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Kentucky Derby Odds 2015: Vegas Lines for Entire Field After Post-Position Draw

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 30, 2015

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 29:  Dortmund goes over the track during morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The final shift in odds for the 2015 Kentucky Derby took place on Wednesday. Draws for this year's 20-horse field came out, bringing optimism for those that got a good post and sadness for those in a bad post. 

In a deep field, the slightest advantage can be the difference between having roses draped over a horse's back and going home seeking answers before the Preakness Stakes. 

Things are finally coming into focus for this year's race at Churchill Downs. There are only three days remaining before all eyes turn to the start of the 2015 Triple Crown season, so let's look at how things broke from the post-position draw and updated odds. 

2015 Kentucky Derby Post Positions and Odds
PostHorseJockeyTrainerMorning-Line Odds
1Ocho Ocho OchoElvis TrujilloJim Cassidy50-1
2Carpe DiemJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher8-1
3MaterialityJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher12-1
4TencendurManny FrancoGeorge Weaver30-1
5Danzig MoonJulien LeparouxMark Casse30-1
6MubtaahijChristophe SoumillionMike de Kock20-1
7El KabeirCalvin BorelJohn Terranova II30-1
8DortmundMartin GarciaBob Baffert3-1
9BoloRafael BejaranoCarla Gaines30-1
10Firing LineGary StevensSimon Callaghan12-1
11StanfordFlorent GerouxTodd Pletcher30-1
12International StarMiguel MenaMike Maker20-1
13ItsaknockoutLuis SaezTodd Pletcher30-1
14Keen IceKent DesormeauxDale Romans50-1
15FrostedJoel RosarioKiaran McLaughlin15-1
16War StoryJoe TalamoTom Amoss50-1
17Mr. ZRamon VazquezD. Wayne Lukas50-1
18American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert5-2
19UpstartJose OrtizRick Violette Jr.15-1
20Far RightMike SmithRon Moquett30-1
Source: NBC Sports

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 29:  American Pharoah runs on the track during the morning training for the kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Morning-line favorite American Pharoah was not done any favors by getting the 18th post during the draw. Per Evan Hammonds of Blood-Horse, there's only been one Kentucky Derby winner from that spot since 1930 (Gato Del Sol, 1982). 

There was better news for Dortmund, currently second on the morning-line odds at 3-1, who will start from the eighth gate. Per Thoroughbred Info, you don't have to go back far to find a winner from the eighth post:

Thoroughbred Info @ThorobredInfo

#Dortmund drew the 8 and #AmericanPharoah drew the 18. Last winner from 8: Mine That Bird (2009); ONLY winner from 18: Gato Del Sol (1982).

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Trainer Bob Baffert, who is working with American Pharoah and Dortmund, said in Hammonds' report that American Pharoah's draw isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"Outside doesn't really bother me," Baffert said. "As long as he breaks well, he'll be in a good spot."

That's going to put a lot of pressure on jockey Victor Espinoza, though his extensive resume shows he will be up to the task. He's been one win at Belmont short of completing a Triple Crown twice (2002: War Emblem; 2014: California Chrome) and has 3,211 career wins (h/t Equibase.com). 

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 28: Carpe Diem runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 28, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One horse not celebrating the draw is Carpe Diem. The Blue Grass Stakes winner is starting close to the rail out of Gate 2, which Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports simply said is "not good."

Pat Forde @YahooForde

Carpe Diem, one of the heavy hitters, draws the 2. Not good.

Being pushed inside and potentially blocked out does put Carpe Diem up against the wall (pun intended) in his quest to win the Kentucky Derby. Just as Baffert is rooting for a strong burst out of the gate for American Pharoah, Carpe Diem trainer Todd Pletcher will be looking for the same thing to avoid an early disaster. 

Carpe Diem's unofficial Twitter account is taking the high road after Wednesday's draw, noting good things have come starting from the second gate at Churchill Downs:

It's a steep climb for Carpe Diem, and he's going to need help, but this horse has been getting better each time out, according to his jockey John Velazquez after the Blue Grass Stakes, via Jennie Rees of USA Today.

"Listen, he's doing everything right in every race," Velazquez said. "He's improving every race, so we hope he can do that in the Derby. All the things he's done so far, you've got to be excited going to the Derby. [But] the Derby is the Derby. You could have the best horse and not win it."

The draw did exactly what fans of horse racing could ask: It added drama and intrigue to a race that was already shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory. 

Two favorites got very different draws—one favorable (Dortmund) and the other dicey but not devastating (American Pharoah). Saturday will show us if one of those two thoroughbreds can capitalize on the moment or if another will run into the history books. 

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