The fate of each Kentucky Derby contender can quickly change during the post-position draw. Many owners, trainers and jockeys fear some gates due to an unfavorable location or a history of failing to produce winners.
This year's field of contenders is extremely strong, and if one of the race's favorites were to draw an unfortunate starting position, the chances of victory for an underdog will greatly increase. That said, the Derby's draw can be equally as intense as the race itself for many horse racing enthusiasts.
To ensure you don't miss any of the impending drama of the draw, let's take a look at its essential viewing information followed by a historical look at the post positions and a preview for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby.
Post-Position Draw Info
Date: Wednesday, April 29
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Kentucky Derby Field and Odds
|2015 Kentucky Derby Field and Odds|
|Ocho Ocho Ocho||40-1|
All odds information courtesy of Odds Shark.
Post Position History
In 1930, the Kentucky Derby introduced starting gates, and since then, some have produced far more favorable results than others.
Gate No. 1 is a dreaded starting position. In such a large race, getting pinned against the rail early is very easy, and that can take even the best horses right out of contention. While the starting location has produced eight winners over the years, no horse has won from the position since Ferdinand in 1986.
California Chrome won at Churchill downs from the No. 5 gate in 2014, marking the location's ninth winner and tying the position with the No. 10 gate for the most in the race's history. However, outside gates have been generating winners in recent years, as gates 16, 19 and 15 won the race in the three previous runnings, respectively.
Only one gate has yet to produce a Kentucky Derby winner, and that would be No. 17. Rest assured, no jockey wants to attempt to become the first to win from that position due to its gloomy history.
Of the horses in this year's field, American Pharoah is the odds-on favorite. The three-year-old colt is known for his graceful running style, good endurance and ability to close out races. He's won his last four starts, most recently putting on a sparkling performance in the Arkansas Derby, defeating Kentucky Derby contender Far Right by eight lengths.
Victor Espinoza, who led California Chrome to victory a year ago, will jockey the Bob Baffert-trained Pharoah. Espinoza is a highly successful veteran and an intelligent navigator of the track at Churchill Downs. This will be an extremely difficult duo to take down.
If any horse has the ability to overtake Pharoah, it's the powerful Dortmund. One of the largest horses in this year's field, Dortmund's long legs allow him to cover ground quickly while conserving energy to finish races. He won the Santa Anita Derby by 4 ¼ lengths earlier in the year and will look to continue his unbeaten streak at Churchill Downs.
Carpe Diem rounds out the top three contenders in the field. A Todd Pletcher-trained colt, he has been brilliant this year, winning both the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes. He certainly has the tools to don the garland of roses this year; however, some bettors are hesitant to wager on him due to a second-place finish to Texas Red in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile back in November of 2014.
Some sleepers to watch are Firing Line and International Star. Firing Line won the Sunland Derby this year, and while he lost his previous two races to Dortmund, he was only defeated by a head in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. International Star won the Louisiana Derby and was the leading points earner in the Road to the Kentucky Derby with 171.