We knew headed into the 2012 Kentucky Derby post position draw that the historic race could be drastically altered.
And that it was on Wednesday, a draw that inspired many oohs and ahs.
In particular, one of the true contenders, Take Charge Indy, was given the No. 3 pole position near the rail, which may have already doomed the three-year-old at Churchill Downs.
Beyond that, Union Rags and Dullahan both were given the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, which may hurt their chances. The No. 4 position isn't the worst place Union Rags could find himself, but it still hurts, particularly because he's sandwiched in with Take Charge Indy and Dullahan.
Jerry Crawford—general manager of Donegal Racing, which oversees Dullahan—said before the draw that he would be happy with post positions four through 20, via the Des Moines Register. But it's different grabbing the No. 5 post with Take Charge Indy and Union Rags on the inside, and Bodemeister in the No. 6 slot.
Speaking of Bodemeister, he didn't get the most favorable post position, but he did grab a good post position, and it's no wonder why he's being seen as the favorite. Bob Baffert has to be happy. He drew the No. 1 post position in the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Lookin at Lucky and ended up disappointing, finishing in sixth place.
Other prime contenders include Creative Cause, who got the No. 8 post, and Hansen and Gemologist, who grabbed the No. 14 and No. 15 post positions, respectively.
Creative Cause looks like a good bet beyond Bodemeister. Perhaps the most consistent horse in the field, Creative Cause has never been out of the money in eight career starts. He also beat out Bodemeister in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in March and was nosed by I'll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby three weeks ago.
Hansen has soared in the odds because of his No. 14 post. He also has had the success that gives him a shot at winning the Derby. In six career starts, he's won four times and placed second twice. He won in the Gotham Stakes in early March.
Then you have Gemologist. I really like Gemologist's chances this year. He not only grabbed the No. 15 position, he's unbeaten in five career starts. Gemologist had an impressive victory in the Wood Memorial Stakes three weeks ago. He broke free for the lead in the final stretch, saw Alpha make a late charge, but fought right back to cross the finish line before Alpha. It was a great display of Gemologist's ability to not only come from behind, but hold the lead.
One thing's for sure: Wednesday's post draw changed everything at Churchill Downs.