Kentucky Derby 2014 Post Positions: Draw Start Time, Horses Lineup and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2014

Trainer Todd Pletcher's Kentucky Derby hopefuls at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Sunday, April 27, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Garry Jones

One of the sporting world's greatest events—the Kentucky Derby—is set to commence to help kick off what will prove to be a wild month, but first the horses have to be given post positions at the official draw. 

Draw day is a spectacle in itself as trainers and jockeys learn their fate. The right position can put a favorite in a spot to dominate, while a historically inept post position can doom the mightiest of contenders.

For those who financially participate in the festivity, odds are also released after the official draw.

Suffice it to say, it's an event the globe will want to catch. Here's the scoop.

What: 2014 Kentucky Derby Draw

When: Wednesday, April 30 at 5 p.m.

TV Info: NBC Sports Network

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

Note: Full viewing info for entire event can be found here.

Horses Lineup

The official lineup for the proceedings at Churchill Downs won't be decided until after the draw, but the leaderboard going into the festivities gives us a good idea of the horses who will partake in the action:

2014 Kentucky Derby Leaderboard
Rank Horse Trainer Points Earnings
1 California Chrome Art Sherman 150 $782,250
2 Vicar’s in Trouble Mike Maker 120 $760,000
3 Dance With Fate Peter Eurton 108 $600,000
4 Wicked Strong Jimmy Jerkens 102 $630,000
5 Samraat Rick Violette Jr. 100 $640,000
6 Danza Todd Pletcher 100 $620,000
7 Hoppertunity Bob Baffert 95 $576,000
8 Intense Holiday Todd Pletcher 93 $527,500
9 Wildcat Red Jose Garrofalo 90 $610,000
10 We Miss Artie Todd Pletcher 60 $544,000
11 Ride On Curlin Billy Gowan 55 $354,387
12 Chitu Bob Baffert 54 $440,000
13 Tapiture Steve Asmussen 52 $470,378
14 Ring Weekend H. Graham Motion 50 $260,000
15 General a Rod Mike Maker 40 $240,000
16 Medal Count Dale Romans 40 $226,500
17 Candy Boy John Sadler 30 $380,000
18 Uncle Sigh Gary Contessa 24 $180,000
19 Vinceremos Todd Pletcher 20 $191,666
20 Harry’s Holiday Mike Maker 20 $152,622
21 Commanding Curve Dallas Stewart 20 $140,000
22 Pablo Del Monte Wesley Ward 20 $102,000
23 Bayern Bob Baffert 20 $100,000
24 Social Inclusion Manny Azpurua 20 $90,000

In tandem with a barn list provided by Jonathan Lintner of The Courier-Journal, the race is coming into picture:



To be succinct, 20 horses enter the race, while an additional four qualifiers are "also eligible" should one of the original 20 withdraw between the draw and race itself.

Easy. Which horse-jockey combo that emerges the winner is another story entirely.

But conventional wisdom says to keep a keen eye on California Chrome. Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times helps to explain why recent trends suggest Chrome is the horse to bet with on Saturday:

He [California Chrome] will be the favorite in Saturday's Kentucky Derby in Louisville.

That is because he has won his last four races by a total of 24 1/4 lengths. He won the April 5 Santa Anita Derby like somebody rolling out of bed and warming up with a yawn and a quick stretch. Other jockeys urge and whip their horses down the homestretch. California Chrome's Victor Espinoza ends races half-standing in the saddle, looking lonely.

But again, the draw can hurt even favorites such as Chrome. As the Associated Press explains, via ESPN, it is of the utmost importance, and those involved certainly understand their fate is tied to the draw:

The field of 20 horses is announced on Wednesday. That's when the draw is held to determine spots in the starting gate. Some trainers want to avoid the No. 1 post because their horse starts next to the rail and could get pinched going into the first turn. Others don't like the No. 20 post because their horse is on the far outside and has to quickly make its way over toward the rail to save ground going into the first turn. Last year's winner, Orb, broke from the No. 15 post. The odds are set on draw day, too.

Perhaps the biggest name of all to watch? Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has four likely starters who can nail down his second Derby victory. Chief among them is Intense Holiday, who has had quite the workouts leading up to the big day, per Pletcher himself, via horseracinghl of the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The other Pletcher horses to watch are Danza, We Miss Artie and Vinceremos.

As of now, things are pretty clear-cut. Pletcher certainly has odds in his favor, as does Chrome given recent successes, but a lot can change between now and the event.

While it's not the NFL draft or anything close in terms of the hype department, the Kentucky Derby draw has plenty on the line Wednesday.

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