2019 Kentucky Derby Expert Handicapping: Post Positions
With little fanfare and even less drama, the post draw for this weekend's Kentucky Derby took place on Tuesday at the Churchill Downs clubhouse. And while no horse ever won the race with its post position, the draw certainly does help shape the contours of the weekend's race.
The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby commences at 6:46 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 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.
Current favorite Omaha Beach (3-to-1), who won Arkansas Derby just three weeks ago, drew post No. 12. Only three winners have ever come from the No. 12 slot, with the last champion from this post coming in 1971 (Canonero II).
Despite the lack of historical success from this post, favorites have been dominating at Churchill Downs over the past five years. All five winners have gone off between 2-to-1 and 4-to-1, including last year's race-day favorite Justify (2.5-to-1).
The two other most highly-regarded horses in this year's field, Game Winner (5-to-1) and Roadster (6-to-1), drew wide posts. Game Winner is in post No. 16, while Roadster will start next to him at No. 17.
Game Winner and Roadster are both trained by Bob Baffert. Baffert's third horse, Improbable (5-to-1), will launch from the coveted No. 5 spot on Saturday. Historically, the No. 5 slot has produced the most Kentucky Derby winners with 14.
Baffert is attempting to tie the record with his sixth career Derby winner.
Only 10 horses in the 144-year history of the Kentucky Derby have won the race starting wider than No. 15. Only five horses have claimed the title starting at No. 17 or wider.
However, four of the last eight winners have started from post No. 16 or wider.
Country House (30-to-1) drew the No. 20 slot and will make the longest trip on Saturday. Big Brown, winner of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, was the last winner from the No. 20 slot.
War of Will (20-to-1) drew the rail and post No. 1. Even though 12 total winners have come from the rail, the last winner from the No. 1 position was Winning Colors in 1988.
The No. 4, No. 8 and No. 10 posts have each produced 10 winners. Gray Magicians (50-to-1), Tacitus (10-to-1) and Cutting Humor (30-to-1) drew those slots, respectively.
Bodexpress is the only available alternate horse, meaning that if there is a scratch then the horse will become eligible in the field with likely odds somewhere in the 50-to-1 range.
Here is the full Kentucky Derby field by post position, with odds set by Mike Battaglia:
Gate 1: War of Will (20-to-1)
Gate 2: Tax (20-to-1)
Gate 3: By My Standards (20-to-1)
Gate 4: Gray Magicians (50-to-1)
Gate 5: Improbable (5-to-1)
Gate 6: Vekoma (20-to-1)
Gate 7: Maximum Security (10-to-1)
Gate 8: Tacitus (10-to-1)
Gate 9: Plus Que Parfait (30-to-1)
Gate 10: Cutting Humor (30-to-1)
Gate 11: Haikal (30-to-1)
Gate 12: Omaha Beach (4-to-1)
Gate 13: Code of Honor (15-to-1)
Gate 14: Win Win Win (15-to-1)
Gate 15: Master Fencer (50-to-1)
Gate 16: Game Winner (5-to-1)
Gate 17: Roadster (6-to-1)
Gate 18: Long Range Toddy (30-to-1)
Gate 19: Spinoff (30-to-1)
Gate 20: Country House (50-to-1)
Here are is the total number of winners produced by each post position since 1900:
1 - 12
2 - 9
3 - 8
4 - 10
5 - 14
6 - 6
7 - 9
8 - 10
9 - 4
10 - 10
11 - 3
12 - 3
13 - 5
14 - 2
15 - 3
16 - 5
17 - 0
18 - 2
19 - 1
20 - 2
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
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