2013 Kentucky Derby: How Did Historically Great Positions Finish?

Ryan DavenportContributor IMay 5, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04:  Jockey Joel Rosario atop Orb reacts after winning the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Orb won the 2013 Kentucky Derby from post No. 16, which shouldn't be all that surprising, as he entered the storied race as the odds-on favorite. 

But what makes Orb's victory even less surprising is what post position he started in. That's because, since 1972, four other champions emerged from No. 16, including 2011 winner Animal Kingdom and 2001 victor Monarchos. So Orb was in prime position to take home bragging rights before the race even began. 

Now that this year's edition of the Run for the Roses is in the books, let's take a look back at how some of the horses in historically great post positions finished. 


No. 5

At Churchill Downs, 12 horses in post position No. 5 have raced to Kentucky Derby wins, including 2003 champion Funny Cide in 2003. 

This year, Normandy Invasion occupied the usually prosperous position. He finished the 139th running of the race in fourth place. 

Until the latter stages of the final quarter-mile, Normandy Invasion was actually in a good spot to challenge for the crown. But he seemed to run out of gas in the dying seconds, and Orb and Golden Soul raced ahead. 

Though it could've turned out better, Normandy Invasion did his post position proud. And if not for the shockingly successful day out of Golden Soul, he could've finished at least second. 


No. 4

Golden Soul's performance was the stunner of the entire race, as a horse who was largely an afterthought in the weeks preceding the first leg of the Triple Crown managed to finish second only to Orb, the consensus favorite. 

But maybe it shouldn't come as such a surprise, given that Golden Soul's post position of No. 4 is generally a good indication for success. 

No, Golden Soul didn't end up becoming the 12th winner from post No. 4, but his second-place finish was a pleasant surprise for a horse who was expected to be overshadowed by his neighbor in No. 5. 


No. 8

The 2013 Kentucky Derby did not go according to plan for Goldencents, who arrived in Louisville as one of the favorites to challenge Verrazano and Orb at Churchill Downs. 

Though Goldencents started off strong, he faded fast and ended up in an overwhelmingly disappointing 17th place. 

Not only was this surprising because of the horse's reputation and track record, but Goldencents started in post No. 8—the same post position that has produced 10 winners, including Mine That Bird in 2009.