The 2014 Kentucky Derby already threw us a curveball after the scratch of Hoppertunity on Thursday.
Not only does the absence of Hoppertunity change the field, but it also changes post positions and odds as well.
This shift really changes strategies for trainers, jockeys and betters, alike. Shifts in post positions will change how many horses run the race and will affect how wagers are placed on the remaining field.
Even though it's not yet May 3, the Kentucky Derby has already brought about a flurry of excitement.
Here's how the current post positions and odds look for the impending Run for the Roses:
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||20-1|
|7||We Miss Artie||50-1|
|8||General A Rod||15-1|
|11||Dance With Fate||20-1|
|18||Ride On Curlin||15-1|
|20||Pablo Del Monte||50-1|
The shifts in post positions after the scratch of Hoppertunity were favorable for some horses; however, due to the history of the race, others were not so fortunate.
Since Hoppertunity was originally slated in the 11th position, only the outside positions shifted after Pablo Del Monte took over the 20th position.
Scratch of Hoppertunity moves AE Pablo Del Monte into field, if they want to run from post 20. Hoppertunity had post 11.— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 1, 2014
This move was rather favorable to Wicked Strong. Moving from 20 to 19 bodes well for the horse, as a smaller amount of ground has to be covered to get closer to the rail.
Although, Candy Boy may not be so happy with the shift due to the history of the event. The horse now sits in the 17th position. This doesn't seem so terrible; however, when looking back in time, winning from there is a rather daunting task:
|Post||No. of Winners||Most Recent|
|3||5||1998, Real Quiet|
|4||5||2010, Super Saver|
|5||8||2003, Funny Cide|
|6||2||1993, Sea Hero|
|7||6||2007, Street Sense|
|8||8||2009, Mine That Bird|
|9||4||1972, Riva Ridge|
|11||2||1998, Winning Colors|
|12||3||1971, Canonero II|
|13||3||2004, Smarty Jones|
|14||2||1961, Carry Back|
|15||3||2000, Fusaichi Pegasus|
|18||1||1982, Gato Del Sol|
|19||1||2012, I'll Have Another|
|20||1||2008, Big Brown|
The 17th position is the only one that has never yielded a Kentucky Derby winner. Call it superstition or just dumb luck, but that simply doesn't bode well for Candy Boy.
Idaho jockey Gary Stevens will ride 'Candy Boy' in Saturday's Kentucky Derby http://t.co/LSlSyRIjzB— KTVB.COM (@KTVB) May 1, 2014
Moving back to Wicked Strong's slide to the 19th position, 2012's winner, I'll Have Another, won from that same post.
In fact, although starting closer to the rail has been more successful in the past, recent history shows an outward trend.
With I'll Have another winning from 19 in 2012 and Orb winning from 16 in 2013, starting wide doesn't seem like such a detriment anymore.
Of course, the fifth position needs to be accounted for here, since favorite California Chrome will be starting there on Saturday. Since 1930, this position has yielded the second-most winners with a total of eight.
36 millionaires have started in the #KYDerby. Only Street Sense has won. Favorite California Chrome is the lone millionaire in this year.— TVG (@TVG) May 1, 2014
California Chrome has been absolutely dominant this year and could increase that number to tie the 10th position with nine.
The stage is set at Churchill downs, and this year's race features a very strong field. The 2014 Run for the Roses should certainly be one for the ages.