Kentucky Derby 2017 Post Positions: Horse Odds, Prize-Money Predictions and More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2017

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  State of Honor runs on the track during morning training prior to the 143rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Classic Empire and Always Dreaming maintain the top odds heading into the 2017 Kentucky Derby following a favourable draw for the post positions and solid work leading up to the race.

The duo are followed closely by Irish War Cry, McCraken and Gunnevera, as this year's field is remarkably deep and could serve up a few surprises.

According to SportingNews.com, the total prize money for this year's race is $2 million, with the winner's stable receiving $1.24 million. Here's a look at the field, complete with post positions and odds, courtesy of Oddsshark.com (Odds accurate as of Friday, May 5):

Kentucky Derby Post Positions, Odds
Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerOdds
1Lookin At LeeCorey LanerieSteve Asmussen33-1
2Thunder SnowChristophe SoumillonSaeed bin Suroor18-1
3Fast and AccurateChanning HillMike Maker66-1
4UntrappedRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen50-1
5Always DreamingJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher9-2
6State of HonorJose LezcanoMark Casse33-1
7GirvinMike SmithJoe Sharp16-1
8HenceFlorent GerouxSteve Asmussen16-1
9IrapMario GutierrezDoug O’Neill18-1
10GunneveraJavier CastellanoAntonio Sano12-1
11Battle of MidwayFlavien PratJerry Hollendorfer20-1
12SonneteerKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux40-1
13J Boys EchoLuis SaezDale Romans28-1
14Classic EmpireJulien LeparouxMark Casse19-4
15McCrakenBrian Hernandez Jr.Ian Wilkes6-1
16TapwritJose OrtizTodd Pletcher28-1
17Irish War CryRajiv MaraghGraham Motion6-1
18GormleyVictor EspinozaJohn Shirreffs18-1
19Practical JokeJoel RosarioChad Brown25-1
20PatchTyler GaffalioneTodd Pletcher33-1
Oddsshark.com

Classic Empire and Always Dreaming have been regarded as the favourites for the Run for the Roses for some time now, and the latter has boosted his profile with some excellent work the last few days.

The colt previously looked difficult to handle, but that has since changed, per David Grening of Daily Racing Form:

Always Dreaming will start from Post 5, giving the speedster an excellent opportunity to nestle near the head of the race from a good start. With excellent stamina―displayed in the Florida Derby―he should have an opportunity to explode coming out of the turn.

Classic Empire is more of a finisher, relying on superb closing speed in the final stretch. Post 14 hasn't favoured runners in the Derby as much as the inside slots historically, but it's far from a death sentence, especially given the colt's running style.

Irish War Cry has impressed leading up to the race, and per Grening, he seems to be peaking at just the right time:

While punters may be intrigued by the colt, it's worth noting Post 17 hasn't produced a single winner in Derby history. While the outside slots have been more productive in the last few years than before, Post 17 is still one to stay away from.

McCraken was drawn into Post 15, another slot that historically doesn't favour horses but has seen success recently, with American Pharoah starting there on his way to winning the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Prediction: Always Dreaming's starting position closer to the rail and his excellent long speed are a fantastic combination. If he can't create a good gap coming out of the turn, however, Classic Empire should be ready to pounce. The latter is an excellent finisher with a proven track record―he should be able to gallop to the win.

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