2014 Kentucky Derby

140th Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby

Official logo for the 2014 Kentucky Derby
Location Churchill Downs
Date May 3, 2014
Winning horse California Chrome
Jockey Victor Espinoza
Trainer Art Sherman
Owner Steven Coburn & Perry Martin
Conditions Fast
Surface Dirt

The 2014 Kentucky Derby (in full, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, due to sponsorship)[1] was the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race was scheduled to start at 6:24 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 3, 2014 at Churchill Downs and was run as the eleventh race on a racecard with thirteen races.[2] The race was broadcast in the United States on the NBC television network.[3] The attendance for the race was 164,906, the second-largest after the 2012 race with 165,307 spectators.[4][5] The winner was California Chrome.[6]


The Kentucky Derby is a race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses. The 2014 field was determined by a points system that was introduced in 2013.[7]


The Post Position Draw for the Kentucky Derby was held Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at the Churchill Downs Racetrack clubhouse.[8] After the draw, California Chrome was installed as the morning line favorite at 5–2 entering the derby having won four straight stakes.[9]

Second favorite Hoppertunity was scratched on the Thursday prior to the Derby due to soreness.[10] Post positions were moved up and Pablo del Monte was given slot 20. However, the connections of Pablo del Monte chose not to run and he was also scratched from the race.[11]

Jockeys Jose Ortiz and Irad Ortiz Jr. became the first brothers to race in the Kentucky Derby since 1984.[12] It was the first Derby for each of them. Rosie Napravnik was riding in her third Derby, hoping to become the first woman rider to win the race.[13]

Race description

Nineteen horses started, with 164,906 spectators gathered at Churchill Downs. It was the second-largest crowd in Kentucky Derby history.[14] Uncle Sigh and Chitu set the early pace, as jockey Victor Espinoza held California Chrome back in third, a bit off the pace. Coming around the final turn, California Chrome and then fourth place Samraat made a move, surging past the pace setters. The two horses remained neck-and-neck for several strides before California Chrome broke away and coasted to finish line, winning by 1 3/4 lengths. Long-shot Commanding Curve came from well back to claim second, while Danza took third. Wicked Strong placed fourth and Samraat faded to fifth.[15] For the win, California Chrome took home $1.418 million of the $2.178 million purse.[14]

The 2014 Kentucky Derby field. Winner California Chrome is the third horse from the right.

California Chrome became the first California-bred horse to win the Derby since Decidedly in 1962. For Espinoza, it was his second Kentucky Derby win, his first coming in 2002 when he rode War Emblem to victory. After the race, trainer Art Sherman called Espinoza's ride "perfect".[15] At age 77, Sherman is the oldest trainer to win the race. His only previous experience at Churchill Downs was in 1955, when he was an exercise rider for Swaps. Swaps won the Derby that year.[15] Interviewed after the race, Sherman emotionally remarked, "Well, when I went to Swaps' grave the other day I said a little prayer and it came true. I said I hope [California Chrome] is another Swaps."[13]

By pedigree, California Chrome was an unlikely winner. The combination of his humble roots and those of his connections prompted the Associated Press to remark, "Even Hollywood couldn't have made this up."[15] He is the offspring of a mare, Love the Chase, purchased for $8,000, and a stallion, Lucky Pulpit, that stood for a $2,000 stud fee.[13] The horse is owned by "a couple of working stiff owners", Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, who spent what they could afford in the hopes of producing a great race horse.[15] California Chrome trains at Los Alamitos Race Course in Orange County.[13] His Derby win was his fifth straight win, a streak which began in December 2013. His margin of victory in these races was a combined total of 26 lengths.[13][15]

Coburn, who predicted that California Chrome would win the Derby, also predicted his horse would be the first California-bred winner of the Triple Crown. Rival trainers conceded it was plausible. Trainer Dale Romans, who had said California Chrome had no chance to win the Derby, remarked, "I was very, very wrong ... We might have just seen a super horse and a super trainer."[14]


Finish Number Horse Jockey Trainer Morning
Stake Points
1 5 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman 5–2 2.5 $1,417,800 150
2 17 Commanding Curve Shaun Bridgmohan Dallas Stewart 50–1 37.8 $400,000 20
3 4 Danza Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher 10–1 8.7 $200,000 100
4 20 Wicked Strong Rajiv Maragh James Jerkens 8–1 6.5 $100,000 102
5 6 Samraat Jose Ortiz Rick Violette, Jr. 15–1 16.7 $60,000 100
6 12 Dance With Fate Corey Nakatani Peter Eurton 20–1 16.0 108
7 19 Ride On Curlin Calvin Borel William Gowan 15–1 17.3 55
8 14 Medal Count Robby Albarado Dale Romans 20–1 26.2 40
9 13 Chitu Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 20–1 25.5 54
10 7 We Miss Artie Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 50–1 27.6 60
11 8 General A Rod Joel Rosario Michael J. Maker 15–1 30.7 40
12 16 Intense Holiday John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 12–1 14.1 93
13 18 Candy Boy Gary Stevens John Sadler 20–1 9.4 30
14 3 Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz, Jr. Gary Contessa 30–1 30.8 24
15 15 Tapiture Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steve Asmussen 15–1 35.2 52
16 2 Harry's Holiday Corey Lanerie Michael J. Maker 50–1 44.3 20
17 9 Vinceremos Joe Rocco, Jr. Todd Pletcher 30–1 49.7 20
18 10 Wildcat Red Luis Saez Jose Garoffalo 15–1 18.6 90
19 1 Vicar's In Trouble Rosie Napravnik Michael J. Maker 30–1 20.40 120
scratched[16] 11 Hoppertunity Mike Smith Bob Baffert SCR - 95
scratched Also eligible Pablo del Monte Jeffrey Sanchez Wesley Ward SCR - 20


The Kentucky Derby Payout Schedule[1]

Horse Name Win Place Show
5 California Chrome US$7.00 $5.60 $4.20
17 Commanding Curve $31.80 $15.40
4 Danza $6.00

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "11th Race, Churchill Downs, May 3, 2014". Equibase. May 3, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 5, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  2. "Your Trip to the Derby". Churchill Downs Incorporated. 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  3. "Watch the Derby". Churchill Downs Incorporated. 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  4. California Chrome shines bright
  5. Record attendance for 138th Kentucky Derby
  6. Matthews, Thomas (May 3, 2014). "California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby 140". WLKY. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  7. "About the Road to the Kentucky Derby". Churchill Downs Incorporated. 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  8. "POST POSITION DRAW" (PDF). Churchill Downs Incorporated. 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  9. Sandritter, Mark (April 30, 2014). "Kentucky Derby 2014 post positions: Positions and morning-line odds set". SBNation. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  10. Hoppert, Melissa (1 May 2014). "Derby Dreams Meet an Early End". New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  11. Lintner, Jonathan (May 2, 2014). "Kentucky Derby -Pablo Del Monte scratched". The Courier-Journal, Louisville. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  12. Farrell, Mike (May 2, 2014). "Ortiz brothers to race against each other in Derby". Associated Press. Yahoo. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 John Cherwa (May 3, 2014). "California Chrome pulls away for win at Kentucky Derby". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Walker, Childs (May 3, 2014). "Favorite California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Beth Harris (May 3, 2014). "California Chrome Wins 140th Kentucky Derby". ABC News. AP. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  16. Walker, Childs (May 2, 2014). "No. 2 choice Hoppertunity scratched from Kentucky Derby". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 2, 2014.