Kentucky Derby Domination, Preakness Stakes Preview and 2014 Triple Crown Odds

The 2014 Kentucky Derby ran slower than expected, with the race setting up perfectly for the way California Chrome likes to run. And run he did, in dominating fashion at the end of the race to easily take home the 140th Run for the Roses. That means that next up on the US thoroughbred Triple Crown schedule is the Preakness Stakes, held exactly 2 weeks after the Derby, falling this year on Saturday, May 17. This is the 139th running of the second leg in the vaunted 2014 Triple Crown which awards the winner the traditional Black-Eyed Susan blanket. After his dominating Derby run, California Chrome will no doubt be a heavy favorite in the Preakness. But there are a few horses which did not run at Kentucky that will definitely have a say-so in how the race finishes, not to mention a few horses which looked strong at Churchill Downs last weekend.

Almost as soon as the Kentucky Derby was over and California Chrome was given a clean bill of health, Triple Crown odds were posted. Most legitimate sportsbooks are showing the California Colt at around +200 in the early going to accomplish what no other horse has since 1978. That was the year Affirmed, a colt bred in Florida, took Steve Cauthen to Triple Crown history. After such a convincing Kentucky Derby win, hopes are fueled that California Chrome has a legitimate shot at becoming a Triple Crown champion. If so, he would snap the longest streak the United States thoroughbred horse racing industry has seen without that accomplishment.

Also at Churchill Downs, on May 2nd, the important Kentucky Oaks saw Untapable post an unbeatable 4 1/2 length victory. Popular jockey Rosie Napravnik was in the stirrups for the win, effectively helping Untapable overcome not only an unfavorable outside post position, but also a delayed start. My Miss Sophia also led late, and held on for second place. Six lengths behind in third was Unbridled Forever. The winner earned $1 million for the Grade I event. Looking forward to the Preakness Stakes, Untapable trainer Steve Asmussen quickly squashed any talks about his filly possibly heading to the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. He said that he didn't feel it was "in her best interest to run back in two weeks."

The Kentucky Derby win earned $2 million in the Grade I race presented by Yum! Brands. As if being the favorite pre-race was not good enough, California Chrome ran out of the #5 post position, which was tied for most Kentucky Derby wins at 11 with the #1 spot before the race started. Commanding Curve only made it into the Derby lineup as an alternate, after Bob Baffert scratched Hoppertunity with little more than two days to go before the race. That was all that time that horse needed to post a strong come-from-behind second place win.

Arkansas Derby winner Danza took third in the Kentucky Derby. 77-year-old Art Sherman became the oldest trainer to notch his first Kentucky Derby victory, with California Chrome. Look for Commanding Curve to offer some attractive middle-of-the-road Vegas odds on Preakness Stakes 2014, with Social Inclusion and Bayern joining California Chrome as favorites. Dynamic Impact should be considered a pretty likely candidate for the win as well, with Ride on Curlin, Pablo Del Monte, Ring Weekend and Kid Cruz all probable long shots to spoil California Chrome's chances at Pimlico.

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