The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place this Saturday. At 6:24 pm EDT some of the best racehorses from around the world will compete to take home the rose blanket.
Derby hopefuls have already begun arriving at Churchill Downs in Louisville Kentucky in preparation for the race. As of today 23 horses are set to run the race, with plenty of runner-up candidates ready to take their place should the unforeseen occur.
The current Derby favorite is California Chrome, a 3-year-old thoroughbred that won this year’s Santa Anita Derby by over five lengths. California Chrome has won his last four races in a row and is scheduled to have Derby-winning jockey Victor Espinoza on his back during the Derby.
California Chrome is currently on it way to Louisville from California – a state the horse has never left. Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, believes that the horse will weather the long flight just fine.
“I think he’ll walk on that airplane tomorrow morning and think nothing of it,” said Sherman. “He’ll just get on and go. And when he gets to Churchill Downs, he’ll look around and know he’s at a racetrack and feel right at home. That’s the way he is.
“I guess there are things I should be concerned about given our situation, but one thing I’m not is how this horse is going to handle his trip down there. Chrome will deal with it just fine. I’m not worried about that at all.”
While California Chrome leads the betting pool, other favorites such as Wicked Strong, Hoppertunity, Samraat, and Danza are also contenders for the Derby title. At the other end of the spectrum horses such as Vinceremos, Pablo Del Monte, and Harry’s Holiday are longshots to win the race.
As the horses and trainers work feverishly to prepare for the race, horse racing fans across the country are making their own preparations for Derby day. Social media is full of fans who are watching the contenders closely while preparing their Mint Juleps:
The realization that I'm going to be able to play the ponies at the Kentucky Derby in a Las Vegas sports book just hit me and that's awesome
— T.M.P. (@Numero_Two) April 28, 2014
In honor of the Kentucky Derby this weekend I'll probably watch Secretariat and Seabiscuit like everyday this week!
— Katy Bowman (@katymay09) April 28, 2014
It's Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks week. And for the first time in four years it's looking like I'll actually get to watch it live! Yea!!
— Bleu Eyes (@Recalcitrant793) April 28, 2014
Image via Kentuckytourism.com