Many things go into picking a winner for the Kentucky Derby. However, it is important to look at the post position for each top contender.
We have seen over the years that some spots have led to more success than others. For a long time, the No. 1 spot led to plenty of wins, but no one has taken first place from the inside post since 1986.
Recently, No. 8 has seen a lot of success with two winners in the past seven years and four since 1990. This bodes well for Goldencents, which was already one of the favorites.
Still, a few horses will be worse off due to an unlucky draw. Here are a full list of the post positions and a look at the competitors that will struggle because of it.
|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|
No. 1 Black Onyx
Not a lot has been expected from Black Onyx throughout the process, but the resume is not to be overlooked. The horse has won three of its last four races, including the Grade 3 Spiral.
While the momentum will help, the problem is that each of these wins came on late charges rather than quick starts. Jockey Joe Bravo is not scared to take his horse wide to pass late in the race.
Starting at the No. 1 post, this is not going to be possible. Without a good start, Black Onyx will be kept on the rail and likely boxed in by better competition.
An outside starting position would have given this long shot a chance to surprise people, but that dream is likely finished.
No. 20 Vyjack
Vyjack has been known as one of the sleepers in this race after a strong third-place finish at the Wood Memorial. The inexperienced competitor could not pass Verrazano or Normandy Invasion, but it won its first four events before this Grade 1 race.
Unfortunately, it does not have the pure speed to overcome starting in the farthest post.
The last horse to win from No. 20 at the Kentucky Derby was Big Brown, and that was one of the most successful horses in the past couple of decades. It came into Churchill Downs as the favorite, won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and possibly could have won Belmont as well if not for an injury.
Big Brown was the exception and not the rule, and Vyjack does not have the speed or talent of this legendary horse. It will not be able to overcome its poor position.
No. 16 Orb
Along with Verrazano, Orb is one of the top favorites going into Saturday's event. It has won four races in a row and has shown that it can close late in long races.
Additionally, Shug McGaughey is one of the top trainers around and has his competitor ready to go for the biggest race of the year.
However, none of the victories for Orb came from an outside post. The win at the Florida Derby was the farthest from the rail at No. 6. It will be a completely new experience to have to come in all the way from No. 16.
This could hurt the contender's ability to come away with a win.