Kentucky Derby 2020 Post Positions: Draw Start Time, Horses Lineup and More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Luis Saez rides Maximum Security across the finish line first followed by Flavien Prat on Country House during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. Country House was declared the winner after Maximum Security was disqualified following a review by race stewards. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

It took four months, but the 2020 Kentucky Derby is nearly upon us.

Every year, the Run for the Roses takes place on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, track officials had to break with tradition and move the event to this Saturday.

In keeping with the usual schedule for race week, the post-position draw begins Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET. Here are the 17 set to run in the Kentucky Derby:

  • Tiz the Law
  • Authentic
  • Art Collector
  • Honor A.P.
  • Ny Traffic
  • King Guillermo
  • Thousand Woods
  • Max Player
  • Enforceable
  • Major Fed
  • Storm the Court
  • Attachment Rate
  • Sole Volante
  • Finnick the Fierce
  • Winning Impression
  • Necker Island
  • Money Moves

Only 10 horses competed in June's Belmont Stakes, which made the post draw somewhat irrelevant in the race itself. Even over a shorter distance, the field was so small that starting too much on the inside or outside wasn't very problematic.

The same can't be said of the Kentucky Derby since nearly twice as many horses are expected to run.

Over the last 40 years, five horses have won the Derby after starting between the 17th and 20th post positions, per Horse Racing Nation's Padraic Manocchio. The numbers are similarly bleak for the four positions closest to the rail, with Nos. 1-4 producing four winners.

Of course, there are outliers. Country Horse came out on top last year—albeit amid controversy—despite having to start from the 20th gate. American Pharoah's Triple Crown run in 2015 began when he opened from No. 18 at Churchill Downs.

Still, history proves a horse's post position can make a difference in the outcome.

The aforementioned Nos. 1-4 and 17-20 gates have been unlucky through the decades. One spot over in either direction, though, and a different story emerges. The No. 6 post has seen six winners, most recently California Chrome in 2017, and No. 16 has had five champions.

Part of that is purely coincidence, yet the contrast highlights how the luck of the draw can work in a horse's favor or to his detriment.

Tiz the Law is entering the Kentucky Derby as the clear favorite. He won the Holy Bull and Florida Derby before putting on a dominant display in the Belmont Stakes. The three-year-old followed that with another victory in the Travers Stakes.

Based on the results of Tuesday's draw, Tiz the Law's outlook could change, and the door could open for another contender such as Honor A.P., Authentic or Art Collector to spring the upset.