Kentucky Derby 2013 Post Positions: How Post Slots Shake Up the Odds

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2013

The post position at the Kentucky Derby is nearly as important as the speed of the horse.

History has shown that it's tough to win from the outside, although the past two years proved it is possible with victories by I'll Have Another and Animal Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand was the last horse to win from the No. 1 post, and that was in 1986.

Post position clearly plays a huge role in determining who will win. As a result, the top horses in this year's field have seen a significant change in their odds heading into Saturday.


Full Post Positions (Odds courtesy of Racing Daily Form)

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


*Post positions via the Kentucky Derby's official Twitter account.


No. 14 Verrazano 

Verrazano has been recognized as one of the favorites throughout, but the draw played a big role in as keeping it on top of the board.

The horse has won each of its four races, with all of them coming from fast starts while generally remaining on the outside. Trainer Todd Pletcher did not want Verrazano trapped inside or pushed to a fast start.

Fortunately, the No. 14 post will avoid both issues as the horse can stay relatively far away from the rail and will be outside of fast starters Goldencents and Falling Sky. Additionally, it will have some extra room on the right side because of the auxiliary gate.

This contender had a good chance to win before, and the odds look even better now.


No. 20 Vyjack

One of the sleepers in this field is Vyjack, which won each of its first four races before finishing third at the Wood Memorial. However, each race has been at Aqueduct, and the lack of experience on other tracks could hurt.

Still, the biggest issue in the upcoming race is a poor post. 

Sitting at the furthest spot will give the horse very little chance to get into a good position early. In a crowded field, it does not have enough pure speed to catch the leaders and finish near the front.

A decent bet before the draw, Vyjack has now become too much of a risk.


No. 8 Goldencents

Like Verrazano, Goldencents received a good draw to become a top contender in this prestigious race.

At the No. 8 spot, jockey Kevin Krigger can get out to a strong start ahead of the congestion and cruise comfortably in front of the pack. 

Trainer Doug O'Neill led I'll Have Another to the win in last year's Kentucky Derby, and his experience should help Goldencents do well this time around. After winning the Santa Anita Derby, there are few better options heading into the race.