California Chrome: Will Victor Espinoza Ride For A Kentucky Derby Win?

California Chrome has been named the frontrunner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The horse cost his owners about $10,000, but they have already had their investment returned -- and then some. The colt has made owners Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin about $1.1 million and he hasn't even raced in the Derby yet, according to The Chicago Tribune. Coming from seasoned parents, California Chrome has racing in his genes; It's in his blood, as they say. His parents, however, were never wildly successful in any race they competed in.

The current favorite will be in spot #5, which was just a hair from what his trainer and rider were hoping for. An ideal spot for this horse would have been between 6 and 10, but there is still a good chance that he will make the Trifecta -- if he doesn't take home the grand prize.

California Chrome's trainer Art Sherman said:

"I think it's a perfect spot. I think if we break clean, he'll get out of a lot of trouble."
Rider Victor Espinoza is also hopeful about their drawn spot:
"I have a lot of options."
The colt is sitting pretty with 5-2 odds and those odds are fairly hard to beat. Last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, was the 7-2 morning-line favorite. While these numbers can shift and change up until race time, it's going to be hard to beat this chestnut-hued horse's chances.

The second favorite horse in this year's race was Hoppertunity, but he has since been scratched because of a sore front left foot, according to The Daily News. There is still a chance that he will race in The Preakness on Saturday, May 17. Wicked Strong was another favorite until the draw. Since he will be heading out of spot 20, it's going to be tough for him to contend. If jockey Rajiv Maragh can somehow get out in front, there is a good chance that Wicked Strong will give the other horses a serious run for their money (literally).

California Chrome may also find himself battling Danza (10-1) and Intense Holiday (12-1) for the top spot, as these horses are also favorites in this year's race. Naturally, there can always be a surprise victor (anyone remember Animal Kingdom in 2011?) and no one can really rule any horse out until it is all over -- which is why betting on the Derby can be just as tricky as it is fun.

You can watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3 on NBC. As previously reported by,Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will be covering the event.

Who is your pick to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby?

[Photo Credit: AP via The New York Daily News]