The draw for the 2018 Kentucky Derby is almost upon us, as the field for this year's race will be set on Tuesday. The draw will start at 11 a.m. ET.
This year's list of contenders is deep and features several high-profile names looking to make history. Justify and Magnum Moon, two of the favourites, will attempt to become the first winners who didn't race as two-year olds since Apollo did so in 1882.
Here's a look at the current lineup, per Ben Fawkes of ESPN. The Kentucky Derby will be open to 20 horses in total, to be taken on Tuesday:
My Boy Jack
Free Drop Billy
Dream Baby Dream
Gronkowski will not run due to illness.
As reported by Christina Moore of America's Best Racing, the Kentucky Derby has seen a slow rise in winners coming from the outside posts in the past two decades.
The middle of the field still appears more beneficial, however, and Post 5 has been a great draw of late, with Always Dreaming and California Chrome both winning after starting there. Gate 10 has a high win rate but hasn't produced a winner since 2005.
Some of the worst historical draws are Gate 17―no wins in the race's 143-year history―and the three gates to the right of it, with one win each. Gate 14 has only produced two winners and saw favourite Classic Empire come up short last year.
Curse of Apollo
Jeff Lowe of America's Best Racing broke down the so-called "Curse of Apollo," explaining how the Derby of 1882 had little in common with the Run for the Roses we know today.
Many talented horses have tried to match Apollo's feat over the years, and this year's field features two top contenders who are in a good position to finally break the curse.
Justify will likely start the race as the odds-on favourite after taking three dominant wins in a row, most recently at the Santa Anita Derby:
The colt easily beat Bolt d'Oro in that race, and the latter is regarded as another strong contender for the win at Churchill Downs.
Magnum Moon also impressed in his last start, taking the win in the Arkansas Derby. While many were a little down on the colt initially, his showing in that race is starting to turn skeptics into believers:
Magnum Moon has a tendency to drift and did so again in Arkansas. A faster opponent than Quip might have taken advantage, and it's something that can't happen in a deep and strong field at Churchill Downs.