The 2015 Kentucky Derby's Early Contenders & Best Bets

2014 Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

One of the easiest 2014 Kentucky Derby betting tips to hand out this year is to back California Chrome, the odds on favorite to win at Churchill Downs. The price on California Chrome opened at +300 but has since fallen to +225. By the time Saturday rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number on this horse fall to +150. That’s how much of a “lock” he seems to be in the eyes of everyone involved.

2014 Kentucky Derby
The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place this weekend live from Churchill Downs.
Starts: 05/03/2014 2:00PM
Churchill Downs, 700 Central Ave.


The chestnut colt is riding a brilliant four race winning streak, which included a breathtaking win at the Santa Anita Derby against an elite field that included Hopportunity, who is the third favorite at the 204 Kentucky Derby betting table, and finished second that day. California Chrome won that race by five seemingly easy lengths, cementing his place as the lead horse of the season.

California Chrome deserves all this praise, but as we saw last season, almost anything can happen. Wicked Strong is chiming in as an intense emotional favorite and hails from New England, which is essentially the breeding ground of champions in other sports (Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics). That’s not one of my actual 2014 Kentucky Derby betting tips, but Wicked Strong deserves a look. Orb, who won this event last year, boasted 5-to-1 odds as well so the second favorite is always worth a look.

2014 Kentucky Derby: Post Positions and Odds
Post Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Vicar’s In Trouble Rosie Napravnik Mike Maker 25-1
2 Harry’s Holiday Corey Lanerie Mike Maker 50-1
3 Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz Jr. Gary Contessa 35-1
4 Danza Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher 8-1
5 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman 21-10
6 Samraat Jose Ortiz Rick Violette Jr. 16-1
7 We Miss Artie Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 33-1
8 General A Rod Joel Rosario Mike Maker 18-1
9 Vinceremos Joe Rocco Jr. Todd Pletcher 50-1
10 Wildcat Red Luis Saez Jose Garoffalo 18-1
SCRATCHED Hoppertunity
11 Dance With Fate Corey Nakatani Peter Eurton 14-1
12 Chitu Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 22-1
13 Medal Count Robby Albarado Dale Romans 22-1
14 Tapiture Ricardo Santana Jr. Steve Asmussen 20-1
15 Intense Holiday John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 12-1
16 Commanding Curve Shaun Bridgmohan Dallas Stewart 33-1
17 Candy Boy Gary Stevens John Sadler 18-1
18 Ride on Curlin Calvin Borel William G. Gowan 18-1
19 Wicked Strong Rajiv Maragh James A. Jerkens 8-1
SCRATCHED Pablo Del Monte

One of my favorite 2014 Kentucky Derby Betting tips is also the most logical: spread your money around. Take a favorite like Wicked Strong or California Chrome, throw a soft play at a mid-play and then throw some spare change at a colt with a hilarious name. For my money, Danza at +1000 and Vicars In Trouble at +4200 are catching my attention because of recent wins and favorable odds.

Sometimes the best horse on the board pays out, but more often than not, it’s a horse that nobody considers that sometimes shocks the field. I think California Chrome is the horse to beat, but we’ve said that before. You should have him in there as your steady play, but if you really want to swing for the fences when wagering on the odds to win, follow my 2014 Kentucky Derby betting tips and throw a chipshot at a longshot like Danza or Vicars In Trouble.