Kentucky Derby 2013 Post Positions: Long Shots in Perfect Position to Steal Race

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Kentucky Derby 2013 Post Positions: Long Shots in Perfect Position to Steal Race
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The post position draw is one of the most crucial aspects of the Kentucky Derby. 

Post No. 1 has produced eight winners since the use of a starting gate in 1930, but no horse has won from there since Ferdinand in 1986. (Sorry, Black Onyx.)

Jockeys also like to avoid the auxiliary starting gate, which holds the six outside horses in the field of 20, although Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another won at Churchill last year out of spot No. 19.

Several other positions are both wanted and feared, and it's clear that no other factor has the propensity to sway the odds as much as post position. 

Let's take a look at where each horse stands in this year's field (via the Kentucky Derby's official Twitter account) and which long shots saw their chances significantly improve on Wednesday. 

 

Post Horse Jockey Trainer
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 
5 Normandy Invasion
Javier Castellano
Chad Brown
6 Mylute
Rosie Napravnik
Tom Amoss
7 Giant Finish Jose L. Espinoza  Anthony W. Dutrow 
8 Goldencents  Kevin Krigger  Doug O'Neill 
9 Overanalyze  Rafael Bejarano  Todd Pletcher 
10 Palace Malice  Mike Smith  Todd Pletcher 
11 Lines of Battle  Ryan Moore  Aidan O'Brien 
12 Itsmyluckyday  Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa, Jr. 
13 Falling Sky  Luis Saez  John Terranova II 
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 
20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez
Rudy Rodriguez

 

Long Shots to Watch

Palace Malice (No. 10)

Since 1930, the No. 10 position has seen its horse go 76-9-6-9. That's a win percentage of 11.8 and an in-the-money percentage of a staggering 31.6, both of which are the highest in the field.

Most recently, Giacomo, led by legendary jockey Mike Smith, won out of that spot in 2005.

Mike Smith coming out of the No. 10 position

The jockey riding Palace Malice out of the same position this year?

Yeah, it's Mike Smith. Giddy up. 

 

Revolutionary (No. 3)

Rob Carr/Getty Images

I'll admit that this one probably depends on your definition of "long shot," but it seems like most are overlooking Revolutionary for the likes of Orb, Verrazano and Goldencents

So, while the three-year-old colt isn't a true long shot at 10-1 according to Beth Harris of the Associated Press (via NBC Sports), this post position bumps him up to my clear favorite. That's a big enough boost that it deserves mention. 

The inside three positions aren't usually sought-out spots. Getting caught on the inside can end your race in a heartbeat.

But not for Calvin Borel (via Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde):

The three-time Derby winner loves the rail, and this spot will make him incredibly dangerous on Saturday. 

 

Will Take Charge (No. 17)

Bettors tend to focus on horses in the first 10 positions, but as of late, that's been a massive mistake. 

Which non-favorite got the best draw?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Let's take a look at the winners coming from the auxiliary gate since the turn of the century:

Fusaichi Pegasus (No. 15) in 2000, Monarchos (No. 16) in 2001, Big Brown (No. 20) in 2008, Animal Kingdom (No. 16) in 2011 and I'll Have Another (No. 19) in 2012.

Not only has the outside produced five winners in the past 13 races, but the last two have also been fairly unexpected. 

It's always worth it to take a risk on a horse coming from the outside, and Will Take Charge—who is coming off a win at the Rebel Stakes and will be right next to the speedy Orb—looks like a sneaky pick. 

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