I'm not sure what they are feeding horses these days (HGH?), but it seems as if each year the Kentucky Derby field is getting better and better. Last year's field was one of the fastest that I recall leading up to Derby Day. And this year's crop of three-year-old horses may be the deepest that we've seen in the past decade.
The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby commences at 6:24 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Churchill Downs. The Run For The Roses marks the open of the Triple Crown racing season and is one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events of the spring.
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Add in the supposed-to-be-epic-but-will-be-mostly-boring-and-a-huge-waste-of-$100 Mayweather-Pacquiao fight this Saturday night, and the Kentucky Derby has a chance to kick off one of the most memorable gambling days of the year.
The all-important post draw took place on Wednesday, and as always there were winners and losers. The dreaded No. 1 slot - the rail - was bestowed upon long shot Ocho Ocho Ocho (50-to-1). Another long shot, aptly named Far Right, drew the No. 20 post and is, literally, starting as far right as possible and guaranteed the longest trip. Far Right is posted at 30-to-1.
The biggest winner was one of the two favorites, Dortmund, which nestled into the No. 8 slot. Not too far wide and not too tight to the rail, Dortmund is surrounded by speed and in the perfect position to dictate the pace of this race. Dortmund is a perfect 6-0 in its six career races and its favorable position could vault it into the role of race day favorite.
Dortmund is currently listed at 3-to-1.
Conversely, the current favorite (5-to-2), American Pharoah, has to be considered one of the losers by drawing the No. 18 post. Only eight horses in the 140-year history of the Kentucky Derby that have won the race starting wider than No. 15, and only four horses have claimed the title starting at No. 16 or wider.
American Pharoah has won four consecutive races. But it has passed only one horse during those sprints, leading wire-to-wire in three of the races. The wide draw is not only historically significant but doesn't jibe with the mount's running style.
Ironically, one of the last horses to win from a wide post was Big Brown - the sire of Dortmund. Big Brown won the 2008 Derby starting from post No. 20. Also, Orb won the 2013 Derby from the No. 16 post. That's two wide winners in the past decade and proof that American Pharoah shouldn't be discounted simply because of a bad draw.
Last year's winner, California Chrome, broke comfortably from the No. 5 slot.
The No. 5 post, currently occupied by Danzig Moon (30-to-1), has produced the most winners (13) in the last 115 years. The No. 1 post (12) has produced the second-most winners, although none have been crowned from the rail since 1986.
The No. 4, No. 8 and No. 10 slots have each produced 10 winners. Tencendur (30-to-1), Dortmund, and Firing Line (12-to-1), respectively, occupy those spots.
Other notable draws include Carpe Diem (8-to-1) in the No. 2 slot and Frosted (15-to-1) in the No. 15 position.
Here are is the total number of winners produced by each post position since 1900:
1 - 12
2 - 9
3 - 8
4 - 10
5 - 13
6 - 6
7 - 8
8 - 10
9 - 4
10 - 10
11 - 3
12 - 3
13 - 4
14 - 2
15 - 3
16 - 4
17 - 0
18 - 1
19 - 1
20 - 2
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