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Kentucky Derby Draw 2019: Post Positions Viewing Info, Field and Race Preview

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIApril 30, 2019

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  The field of horses rounds the first turn during the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

All eyes will be on the 2019 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, but ahead of the big race, the post position draw will also attract plenty of interest.

The draw can play a role in determining the eventual winner of the Run for the Roses, and the 20 contenders will be eagerly watching to see which slot they are handed ahead of the main event.

Here's a look at all the information you need to catch an important part of the build-up to Saturday's big race.

             

Draw Date: Tuesday, April 30

Time: 11 a.m. (ET)/4 p.m. (BST)

Live-Stream Info: KentuckyDerby.com 

Kentucky Derby Odds

Omaha Beach 3-1

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Roadster 7-2

Improbable 5-1

Maximum Security 5-1

Game Winner 6-1

Tacitus 12-1

Code of Honor 14-1

By My Standards 20-1

War of Will 25-1

Spinoff 30-1

Vekoma 30-1

Win Win Win 30-1

Cutting Humor 40-1

Long Range Toddy 60-1

Tax 60-1

Country House 80-1

Haikai 80-1

Gray Magician 100-1

Master Fencer 100-1

Plus Que Parfait 100-1

Signalman 100-1

Bodexpress 200-1

Sueno 300-1

Odds via SportsLine

                  

Race Preview

Justify was the winner of the 2018 Kentucky Derby on his way to claiming the Triple Crown. Mike Smith rode the chestnut colt to victory from the No. 7 gate, ahead of Good Magic, who started in slot No. 6 and Audible in No.5.

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith crosses the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Although being on the inside means horses are given the shortest route around the track, jockeys and trainers prefer to avoid being close to the rail. The horses on the inside generally come off worst at the start as the 20 contenders all jostle for position going into the first turn.

Indeed the Kentucky Derby has not seen a winner from the No. 1 spot since Ferdinand battled to victory in 1986. Firenze Fire was handed the position in the 2018 race and came home a distant 11th.

The post positions will also affect the betting odds, with Omaha Beach, Roadster and Improbable all among the early favourites ahead of the race.

Jockey Mike Smith, who was victorious in 2018 with Justify, will ride Omaha Beach, who tasted victory in the 2019 Arkansas Derby by a length from Improbable.

Omaha Beach has had an issue with a quarter crack. Trainer Richard Mandella offered a good explanation for the problem:

Fred Cowgill WLKY @FredCowgillWLKY

Trainer Richard Mandella on Kentucky Derby 🐎 favorite Omaha Beach and his quarter crack issue. @WLKY https://t.co/b2GCQjuXR8

Smith has spoken about Omaha Beach's chances at Churchill Downs, per Jason Frakes at the Louisville Courier Journal.

"He's got Roadster to beat and a couple horses from New York that look really good, so it's going to be a tough Derby, but he's not without a big chance," he said. "Like I said, I love his running style and it suits the Derby."

Smith also rode Roadster to victory at the 2019 Santa Anita Derby, but his decision to switch horses for the Kentucky Derby does not appear to have angered owner Bob Baffert.

Derby News @KentuckyDerbyCJ

Bob Baffert on Mike Smith's choice of Omaha Beach over Roadster: "I'm not really upset with him." https://t.co/z7N3S74Hwk

Yet Roadster has looked good in preparation for the Kentucky Derby:

XBTV @WatchXBTV

Roadster worked 6 Furlongs in 1:13.60 at @santaanitapark on April 20th, 2019, for trainer Bob Baffert. Roadster is expected to make his next start in the Kentucky Derby. https://t.co/WQQ8h5HdUB

Baffert enjoyed a victory with Justify in 2018 and is seeking his sixth victory at the Kentucky Derby. He also has 2019 Arkansas Derby runner-up Improbable and Rebel Stakes runner-up Game Winner in contention.

Improbable has looked in good shape at Churchill Downs:

Kentucky Derby @KentuckyDerby

WATCH: Improbable breezes 4F in :48. Splits: 11.80, 23.40, 35.60. Out 5F 1:01.40. #KyDerby https://t.co/Y3QSp83HB8

Meanwhile, Baffert has offered his thoughts on Game Winner, per Jonathan Lintner at Horse Racing Nation.

"He's had these really wide trips. He can't win the Derby like that. I think we're in a position now where (Joel Rosario) can put him in a good spot. You know he's going to give it to you at the end. He'll go a mile and a quarter, and he has a good mind. He doesn't get upset."

Tuesday's draw may offer further indications as to which of the favourites has the best chance of taking victory in Saturday's race and also which horses punters may wish to avoid.

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