The Run for the Roses represents an exciting time in the racing year. The first leg of the Triple Crown, we’ll get an idea of what to expect as the season progresses, and get a closer look at 20 of the best three-year-old colts of the sport.
The post positions are set for the 139th edition of the Kentucky Derby, and despite some immensely talented horses in this year’s race, positioning will play a vital role in determining a victor.
Favorites like Goldencents and Verrazano drew good positioning for their racing styles, but not every challenger was so lucky.
Let’s take a look at the entire list of post positions and break down a couple intriguing storylines in this year’s Run for the Roses.
|Will Take Charge||Lukas||17||20-1|
|Lines of Battle||O'Brien||11||30-1|
|Falling Sky||Terranova II||13||50-1|
|**Black Onyx (withdrawn)||1|
*Odds acquired from Linemakers.sportingnews.com.
The Pletcher Factor
There’s no denying which trainers are running the show this year. And even among the most notable names of the trade, Todd Pletcher stands out as one of the best.
Which of Todd Pletcher's horses has the best chance of winning Saturday?
Pletcher’s horses litter the field this year, including favorites like Verrazano and Revolutionary. In all, the 45-year-old trained five of the 20 colts in the field, each with currents odds to win at 20-1 or better.
Pletcher has been training horses a long time, and he understands the significance of what he has done this year (as quoted by the Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated).
“I have a tremendous appreciation for how difficult the Kentucky Derby is to win. Even if you have the best horse, a lot of times that doesn't mean you're going to succeed.”
Pletcher may not have trained the best horse, but he has trained five of the best, and there’s a good chance one of his top challengers takes home the first-place prize on Saturday.
Longshot to Watch: Itsmyluckyday
Fifteen-to-one odds aren’t all that bad, but Itsmyluckyday certainly isn’t one of the favorites to win the Derby. Despite those odds, the Edward Plesa Jr.-trained horse is among the fastest in the group and has the ability to run from nearly any position from start to finish.
According to DRF.com, Itsmyluckyday has a Beyer rating of 104 (a measure of speed in relation to prior races and track conditions), which ranks it only behind Verrazano and Goldencents in that category. And with the ability to both run off the pace or in front of the pack, there’s nothing scary about its No. 12 post position, either.
Anything can happen during the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” but don’t be surprised to see Itsmyluckyday defy the odds and overtake one of Pletcher’s talented colts for a Kentucky Derby victory.