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Profiles of 2014 Kentucky Derby runners

Reuters

(Reuters) - Profiles of runners in Saturday's 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville (listed with official starting number)

1. VICAR'S IN TROUBLE

Booked his place in the field with an impressive win in the Louisiana Derby. Jockey Rosie Napravnik is bidding to become the first female rider to win the Kentucky Derby after winning the Kentucky Oaks. No horse has won the race from post position one in over a quarter of a century.

2. HARRY'S HOLIDAY

One of the longshots of the field who has won three of his eight career starts. Jockey Corey Lanerie will be having his first ride in the race. The horse is trained by Mike Maker, who also prepares Vicar's In Trouble and General a Rod.

3. UNCLE SIGH

New York-based colt who has won one of his five career starts. Jockey Irad Ortiz is riding in the race for the first time as is his brother Jose. They are just the fourth brothers to ride in the same Kentucky Derby and the first in 30 years. Trainer Gary Contessa is saddling his first runner in the race.

4. DANZA

Emerged as one of the favorites after winning last month's Arkansas Derby. Jockey Joe Bravo finished 16th in each of his two previous rides in the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher won the race in 2010 with Super Saver and has four runners this year.

5. CALIFORNIA CHROME

The popular pick to win after romping to victory in each of his last four races, including the Santa Anita Derby, by a combined winning margin of more than 24 lengths. His jockey Victor Espinoza won the 2002 derby on War Emblem while 77-year-old Art Sherman is bidding to become the oldest trainer to win the race.

6. SAMRAAT

Won his first five career starts before finishing runner-up to Wicked Strong in the Wood Memorial. Ortiz is a year younger than his brother Irad, who rides Uncle Sigh. Trainer Rick Violette finished seventh in the 2004 Derby with Read The Footnotes.

7. WE MISS ARTIE

Won the Grade I Breeders' Futurity as a 2yo last season but has struggled whenever he has raced on dirt, the surface for the Derby. Another runner trained by Pletcher. Jockey Javier Castellano won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic on Ghostzapper but has not had in placing in seven previous Derby starts.

8. GENERAL A ROD

Another horse trained by Maker. Finished third in the Florida Derby after winning two of his previous four careers starts. His jockey Joel Rosario won last year's Derby on Orb then the Dubai World Cup on Animal Kingdom.

9. VINCEREMOS

Sneaked into the field by finishing runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby. Pletcher picked jockey Joe Rocco to partner the colt even though he will be making his first appearance in the Derby and has never ridden Vinceremos in a race before.

10. WILDCAT RED

Rapidly improving colt who was runner-up in the Florida Derby and has finished no worse than second in his seven career outings. Jockey Luis Saez came second by a nose in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic on Will Take Charge. Trainer Jose Garoffalo is preparing his first Derby runner.

11. HOPPERTUNITY (SCRATCHED)

12. DANCE WITH FATE

Has won each of his past two starts for trainer Peter Eurton, including last month's Grade I Blue Grass, the last major lead-up race. Jockey Corey Nakatani finished second in the 2011 Derby on Nehro.

13. CHITU

Lightly raced colt who has won three of his four career starts. His Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has already won the Derby three times but Chitu is his lone runner this time after Hoppertunity was scratched. Jockey Martin Garcia rode Lookin at Lucky to win the 2010 Preakness Stakes.

14. MEDAL COUNT

Runner-up to Dance With Fate in the Blue Grass. Jockey Robby Albarado has ridden more than 4,000 winners but never the Derby, although he finished third on Curlin in 2007. Trainer Dale Romans grew up near the Churchill Downs track and has had two Derby placegetters in the last four years.

15. TAPITURE

Improving horse who has missed a start in just one of his previous seven runs. His trainer Steve Asmussen is one of the most accomplished horsemen in the United States but is currently at the center of accusations he has mistreated some horses.

16. INTENSE HOLIDAY

Earned his trip to the Run for the Roses with a second-place finish in the Louisiana Derby. His jockey John Velazquez won the race three years ago on Animal Kingdom. Trained by Pletcher.

17. COMMANDING CURVE

Came third in the Louisiana Derby for trainer Dallas Stewart, who won the 2006 Kentucky Oaks with Lemon's Forever. Jamaican born jockey Shaun Bridgmohan was unplaced in his previous Derby rides.

18. CANDY BOY

A distant third behind California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby but with good connections. Jockey Gary Stevens has won the race three times before and virtually every other major race in North America. Trainer John Sadler is chasing his first Triple Crown success.

19. RIDE ON CURLIN

Runner-up to Danza in the Arkansas Derby for trainer Billy Gowan. Jockey Calvin Borel, nicknamed Bo-Rail for his tendency of sticking to the inside running rail, won the race three times between 2007 and 2010.

20. WICKED STRONG

Named in honour of the Boston Marathon victims, Wicked Strong emerged as a genuine Derby contender with a powerful win in the Wood Memorial, one of the traditional lead-up events. His jockey Rajiv Maragh came ninth in his only previous ride in the race while trainer Jimmy Jerkins is saddling up his first runner.

21. PABLO DEL MONTE

Was a late inclusion in the field after Hoppertunity was scratched. As the alternate, the horse was automatically given the outside post. Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez won the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies aboard Awesome Feather while trainer Wesley Ward in 2009 became the first American based trainer to win a race at Royal Ascot.

(Compiled by Julian Linden)

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