Kentucky Derby

Handicapping the Kentucky Derby field

Wicked Strong has the look of a winner with Danza and Intense Holiday big contenders. Favorite California Chrome has his breeding working against him. The Globe’s Joe Sullivan handicaps Saturday’s 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.

2. Vicar’s in TroubleRosie NapravnikMichael Maker20-1
Comment: Hasn’t raced since March but that was a front-running victory in the Louisiana Derby; Can’t win from one hole.
3.Harry’s Holiday Corey Lanerie Michael Maker 50-1
Comment: Trounced in last race, the Blue Grass, and hasn’t won since February.
4.Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz Jr. Gary Contessa 30-1
Comment: New York breds aren’t usually Derby contenders, fell short in Wood Memorial.
5.DanzaJoe Bravo Todd Pletcher 8-1
Comment: Won the Arkansas Derby impressively and has a chance to improve on that.
6.California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman5-2
Comment: Has won last four by a combined 24¼ lengths; California breds don’t win the Derby.
7.SamraatJose OrtizRichard Violette Jr.15-1
Comment: Five of six lifetime, big effort in finishing second in Wood. Another New York bred.
8.We Miss ArtieJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher 50-1
Comment: Has a decent record; won the Spiral Stakes in March but doesn’t seem fast enough.
9.General a RodJoel RosarioMichael Maker15-1
Comment: Never out of the money in five races but his Florida races might not translate to Kentucky.
10.VinceremosJoe Rocco Jr.Todd Pletcher 30-1
Comment: His last race was a disaster as he finished last in the Blue Grass; speed figures don’t stack up.
11.Wildcat RedLuis SaezJose Garoffalo15-1
Comment: He’ll be on or near the lead. That helped him in Florida, will hurt him here.
12.Dance With FateCorey NakataniPeter Eurton 20-1
Comment: Speed figures say he’s too slow but he’s coming off a big win and beat California Chrome last summer.
13.ChituMartin Garcia Bob Baffert20-1
Comment: Has won three of four lifetime including front-running win in Sunland Derby in his last race.
14.Medal CountRobby Albarado Dale Romans 20-1
Comment: Bred for the grass, has never won on a conventional dirt surface. Good second in Blue Grass on artificial.
15.TapitureRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen 8-1
Comment: Had a big win at Churchill Downs last fall but came up empty in the Arkansas Derby.
16.Intense HolidayJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher8-1
Comment: He’ll be running late, which could help behind a fast pace; great trainer and jockey.
17.Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart50-1
Comment: Has only won one race but did finish third in the Louisiana Derby.
18.Candy BoyGary StevensJohn Sadler15-1
Comment: He’ll have to improve after finishing behind California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby.
19.Ride on CurlinCalvin BorelWilliam G. Gowan15-1
Comment: Has never won a stakes race but he’s never far back at the end.
20. Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJames A. Jerkens6-1
Comment: Had big improvement and big win in the Wood Memorial, has a chance to improve; big contender.

AT A GLANCE: Post time: Saturday, 6:32 p.m. TV: NBC. Weights: 126 pounds. Distance: 1¼ miles. Purse: $2,177,800 if 19 start. First place: $1,417,800. Second place: $400,000. Third place: $200,000. Fourth place: $100,000. Fifth place: $60,000.

SULLIVAN’S SELECTIONS: 1. Danza; 2. Wicked Strong; 3. Intense Holiday.

More coverage:


Wicked Strong’s trainer seeks 1st Derby win | Trainer Art Sherman eyes milestone win | Suffolk Downs opens season with cloudy future

Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globesullivan.