The Kentucky Derby is a sporting event rife with frivolity and long-held tradition, from the mint juleps to the colorful hats to the roses adorning the winner of the race.
It would be a shame to miss even a second of "the fastest two minutes in sports" but perhaps even more so to focus solely on the race and not catch some of the buildup to the actual running. Even just watching the beautiful horses trot to their respective gates on the Churchill Downs track is a sight to see.
According to KentuckyDerby.com, post time for the Run for the Roses is approximately 6:24 p.m. ET on race day, which is Saturday, April 29 at the storied Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Of course, many diehard horse racing fans and bettors will already know which horse is headed to which gate well before Saturday. The draw for post positions is Wednesday, and it could have huge implications on each horse's chances of winning the Kentucky Derby and starting up a run at the Triple Crown.
For those who want to watch the draw unfold in real time rather than catching up on it later, here's a look at the Kentucky Derby post draw schedule, TV and live stream information.
2015 Kentucky Derby Draw Schedule, Viewing Info
Date: Wednesday, April 29
Time (ET): 5:30-6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Post positions are highly scrutinized in most horse races, but especially so when it comes to the Triple Crown. American Pharoah is the favorite to win the 2015 Kentucky Derby with 5-2 odds as of April 27, according to Odds Shark, but a bad draw could throw his odds out of whack or even lead some to declare new sleepers in what should be a packed field.
Bob Baffert, who trains American Pharoah and has seen three of his horses win the Kentucky Derby, believes this year's field to be an especially talented group of horses.
"The Derby is tough," Baffert said, via Jennie Rees of The Courier-Journal. "I have two nice horses but there are other really nice horses. This is, on paper, the toughest Derby I've ever been in — a lot of good horses."
According to KentuckyDerby.com, the No. 5 and No. 10 positions have produced more Derby winners than any other posts, with nine apiece. Not including the rarely used No. 23 post, the No. 5 hole also boasts the best average finishing position (7.47). It keeps the horse and jockey from having to make long, fraught cuts in from the outside as well as keeps them off the rail and prevents them from losing room to maneuver.
Mike Curry of America's Best Racing, via FoxSports.com, notes that the No. 1 post position is to be feared when looking for a Kentucky Derby champ:
But the No. 1 post position in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field makes a horse a toss for me. Think about it, 19 other horses break out of the starting gate and immediately start moving over to try and take that inside position. It's like a stampede engulfing the inside horse and we've seen quite a few runners get bounced around pretty good in the early stages of this race. The last horse to win from the one hole was Ferdinand in 1986.
Still, recent history indicates that the horse makes the post and not the other way around. While starting on the far outside isn't generally a great sign for a thoroughbred, three of the last six Kentucky Derby winners have all started from very different positions on the Churchill Downs track.
|2012||I'll Have Another||19|
|2009||Mine That Bird||8|
A horse like American Pharoah—winner of four of five races in his career, including the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 11—should be able to make do anywhere on the track. However, a post position way outside and a favorable draw for the likes of Dortmund, Carpe Diem or even Mubtaahij could lend quite a bit more intrigue to the Kentucky Derby.
Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby and, like American Pharoah, is a Bob Baffert-trained horse. At 4-1 odds, via OddsShark, a post position at or near No. 5 could make him a very appealing pick when all is said and done on Wednesday.
American Pharoah has dazzled in workouts, but a crowded, tough field could lead to plenty of unpredictable developments within the two minutes of galloping on Saturday. If the post-position draw proves to be a stunner, look for many observers and bettors to reassess the race before the weekend.