California Chrome is the prohibitive favorite to win the 140th Kentucky Derby, but several of his fellow thoroughbreds are in heavy contention to steal away the “Run for the Roses.”
The winner most recently of the Santa Anita Derby and the San Felipe with $920,000 earnings this year alone, California Chrome seems like the obvious choice, yet as many as four contenders could pull away at Churchill Downs on May 3.
Two would-be challengers to California Chrome have also been ruled out due to injury, along with travel restrictions and age.
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Constitution suffered a fractured cannon bone and was forced to pull out, and even though Toast Of New York upset the field at the U.A.E. Derby his owner Michael Buckley reportedly said it would be “unfair” for the three-year-old colt to travel to the United States only weeks after his trip to Dubai, according to RacingUK.
Now the odds have moved even further into California Chrome’s favor, shifting down from 3/1 to 2/1 in a week, according to Bovada.lv.
Here are four other thoroughbreds to keep an eye on as the race nears, along with their current odds.
Another from Todd Pletcher’s stable, Danza provided his own upset at the Arkansas Derby last weekend by winning by 4 3/4 lengths seemingly out of nowhere. He makes up for Pletcher’s loss of Constitution, and his bloodline includes 2007 Kentucky Derby-winner and Preakness runner-up Street Sense.
Three-time Derby winner and legend Bob Baffert’s latest contender took second at Santa Anita, and won Rebel last month. Coming from a very successful foal, Hoppertunity is one of eight winners produced by his dam Refugee.
Samraat won two straight races at 1 1/16-mile tracks while finishing second at the Wood Memorial two weeks ago. The longer track at Churchill Downs may give him some trouble, but his pedigree does count former European champion Giant’s Causeway.
Dance With Fate (N/A)
His odds could be somewhere in between Danza and Hoppertunity, but Dance With Fate’s owners are still on the fence as to whether to enter him at Churchill Downs. He qualified for the Derby by blowing past fellow contenders Medal Count and Pablo Del Monte in the final furlong at the Blue Grass Stakes last weekend.