LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Based on the weather forecast, attendees at today's 140th Kentucky Derby won't have to worry about the flowers on their fancy hats getting watered, and the horses won't have to run in muddy slop at Churchill Downs.
Unlike last year's rainy Derby, the Weather Channel is forecasting mostly sunny skies today with a high of 73 degrees and a 10 percent chance of rain.
The Derby will be the 11th race on today's 13-race program. Post time for the Derby is 6:32 p.m. ET.
NBC Sports' TV coverage will start at noon on NBCSN and continue at 4 p.m. ET on NBC.
California Chrome is the 3-1 favorite.
Read an analysis of each horse here:
VICAR'S IN TROUBLE
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Why he can win: He never runs a bad race. Shades of 2002 Derby winner War Emblem, everybody will think there's a lot of speed and hence all the jockeys but one take back, a la Vicar's in Trouble's front-running Louisiana Derby.
Why he can't win: He won't get the moderate pace he set in the Louisiana Derby. He might be fast, but others are faster. And the No. 1 post forces Napravnik to gun to the lead to avoid getting shuffled back. Maybe Kentucky racing regulations rules bar Louisiana-born horses from winning the Derby.
Notable: The last time post position 1 won was the stretch-running Ferdinand in 1986. Before that was Chateaugay in 1963.
Owner: Skychai Racing, Terry Raymond, Jana Wagner
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
Why he can win: It's the old saw that, when trainers have multiple entries, watch out for the one getting the least attention. He ran well in two races at Churchill Downs.
Why he can't win: He's not fast enough. He finished 13th in the Blue Grass, and you go back to Iron Liege in 1957 to find a horse worse than fourth in its final start. Post position 2 last won in 1978, and he's not Affirmed.
Notable: The last Derby winner to have run in a claiming race was Charismatic in 1999. Before that, you go back to Dust Commander in 1970. Skychai Racing, Terry Raymond and Dee and Jana Wagner would be the first Louisvillians to win the Derby in 100 years.
Owner: Wounded Warrior Stables, operated by Chip McEwen, Anthony C. Robertson
Trainer: Gary Contessa
Jockey: Irad Ortiz
Why he can win: Forgive his Wood fifth after he broke slowly; he's a very nice horse. The addition of blinkers will have him more focused. The racing gods will approve of a winner whose owner races under Wounded Warrior Stables, donating 10 percent of purses and sales to causes for veterans and their families.
Why he can't win: He's adding blinkers, and since the Daily Racing Form started noting blinkers in past performances in 1987, no horse has won after adding blinkers for the Derby. If a New York-bred is going to win this year, it's Samraat.
Notable: This is trainer Gary Contessa and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.'s first Derby starter. The last winner from post 3 was Real Quiet in 1998.
Owners: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Why he can win: He's following the path of 1996 winner Grindstone: two races at 2, off with knee problem, coming into Louisville via the Arkansas Derby. There's also the third start off a layoff angle, and his huge Arkansas Derby victory in his two-turn debut shows he wants to run longer distances.
Why he can't win: His Arkansas Derby was too big — going from an 87 to a 104 BRIS speed figure and 79 to 102 Beyer fig — to have him at his best three weeks later. He's eligible for the wrong kind of "bounce."
Notable: This is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' first Derby starter. Trainer Todd Pletcher won the 2010 Derby with Super Saver. Jockey Joe Bravo did not hit the board in two prior Derbies.
Owner: Steve Coburne and Perry Martin
Trainer: Art Sherman
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Why he can win: He's been the most dominant horse this year, winning his three starts by a combined 18 lengths — all since the addition of jockey Victor Espinoza. He's the fastest horse, based on speed figures, and came home very fast in the Santa Anita Derby even with Espinoza downshifting.
Why he can't win: Impressive Santa Anita form doesn't necessarily translate to an impressive Churchill Downs showing. His sire, Lucky Pulpit, was best known as a turf sprinter, the Derby's homestretch is the longest in horse racing and he probably won't have a speed-favoring track to help carry him.
Notable: After going from 1980 until 2000 without the favorite winning, the betting choice has won five times since, including three of the past seven.
Owner: My Meadowview Farm (Leonard Riggio)
Trainer: Rick Violette
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Why he can win: He never runs a bad race and has shown he doesn't need the lead to win. Remember that Funny Cide finished second in the 2003 Wood before becoming the first New York-bred to capture the Kentucky Derby. Samraat, the Wood runner-up, would be the second.
Why he can't win: His sound defeat in the Wood suggests he might not want to run any farther. He is good, but one wonders if he's reached his best. Only one Gotham winner has won the Kentucky Derby, and Samraat is not Secretariat.
Notable: Owner Leonard Riggio has not finished better than 14th with three prior Derby starters. Samraat is his first graded stakes-winner. Jockey Jose Ortiz has his first Derby mount.
WE MISS ARTIE
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Why he can win: Animal Kingdom, also bred to be a grass horse, used the Spiral as a successful launching pad to Derby glory. All the speed will help his closing style.
Why he can't win: He's lost his three races on dirt by a combined 271/4 lengths. He's a grass/Polytrack horse, and he came home way too slow in his Spiral victory to get the job done. Trainer Todd Pletcher clearly wanted to go another route after a disappointing workout at Churchill Downs.
Notable: Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey of Nicholasville, Ky., who also own Vicar's in Trouble, are Churchill Downs' all-time winningest owners.
GENERAL A ROD
Owner: J. Armando Rodriguez
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Why he can win: He is a very underrated horse who never runs a bad race, and with Fusaichi Pegasus and Dynaformer in his pedigree he should love 11/4 miles. Joel Rosario was last year's winning jockey on Orb.
Why he can't: If he couldn't hang in longer pressing the modest pace in Florida Derby over speed-favoring track, he's up against it here. Racing's no-medication movement won't allow the winner to be a horse that the public might think is named after Alex Rodriguez, even if he's really named for the original owner.
Notable: General a Rod, sold on Monday to the Louisville-based Skychai Racing and Starlight Racing partnerships, would be the first Derby winner purchased after its final prep since War Emblem in 2002. Joel Rosario would be the sixth jockey to win in consecutive years. Louisville resident Mike Maker, who also has Vicar's in Trouble and Harry's Holiday, will be only the 11th trainer to start at least three horses in a single Derby.
Owner: WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Joe Rocco Jr.
Why he can win: Throw out his last race, his first on Polytrack, and he's never been worse than first or second. Owner WinStar Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher, who teamed to win the 2010 Derby with Super Saver, wouldn't run if they didn't think he deserved a chance.
Why he can't: He's not fast enough. No horse has won the Derby after finishing worse than fourth in its prior start since Iron Liege, who was fifth in the 1957 Derby Trial. His last of 14 in the Blue Grass won't cut it.
Notable: Pletcher is 1 for 36 in the Derby, dating to 2000. If all four of his horses start, he'll be only seven starters behind his mentor D. Wayne Lukas, whose first Derby was 1981. This is Joe Rocco Jr.'s first Derby mount.
Owner: Honors Stable Corp., owned by Salvatore Delfino
Trainer: Jose Garoffalo
Jockey: Luis Saez
Why he can win: There might not be a grittier horse in this field than the Fountain of Youth winner. The largest margin by which he's lost is a neck, that in the Florida Derby. A horse named Wildcat Red covers all the bases in these parts as far as having fandom rooting for it.
Why he can't: He's bred to be a sprinter, and there's too much other speed in here. Will Kentucky fans really pull for a horse with Red in its name? Can Louisville fans really pull for a horse with Wildcat in its name?
Notable: This is the first Derby starter for trainer Jose Garoffalo. Six previous Florida-breds have won the Derby, second only to Kentucky's 106. The last Florida-born winner was Silver Charm in 1997. There is precedence for a Venezuelan-born owner and trainer to win the Derby: Canonero II in 1971.
DANCE WITH FATE
Owner: Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
Why he can win: No one came home the last eighth-mile (12 seconds) and last three-eighths (36 flat) faster than he did in winning the Blue Grass. He's crying for distance. Corey Nakatani is too good to be 0 for the Derby.
Why he can't: He's crying for more distance - on grass or a synthetic surface. There's a reason trainer Peter Eurton talked about not going to the Derby.
Notable: Nakatani has the most mounts (16) without a victory in Derby history. This is Eurton's first Derby horse. Post 11 (where he now starts after Hoppertunity's scratch) has produced two Derby winners in the starting-gate era: Brokers Tip in 1933 and Winning Colors in 1988.
Owner: Tanma Corporation (Susan and Charles Chu)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Why he can win: He's improved each race, capped by his Sunland Derby victory, his only defeat being by a half-length in the Robert B. Lewis to the very good Candy Boy.
Why he can't: He's benefited from speed-favoring tracks at Santa Anita and Sunland.
Notable: Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Derby three times (with three seconds and two thirds) out of 23 starters, the last victory being War Emblem in 2002. Martin Garcia's best finish with two Derby mounts was sixth. Post 12 (where Chitu will now start) last produced the Derby winner in 1971 (Canonero II).
Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Why he can win: Barbaro proved in 2006 that sons of Dynaformer can be top grass horses and win the Derby. All the speed sets up the Blue Grass runner-up's late kick. He blossomed in his two big performances at Keeneland.
Why he can't: The Derby he wins will be in Virginia — on grass. Three races in 29 days will take some of starch out of him. No horse whose first win was at Ellis Park has won the Derby.
Notable: The last Derby winner making his third start in a month was Charismatic in 1999. Trainer Dale Romans has two thirds and a fourth out of four Derby starters. Jockey Robby Albarado's best finish in 13 prior Derby mounts was second last year with Golden Soul.
Owner: Ron Winchell
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana
Why he can win: He loves Churchill Downs and never runs a bad race. His biological birthday is May 3, and this is the ultimate party. Of course trainer Steve Asmussen would after the way his operation was targeted and portrayed by PETA.
Why he can't: He might not want to run that far. The last Derby winner whose first victory came at Churchill Downs was Brokers Tip, who broke his maiden in the 1933 Derby. The racing gods aren't touching this one with a 10-foot pole.
Notable: Asmussen has a second and third out of 12 prior Derby starters. This is Ricardo Santana's first Derby. Winchell Thoroughbreds campaigned Tapiture's sire, Tapit, the 2004 Wood Memorial winner who was ninth in the Derby. The Winchell family's best Derby finish out of seven attempts came on its first try with fourth-place Classic Go Go in 1981. Post 14 (where Tapiture now breaks) last produced the Derby winner in 1961 (Carry Back).
Owner: Starlight Racing
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez
Why he can win: He's the prototype of a Derby winner: solid form at 2, improving form and three preps at 3. He'll benefit immensely from all the speed. Mike Smith opted for Hoppertunity (who scratched), and Derby lore is well-populated with jockeys and agents who chose the wrong horse (see 2013).
Why he can't: It's not as well-publicized as the Apollo Factor, but no Louisville owner has won the Derby since H.C. Applegate's Old Rosebud in 1914. He's had a problem switching leads properly into the stretch (see the Louisiana Derby) and that can be a deal-breaker in the Derby (see Alydar).
Notable: Starlight Racing's best finish with four prior Derby starters was the sire of Intense Holiday, the late Harlan's Holiday, who was seventh as the 6-1 favorite in 2002. John Velazquez has one win (Animal Kingdom in 2011) out of 15 Derby mounts.
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Why he can win: All the speed will set it up for the closer. His form is similar to stablemate (and workmate) Golden Soul, who finished second last year.
Why he can't: It's rare for horses who have not previously won stakes to win the Derby.
Notable: West Point Thoroughbreds has had one prior Derby starter, with Flashy Bull 14th in 2006. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan's best finish among five Derby mounts was longshot Santiva's sixth in 2011.
Owner: CRK Stable (Lee and Susan Searing)
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Gary Stevens
Why he can win: He's going to appreciate the change of venue from speed-favoring Santa Anita to Churchill Downs and its longer stretch. His form is almost identical to 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand, also a well-beaten third in the Santa Anita Derby. Jockey Gary Stevens (three-time winner) knows what it takes to win the Derby, and he's very high on his mount.
Why he can't: Other horses are faster. The racing gods are on a diet.
Notable: Post 17 (which Candy Boy moves into with the scratch) has never produced a Derby winner. Trainer John Sadler's best finish with three prior Derby starters was sixth-place Corby in 1993. Candy Boy is the first Derby starter for CRK Stable.
RIDE ON CURLIN
Owner: Dan Dougherty of Louisville
Trainer: "Bronco" Billy Gowan of Shepherdsville, Ky.
Jockey: Calvin Borel of Louisville
Why he can win: Forced to go very wide in the Arkansas Derby, he ran one of those sneaky-good seconds in the final prep that often result in Kentucky Derby victory. Jockey Calvin Borel has three wins and two thirds the past seven years. The colt looks great training.
Why he can't: He doesn't want to go that far, losing ground in the final eighth-mile of his two-turn races. Other horses are faster. Has a trainer with a three-horse stable ever won the Derby?
Notable: This is the first Derby for trainer "Bronco" Billy Gowan and owner Dan Dougherty of Louisville, with Ride On Curlin being the only 2-year-old for either last year. Dougherty paid $25,000 for the colt at Gowan's insistence, and turned down a $1 million-plus offer after Ride On Curlin set a track record in an Ellis maiden race.
Owner: Centennial Farms
Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Why he can win: Impressive Wood Memorial victory proved the colt wants to run even farther, and he has a closing style that will benefit from all of the speed. Racing gods like idea of a winner named in honor of the Boston bombing victims.
Why he can't: The Wood was such a quantum improvement from two poor showings in Florida that he might "bounce." He might be this year's Stay Thirsty — only runs well in New York. The Wood winner hasn't been in the Derby trifecta in a decade.
Notable: Trainer Jimmy Jerkens has had only two starters at Churchill Downs, one being victory in the Grade I Humana Distaff with Celtic Melody in 2002. This is owner Centennial Farms' first Derby starter. Jockey Rajiv Maragh's best finish out of three Derby mounts was Mucho Macho Man's third in 2011. I'll Have Another in 2012 was the first horse to win from post 19 (which Wicked Strong now has) in the starting gate era.