California Chrome and Wicked Strong have been considered the two of the top Derby contenders for a few weeks now. With the first leg of the Triple Crown series just two days away, not much has changed. The latest Kentucky Derby Odds from Sportsbook.ag have California Chrome listed as a +225 favorite to win Saturday’s 140th Kentucky Derby while Wicked Strong is a third pick with a +700 listing ($100 wins $700). The offshore bookmaker is also pairing the duo in its head to head Kentucky Derby props. California Chrome is a -250 favorite in the match-up; Wicked Strong is drawing +175 horse racing odds to finish ahead of the Santa Anita Derby winner on Saturday.
Wicked Strong’s resume was lacking heading into the Wood Memorial as the colt had finished third, ninth, and fourth in the lead up to the Grade 1 event. It made a big splash, though, by winning the highly regarded prep race, navigating the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.31 to best fellow Derby runner Samraat.
Wicked Strong‘s performance at the Aqueduct earlier this month and its pedigree would seemingly make it a good candidate to not only beat California Chrome, but also win the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
The colt was sired by a Derby runner-up in Hard Spun (2007) and its mare is the daughter of the great Charismatic, who pulled off a Derby/Preakness double in 1999.
California Chrome’s pedigree (sired by Lucky Pulpit, out of Love The Chase) is not as impressive, but there is no arguing with his performance. The colt did record back to back sixth place finishes late last year (Del Mar Futurity – G1, Golden State Juvenile); however, it has not lost since.
California Chrome extended its current winning streak to four races on April 5th when it won the 1 1/8 miles Santa Anita Derby. The chestnut runner, who jumped from post five, recorded a winning time of 1:47.53 to easily hold off second and third place finishers Hoppertunity and Candy Boy.
California Chrome has a decided start advantage over Wicked Strong in this weekend’s race. The former will start from Post 5 for a second consecutive race and the latter is set on far outside in Post 20. Clyde Van Dusen (1929) and Big Brown (2008) are the only two Gate 20 starters to ever win the Derby.
Kentucky Derby Odds: California Chrome vs Wicked Strong Picks – Provided by Sportsbook.ag
California Chrome -250
Wicked Strong +175