Kentucky Derby Draw 2015: Post Positions, Field and Race Preview

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIApril 28, 2015

Martin Garcia rides Kentucky Derby hopeful American Pharoah during a morning workout at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Sunday, April 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Garry Jones/Associated Press

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

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Channel: NBCSN

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

Kentucky Derby Field and Odds

2015 Kentucky Derby Field and Odds
American Pharoah5-2
Carpe Diem15-2
Firing Line16-1
International Star18-1
El Kabeir33-1
Far Right33-1
Danzig Moon40-1
Ocho Ocho Ocho40-1
Mr. Z40-1
Keen Ice40-1
War Story40-1
Odds Shark

All odds information courtesy of Odds Shark.

Post Position History

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04:  The field comes out of the gate to start the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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.

Race Preview

Garry Jones/Associated Press

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.

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