Along with a horse's health, rapport with the jockey and strength of pre-race workouts, getting the right post position can be one of the biggest factors for each competitor's chance for success in the Kentucky Derby.
On Wednesday, the official draw took place as jockeys, trainers and owners learned the fates of their respective horses for this year's race.
The draw only intensifies what is already the year's most highly anticipated race. After the final card was pulled, the 2014 Run for the Roses appears poised to bring a high level of excitement.
Here's a look at this year's field in order of post position with corresponding odds for each horse:
|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|
Plenty of strategic thinking will have to take place in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby.
After all, some post positions can play into the strengths of a horse, while others could severely hinder its performance.
Louisiana-bred Vicar's In Trouble draws the dreaded No. 1 post for the Kentucky Derby. Rosie Napravnik will have to send.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) April 30, 2014
An intriguing group is from posts four through six.
Danza, California Chrome and Samraat are all highly favored in this year's race. All three of these horses are capable of getting off to fast starts. This could create some traffic early on, and it will be interesting to see if one decides to hang back initially and make a break later in the race.
California Chrome gets #5, that will be tough to beat right next to Danza— Philly Prince (@phillyprince1) April 30, 2014
Hoppertunity is yet another favorite and may have had the best draw of them all, landing in position 11. Starting in the middle of the pack gives this horse plenty of options, and the updated odds reflect that notion.
Hoppertunity draws 11. Good spot. Down goes Apollo?— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) April 30, 2014
Wicked Strong may have a bit of difficulty starting on the far outside. However, this horse is a great closer and has the ability to make up plenty of ground late in the race. Avoiding traffic early on is a huge factor, and starting in position 20 will surely help Wicked Strong do just that.
Wicked Strong draws the 20. No problem. He closes and Big Brown won from out there.— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) April 30, 2014
History hasn't been kind to position 17, as it is the one post that has yet to yield a victory at the Kentucky Derby. Commanding Curve is seated in that unlucky position this year, and at 50-1 odds, it seems unlikely a winner will emerge from that post once again.
Uncle Sigh draws the 3 hole. Commanding Curve gets 17, the only post that has never produced a winner. Tapiture No. 15.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2014
With the post positions and odds for the race now available, the betting will commence in a big way. After weighing the odds, looking at post positions and hoping for a little bit of luck, all that's left is to sit back, grab a mint julep and watch this prestigious race take place on May 3.