been shy about anything this week considering all the people and reporters that have been around him. Trainer Sherman says," this horse reminds him of the horse Swaps," one of the only three California-breds to win the Kentucky Derby. No California-bred horse has won the Kentucky Derby since 1962 and Trainer Sherman hopes that California Chrome will become the fourth. If the horse breaks well and is on the forward pace at the first turn, this horse will likely win this race. Odds are currently 5/2, but will surely change throughout the day.
If you're looking for a price in the field today, Danza has been training well all week and was the long shot in the Arkansas Derby at 41/1. That was a huge effort for him and is currently the buzz horse at the track. His odds today are at 10/1. Also coming out of the Arkansas Derby is Ride On Curlin, taking second in that race. He looks good, his pedigree dictates he can get the distance and may be worth putting him in a superfecta.
Wicked Strong has turned out well this week. He is relaxed and Trainer Jimmy Jerkens isn't worried about the outside post as this horse doesn't like being in the gate that long. Perfect. He'll be the last to load and will only remain in the gate a few seconds. This horse was able to stride out in the Wood Memorial with a sweeping move coming into the stretch and kept to the outside. His running style keeps him in the clear with a grinding motion. With all the early speed to the inside of the track and likely fading at the stretch turn will give some open ground as Wicked Strong's momentum is starting to churn.
Intense Holiday is getting some attention with jockey Johnny Velazquez and a 101 speed rating. He is trained by Todd Pletcher.
Wildcat Red has been running in Florida and gets lucky post 10, which has produced the most Derby winners. He has a speed rating of 100.
Dance With Fate will come from the 12 post and is the only horse in the field to beat California Chrome as a 2 year old. He recently won the Blue Grass Stakes on polytrack. A lot of the experts are picking this horse over California Chrome.
Candy Boy is in post 18 with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. He has been hitting the board in California and is trained by John Saddler.
Dale Romans, Medal Count will break from post 14. He has looked good in training this week keeping trainer Romans with nothing left to do. Everything has been perfect for this turf horse now a Derby contender.
The weather in Louisville at post time should be partly sunny and in the low 70s. The Kentucky Derby is known as the "Fastest 2 Minutes in Sports," with Secretariat winning the fastest Kentucky Derby in 1:59:24.