Post Time: Saturday, May 3, 6:24 p.m., NBC

Beyer Speed Figures (BSF) explained

California Chrome may be favored, but Beyer’s choice is Wicked Strong
Horse Andrew Beyer's Analysis Odds

1. Vicar's In Trouble

Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Napravnik bids to become the first female jockey ever to win the Run for the Roses. She has an outside chance -- she rode this colt to a decisive victory in the Louisiana Derby.

20-1

BSF: 97

2. Harry's Holiday

Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
How seriously can you take an ex-claimer whose biggest victory came in the 96Rock Stakes at Turfway Park?

50-1

BSF: 85

3. Uncle Sigh

Trainer: Gary Contessa
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Six months ago, Contessa told the owner, "We're going to run in the Kentucky Derby." He immediately regretted this premature promise, but the colt earned his way here with two second-place finishes in New York stakes.

30-1

BSF: 96

4. Danza

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Pletcher's colt made an astonishing improvement to win the Arkansas Derby at odds of 41 to 1. If he improves further, he would be a strong contender.

8-1

BSF: 102

5. California Chrome

Trainer: Art Sherman
Jockey: Victor Espinosa
With four straight victories by a combined total of 24 lengths, the modestly bred colt from California deserves to be a solid favorite. But he's no lock: The presence of several other speedsters in the field means that he'll be under pressure from the start

5-2

BSF: 108

6. Samraat

Trainer: Rick Violette
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Quick colt won five straight races in New York before Wicked Strong beat him in the Wood Memorial. Trainer has total confidence in 20-year-old jockey, the youngest in the field.

15-1

BSF: 96

7. We Miss Artie

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
He's never won on dirt, he has trained poorly and Pletcher is lukewarm (at best) about running. But Eclipse Award-winning owner Ken Ramsey loves the limelight and wouldn't pass up a chance to be in the Derby.

50-1

BSF: 89

8. General a Rod

Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Joel Rosario
No jokes about performance-enhancing drugs, please. He's named after Armando Rodriguez, who owned the colt until he sold him Monday. Probably a smart move. Derby distance is probably too long for the speedster.

15-1

BSF: 101

9. Vinceremos

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Joe Rocco Jr.
Lone stakes victory -- by a nose -- came against a weak field at Tampa Bay Downs. He's not going to help Pletcher's Derby record, currently 1-for 36.

30-1

BSF: 90

10. Wildcat Red

Trainer: Jose Garoffalo
Jockey: Luis Saez
Tenacious front-runner won two stakes at Gulfstream this winter and lost a photo in another. But neither his running style nor his pedigree suggests that he wants to go 1 1/4 miles.

15-1

BSF: 101

SCR. Hoppertunity

Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith
Colt was the 6-to-1 second choice in the morning line before Baffert discovered a problem in his left front foot and scratched him Thursday morning.

SCR

12. Dance With Fate

Trainer: Peter Eurton
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
He captured the Blue Grass Stakes -- which is not necessarily a recommendation. Since Keeneland installed Polytrack, Blue Grass winners have fared poorly in the Derby. This stretch-running colt appears to be much better on synthetic tracks than on dirt.

20-1

BSF: 97

13. Chitu

Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Martin Garcia
He has high speed, and he has a three-time Derby-winning trainer. The negatives: He hasn't raced since March 23 and he's been suffering from a rare hoof condition called seedy toe. Baffert was uncertain last week about running in the Derby -- not a good sign.

20-1

BSF: 102

14. Medal Count

Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Robbie Albarado Jr.
Longshot appears to prefer running on turf or synthetic tracks, but Romans' prior Derby entrants have done surprisingly well when they look unimposing on paper.

20-1

BSF: 94

15. Tapiture

Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
Not the sentimental favorite. A PETA video accuses Asmussen of treating horses inhumanely and suggests (without proof) that Santana has used a buzzer -- an illegal device to make horses run faster by giving them electrical shocks.

8-1

BSF: 98

16. Intense Holiday

Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez
Stretch-running winner of the Risen Star Stakes needs to improve, but he could do so. Clockers like the way he has trained at Churchill Downs this week.

8-1

BSF: 97

17. Commanding Curve

Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
When Ring Weekend got sick, this stretch-runner moved from No. 21 to No. 20 on the list of qualifiers. His best race was a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby.

50-1

BSF: 89

18. Candy Boy

Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Gary Stevens
Stevens has won the Derby three times, and at 51 he is still riding in great form. His mount has been running well in tough California competition, but California Chrome beat him soundly in the Santa Anita Derby.

15-1

BSF: 96

19. Ride on Curlin

Trainer: William Gowan
Jockey: Calvin Borel
Borel has won the Derby three times; His rail-hugging ride on 50-1 Mine That Bird was one of the greatest in the race's history. He'll need some wizardry this year; His mount has never won a stakes race.

15-1

BSF: 98

20. Wicked Strong

Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Allen Jerkens, one of the all-time great trainers, never won a Derby, but his son could do it here. Colt rallied to win the Wood Memorial impressively, and he could benefit from a fast pace in this field.

6-1

BSF: 104

SCR. Pablo Del Monte

Trainer: Wesley Ward
Jockey: Jeffrey Sanchez
Longshot was No. 21 on the eligibility list, and had the chance to run after Hoppertunity was scratched, but trainer Wesley Ward announced Friday morning that his connections turned down the chance.

SCR

Note: BSF represents best speed figure earned at a mile or more.

Published April 30, 2014.