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)
|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 |
*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.
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