Kentucky Derby 2012 Post Positions: Why Fans Shouldn't Worry About Positioning

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07:  The horses break from the starter's gate at the start of the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The 138th edition of the Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, and per usual, a great deal is made of the post position draw. 

However, fans shouldn't worry too much about that, as taking a look back at the past few Derbys is a great indication that the post position doesn't make all the difference in the world, like so many believe.

Don't get me wrong, it is important, but it won't make or break or horse. The elites can persevere no matter which post position they're in—all they need is the right training and a talented jockey who knows how to ride. 

When looking at Kentucky Derby winners by their post position, if a horse draws a spot past No. 10, the chances of them winning are much less. 

However, if you look at last year's Derby, the top-six finishers all started the race on the outside. Animal Kingdom won the race, and he started at No. 16, a spot out far wide, which most thought would doom the horse. 

In 2010, the heavy favorite was Lookin at Lucky, who began at post position No. 1, only to finish the race in sixth place.

In the history of the Kentucky Derby, the winner has come from the first spot 12 times, which is tied for the lead among all post positions. 

In 2008, Big Brown drew post position No. 20, and prior to him winning it by nearly five lengths, only one other horse had won from starting that far on the outside. 

So yes, the post position has meaning, but it's nothing to stress over, as the focus needs to be all about the horse. 

These colts are all capable of winning the "Run for the Roses," no matter which post position they draw. 



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