Kentucky Derby 2013 Post Positions: Assessing True Value of Coveted Slots

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  The field comes out of the gate to start the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2013 Kentucky Derby post positions were released on Wednesday, and the two clear favorites in Orb and Verrazano are on the outside at Nos. 14 and 16 respectively.

Historically, getting inside the top 10 posts is key to winning the Run for the Roses, with 90 of the past 113 winners coming from there.

Given the caliber of horses out wide, though, the winner can easily steer back to the inside and actually avoid losing speed in the beginning when all the competitors are tightly bunched together.

Here is a look at the complete field, with odds and post positions included.


Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Black Onyx
Joe Bravo
Kelly Breen
2  Oxbow
Gary Stevens
D. Wayne Lukas
3 Revolutionary  Calvin Borel  Todd Pletcher
4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado  Dallas Stewart  50-1
5 Normandy Invasion
Javier Castellano
Chad Brown
6 Mylute
Rosie Napravnik
Tom Amoss
7 Giant Finish Jose L. Espinoza  Anthony W. Dutrow  50-1
8 Goldencents  Kevin Krigger  Doug O'Neill  5-1
9 Overanalyze  Rafael Bejarano  Todd Pletcher  15-1
10 Palace Malice  Mike Smith  Todd Pletcher  20-1
11 Lines of Battle  Ryan Moore  Aidan O'Brien  30-1
12 Itsmyluckyday  Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa, Jr.  15-1
13 Falling Sky  Luis Saez  John Terranova II  50-1
14 Verrazano
John R. Velazquez
Todd Pletcher
15 Charming Kitten
Edgar Prado
Todd Pletcher
16 Orb Joel Rosario
Claude R. McGaughey III
17 Will Take Charge Jon Court
D. Wayne Lukas
18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron  Kenny McPeek
19 Java's War  Julien Leparoux  Kenny McPeek  15-1
20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez
Rudy Rodriguez


Orb is on the dividing line of the auxiliary gate, which provides a few feet of room between him and the speedy Charming Kitten. That will clear out room for Orb and Verrazano to establish position early on and maintain pace with the early front-runners with minimal traffic.

It will take a little bit of extra ground for Orb to cover, but at that juncture in the race, it ultimately won't make that much of a difference. Animal Kingdom won from No. 16 in 2011.

The fourth and fifth slots have combined for 23 winners since 1900. Heavy underdog Golden Soul is in the No. 4, but Normandy Invasion—who nearly beat Verrazano in the Wood Memorial Stakes with a furious late charge—is in fifth position.

As talented as Normandy Invasion is, his speed is his biggest asset, and it may be difficult for him to streak out to a strong start amidst the cluster on the inside.

Recent trends have seen horses from the outside win, and I'll Have Another triumphed from the No. 19 slot last year.

Unfortunately for Rosie Napravnik and Mylute, the No. 6 spot is the worst in the top 10 positions, as only six winners have ever won from there. Napravnik is attempting to become the first female jockey to win the race—and improve on her record finish of ninth from two years ago.

Another jockey with the potential to make history is Kevin Krigger, who will be aboard Doug O'Neill's Goldencents.

Krigger would become the first African American since 1902 to win the Kentucky Derby with a victory, and O'Neill said the eight slot is absolutely perfect (h/t Evan Hammonds of

We talked about what post we wanted, and Goldencents has got such good speed leaving the gate that we didn't think it was that crucial where we drew. But if you're in the 1-, 2-, or 3-hole, you might have to sit in the gate a little longer than the others, so the eight hole is perfect.

Given the ability that Goldencents has to explode out of the gate, there is a chance that he could hold a decisive lead in the early going. it will be all about maintaining enough in the tank to fire it up down the stretch.

Now that the post positions are public knowledge, the status of Orb and Verrazano as the top two. Goldencents should undoubtedly be considered the No. 3 contender, which is what the oddsmakers believe as well for the Santa Anita Derby winner.