It seems with every passing day the post positions and odds for the 2014 Kentucky Derby continue to change.
The official draw took place on Wednesday, and every trainer, jockey and owner was in attendance to await the fates of their respective horses—or so they thought.
On Thursday, Hoppertunity—one of the race's favorites holding the 11th post—withdrew from the race due to a left foot issue. This allowed Pablo Del Monte to enter the field, shifting odds and post positions once again.
Trainer Bob Baffert reports Hoppertunity (left front hoof) will bypass Saturday's #KyDerby & will be examined later today in Lexington.— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 1, 2014
Friday brought a new twist, as Pablo Del Monte's owners decided not to run the horse in this year's race, according to Gary Mihoces of USA Today.
Again, post positions were shifted and odds were reworked.
There are now 19 horses competing in the Run for the Roses. The first post position will be vacant, as the final outward shift was made.
Here's an updated look at the 2014 Kentucky Derby's post positions and odds in the wake of Pablo Del Monte's scratch, according to The Baltimore Sun:
|2||Vicar's In Trouble||20-1|
|8||We Miss Artie||50-1|
|9||General A Rod||15-1|
|12||Dance With Fate||20-1|
|19||Ride On Curlin||15-1|
Plenty of horses benefited from the latest shift.
Now that the dreaded first position against the rail is empty, Vicar's In Trouble appears to be in slightly less trouble.
Moving one spot to the outside is huge for this horse, as there is a smaller chance of being caught against the rail early in the race and falling behind quickly.
The happiest people to hear Wesley Ward scratch are the #1 Vicar's in Trouble folks. Inside 10 all move out a stall.— Richard Eng (@RichEng4ProPick) May 2, 2014
The race's favorite, California Chrome, also benefits. Moving just one spot from the fifth to the sixth post sets this horse up for success, as an easier path is now available around the track.
Why am I picking California Chrome to win the KY Derby? Because the Derby is kinda like the NFL Draft. http://t.co/aQAUEXycYr— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) May 2, 2014
Horses on the outside of the 11th post were not so lucky, as they retain their original positions after the indication they would be moving inward after the scratch of Hoppertunity.
Commanding Curve now has the daunting task of starting from the 17th post—the only position which has never yielded a winner in the history of the Kentucky Derby.
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
Wicked Strong is back to the far outside in the 20th post. Despite a seemingly bad starting position, this horse does have the stamina and closing ability to make up ground late in the race.
Scratch Pablo Del Monte from the Kentucky Derby. Wicked Strong will break from the far outside gate after all.— The Downey Profile (@DowneyProfile) May 2, 2014
Surely, these updated odds and post positions will affect betting on the race in a big way. It's not an exact science—anything can happen during the Run for the Roses—but every little advantage certainly doesn't hurt.