The 140th running of the prestigious Kentucky Derby is Saturday, but before fans get to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports, the post positions for the horses had to be determined.
Through a completely random draw, the post positions were named Wednesday for all 20 horses. Race favorite California Chrome drew the No. 5 post, while Vicar’s in Trouble drew the dreaded No. 1 post.
Let’s take a look at all of the post positions.
|1||Vicar's in Trouble|
|7||We Miss Artie|
|8||General A Rod|
|12||Dance With Fate|
|19||Ride On Curlin|
The fact that Vicar’s in Trouble drew the No. 1 post presents something of a predicament because no post position has produced more winners since 1900 than the 12 from No. 1 and No. 5. Still, many trainers discussed the notion that they didn’t want the No. 1 post before the draw because of the 20-horse field.
No horse has won from post No. 1 since 1986, and it will prove particularly difficult to operate and seize a favorable position by the middle of the race with such a crowded start from the rail.
It is also interesting to note that no horse has ever won from the No. 17 post.
Odds as of Wednesday, April 30
Here is a glance at the updated odds that were released immediately after the postings were announced:
|1||Vicar's in Trouble||30-1|
|7||We Miss Artie||50-1|
|8||General A Rod||15-1|
|12||Dance With Fate||20-1|
|19||Ride On Curlin||15-1|
NBC Sports Broadcast
Kentucky Derby Race Schedule
What: 140th Kentucky Derby
When: Saturday, May 3
Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Broadcast: 4–7 p.m. ET on NBC
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed did so in 1978, but if there is a contender in this field that has a chance to do so, it is California Chrome.
He has dominated recently and comes into the Derby with a four-race winning streak that included an astounding performance at the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. California Chrome led all horses with 150 points during the qualifying and prep schedule and also drew a somewhat favorable posting number.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports and Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated discussed the No. 5 post for California Chrome:
California Chrome gets No. 5. Wanted 6-10 but certainly won't complain about that.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
California chrome draws the 5. Not great, not disastrous. Gonna have to go a little.— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) April 30, 2014
While the No. 5 post has accounted for more victories than any other posting since 1900 (along with post No. 1) and California Chrome is the favorite, we can't simply hand him the title yet. NBC Sports Network shared some discouraging news for the morning-line favorite based on recent history:
Last year, Orb was just the 2nd horse in last 13 years to be the morning line favorite and win the Derby. Big Brown in 2008 the other— NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) April 30, 2014
Despite that troublesome pattern, co-owner Steve Coburn all but ensured victory, via Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports: "With a good break and a clean trip, I think it's a done deal."
Will California Chrome win the Derby?
From a basic speed standpoint, nobody in this field is going to beat California Chrome.
The favorite will take home the Derby title based on a handful of factors. He has a decent posting and the momentum from his recent races in his corner, and will take an early lead over the rest of the horses.
There is a reason Coburn is so confident. This is the best horse in the field.