Kentucky Derby 2013 Post Positions: Assessing True Value of Coveted Slots
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.
|1||Black Onyx ||Joe Bravo ||Kelly Breen ||50-1|
|2||Oxbow ||Gary Stevens ||D. Wayne Lukas ||30-1|
|3||Revolutionary||Calvin Borel||Todd Pletcher ||10-1|
|4||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart||50-1|
|5||Normandy Invasion ||Javier Castellano ||Chad Brown ||12-1|
|6||Mylute ||Rosie Napravnik ||Tom Amoss ||15-1|
|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 ||4-1|
|15||Charming Kitten ||Edgar Prado ||Todd Pletcher ||20-1|
|16||Orb||Joel Rosario ||Claude R. McGaughey III ||7-2|
|17||Will Take Charge||Jon Court ||D. Wayne Lukas ||20-1|
|18||Frac Daddy||Victor Lebron||Kenny McPeek ||50-1|
|19||Java's War||Julien Leparoux||Kenny McPeek||15-1|
|20||Vyjack||Garrett Gomez ||Rudy Rodriguez ||15-1|
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.
Who is in best position to win?
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 Bloodhorse.com)
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.
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