10 things to know about the 140th Kentucky Derby from Debbie ArringtonLoading
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
    Exercise rider William Delgado with California Chrome.

    California drought: A California-bred horse has not won the Derby since Decidedly in 1962. Only three have won in 139 runnings (the others were Morvich in 1922 and Swaps in 1955). Favorite California Chrome -- Swaps' great-great-great-great-grandson -- will try to end that 52-year drought.
    Morry Gash | AP
    Smarty Jones, with Stewart Elliott aboard, drives for the finish line to win the 130th Kentucky Derby.

    Kentucky's edge: A horse born outside Kentucky hasn't won the Derby since Pennsylvania's Smarty Jones in 2004. Overall, 106 Derby winners were born in the Bluegrass State. Of today's 20 starters, 13 are native Kentuckians -- the smallest Bluegrass-born contingent in many years. Besides the aptly named California Chrome (who was born in Coalinga), the others invaders hail from New York (Samraat, Uncle Sigh), Louisiana (Vicar's In Trouble), Florida (Dance With Fate, Wildcat Red) and Ontario, Canada (We Miss Artie).
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
    Joel Rosario sits on Orb in the winners circle after winning the 139th Kentucky Derby.

    Smelling roses: What would the Run for the Roses be without roses? Weighing 40 pounds, the garland that blankets the winner holds 564 identical red roses in a design unchanged since 1932. On top of the garland sits a "crown" of 19 more roses, one for each starter in this race. The variety is "Freedom," a long-lasting florist rose imported from South America.
    J. David Ake | AP
  • Preakness Horse Racing
    Kentucky Derby winner Todd Pletcher uses binoculars to watch Preakness favorite, Super Saver in 2010.

    Strength in numbers: Todd Pletcher starts four horses today: Arkansas Derby winner Danza, Intense Holiday, Vinceremos and We Miss Artie. But he nominated 41 to this race. A six-time Eclipse winner as the nation's top trainer, Pletcher has had little Derby success; he's 1 for 36. His lone winner: Super Saver in 2010.
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
    Trainer Art Sherman looks at Kentucky Derby entrant California Chrome.

    Beginner's luck: Six trainers will be saddling their first Derby starter -- Art Sherman (California Chrome), Peter Eurton (Dance With Fate), Gary Contessa (Uncle Sigh), Jimmy Jerkins (Wicked Strong), Jose Garoffalo (Wildcat Red) and Billy Gowan (Ride On Curlin). Sherman, 77, will attempt to become the oldest trainer to win the Derby; at 76, Charlie Whittingham won the 1989 Derby with Sunday Silence.
    Garry Jones | AP
  • Horse Racing 2014:  Keeneland Blue Grass Stakes Day APR 12
    Dance With Fate and Corey Nakatani win the Toyota Blue Grass Grade 1.

    Cali connections: Besides California Chrome, the Golden State sent two other Derby starters to Churchill Downs -- Dance With Fate and Candy Boy. Dance With Fate, second to Tamarando in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, upset the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in his final Derby prep. The near-black colt, who cost $120,000 as a 2-year-old, is owned by longtime Southern California friends Sharon Alesia (ex-wife of musician/record producer Herb Alpert), Joe Ciaglia (he builds skateboard parks) and Michael Mellen's Bran Jam Stable.
    Candice Chavez | AP
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
    Exercise rider Jelani Grant takes Kentucky Derby hopeful Candy Boy for a morning workout at Churchill Downs Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

    Cali connections: Besides California Chrome, the Golden State sent two other Derby starters to Churchill Downs -- Dance With Fate and Candy Boy. Candy Boy, third behind California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, is owned and bred by Lee and Susan Searing's CRK Stable (named for the initials of their three children) of Claremont. Their business makes steel tubing products.
    Charlie Riedel | AP
  • Horse Racing 2014: Kentucky Derby and Oaks Workouts APR 30
    Trainer Bob Baffert delivers the announcement that his Kentucky Derby contending horse, Hoppertunity, will not be able to run due to injury.

    Experience counts: Besides Pletcher, three-time winner Bob Baffert (1997, 1998, 2002) is the only trainer in this Derby to have won before. Baffert had to scratch Hoppertunity due to a sore foot, but still starts Sunland Derby winner Chitu, named for an ancient Chinese war horse. Coincidentally, this is the Chinese Year of the Horse.
    Logan Riely | AP
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Racing
    Exercise rider Kelvin Pahal takes Kentucky Derby hopeful Wicked Strong for a morning workout at Churchill Downs Monday, April 28, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Boston big: Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong, second favorite in today's Derby, originally was named Moyne Spun, but was renamed in honor of victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. ("Boston Strong" was already taken.) Purchased for $375,000 as a yearling, Wicked Strong is owned by 28 mostly Massachusetts-based partners, including 20 first-time horse owners. A share of the horse's earnings go to the One Fund to aid the bombing's victims and families.
    Charlie Riedel | AP
  • Kentucky Derby Announcer
    New voice: Announcer Larry Collmus will be making his Derby debut as the official race caller of Churchill Downs. If his voice sounds familiar, thank NBC; he called the race for TV the past three years. His most familiar catch phrase? For a runaway winner, he'll be 'running up the score.'
    Garry Jones | AP
  • Gordon Johncock   Jockey    Action
    Jockey Steve Cauthen in the saddle, Affirmed captures the Belmont Stakes in June 1978 in Elmont, New York to gain thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

    Triple Crown trail: The Derby is the first jewel of racing's Triple Crown followed by the Preakness in Baltimore, Md., on May 17 and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, N.Y., on June 7. Only 11 horses have swept the Triple Crown; the last was Affirmed in 1978. Las Vegas oddsmakers doubt today's Derby winner will sweep; the odds that the Triple Crown drought will continue are 1-to-12.
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