Tuesday's post draw for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby resulted in good news for betting favorite Essential Quality. The Brad H. Cox-trained colt, now a 2-1 favorite, drew the No. 14 gate—a favorable position situated between the middle and the outside of the track.
Known Agenda, another favorite at 6-1, was not so fortunate. The winner of the Curlin Florida Derby drew the No. 1 gate, much to the dismay of trainer Todd Pletcher.
"Obviously, it's not what we were hoping for," Pletcher said, per ESPN. "Of course, this is one of the things you can't control. With the new gate, we're hopeful that things will be better than they were in the past and the post won't be that bad."
As The Athletic recently pointed out, there has been a slight advantage to staying away from the interior in recent years.
"In smaller field races, there's an inside bias of being able to establish an inside position going into the first turn and have a shorter trip around the race track. But the Kentucky Derby has one of the biggest fields of the year with 20 horses, the inside horses can get compressed even more at the start and there seems to be a recent bias towards horses with an outside starting position. Since 2000, 11 of the 21 Kentucky Derby winners have broken from gate 13 or higher."
This year, though, Churchill Downs has installed a new 20-spot gate in place of the previously separate 14- and six-spot gates. Hopefully for horses like Known Agenda and Like the King, inside positioning won't be as much of a hindrance in the race.
Full positioning for the 20-horse lineup is as follows:
2021 Kentucky Derby Gate Draw
1. Known Agenda
2. Like the King
3. Brooklyn Strong
6. O Besos
8. Medina Spirit
9. Hot Rod Charlie
10. Midnight Bourbon
11. Dynamic One
13. Hidden Stash
14. Essential Quality
15. Rock Your World
16. King Fury
17. Highly Motivated
18. Super Stock
19. Soup and Sandwich
Here's another look at the gate positioning, along with the early odds, per the Kentucky Derby:
While a new gating system may make for a different race this year, the Kentucky Derby is largely back to business as usual. It will take place at its traditional place on the calendar—the first Saturday in May—and will once again feature fans in the stands.
Capacity will be limited, but at least some sense of normalcy should return to Louisville this weekend.
Wagering should be back in a big way as well. According to Penelope Miller of America's Best Racing, fans in attendance are encouraged to use the TwinSpires betting app, but tellers will be on-site to take wagers.
Per Miller, food and beverages will also be sold, and fans can bring in certain food items as long as track guidelines are met.
For those watching from home, the 147th run of the Kentucky Derby will be broadcast live on NBC with steaming coverage on NBCSports.com.
Pre-race coverage is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, with undercard race coverage beginning at noon ET on NBCSN.
Estimated post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. ET. Complete race and visitor information can be found at KentuckyDerby.com.