The prep race that we followed most closely was the 2014 Arkansas Derby, held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We paid closer attention to this race partially because of our familiarity with the track location, but also because there was a stellar line up of horses competing in this race; any one of which had the potential to take home the purse.
While Danza was the Las Vegas favorite to win the Arkansas Derby, a large part of the betting public supported Tapiture as the top horse in the race, and in fact, Scores.fm list Tapiture as our official pick hours before post time. Ride On Curlin also gained a lot of media attention as the offspring of the 2007 Arkansas Derby winner, Curlin. We featured a news story about Ride On Curlin on April 8th.
At the end of the day, the race lived up to the excitement that surrounded it. Following are the official race results for this year's Arkansas Derby.
2014 Arkansas Derby Race Results
While it is not surprising to see that Danza took the top prize in the race, it is surprising to most people to see Ride On Curlin come in a close second. Most professional handicappers had put Tapiture in 2nd place and Ride On Curlin in 4th, but those positions were actually flipped in the race results.
The other surprise was the huge money making opportunity with the winning horse. While oddsmakers set Danza as the favorite to win, those odds quickly sank as the betting public began to back Tapiture as the top contender. By the time Danza dashed across the finish line, he had been booked at odds of 41-1, making the race incredibly profitable for those who put their money on this product of trainer Todd Pletcher.
Now as all eyes shift toward the Kentucky Derby on May 3, a new front runner emerges from the pack. Many analysts are saying that California Chrome is the horse to watch in this race. Another favorite in the Kentucky Derby is Dance With Fate, who won the Blue Grass Stakes. The horse covered the 1 1/8-mile track in 1:50.06 and paid $14.80 on a $2 win bet.
Things are already shaping up for an exciting race day, and that will only increase as the 3rd approaches. Trivia: Who was the last horse to win the triple crown?