The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
Derby Post Positions Possibly More Meaningful in 2016
More is made of the post position draw in the Kentucky Derby than in any other race run in North America and with good reason. With the annual 20-horse stampede set to ensue May 7 at Churchill Downs, several contenders could already be facing an uphill battle following the draw scheduled for May 3.
Logic dictates no one wants the dreaded one-hole, but post 2 is considered about as bad. In short, no one wants to be stuck on the inside. The rail post hasn’t produced a winner since Ferdinand in 1986, and just one top three finish (Risen Star’s third in 1988). The number 2 post hasn’t seen a winner since Affirmed in 1978, but interestingly has yielded 28.9% in-the-money finishes in the race’s history – more than any other post.
Recent outside posts have been anomalies
Since 18, 19 and 20 horse fields have become the norm over the last 30 or so years, it’s been a statistical disadvantage to break wider than post 14, with just 8 winners in 184 starts. It’s worth noting, however, that recent winners of the Run for Roses have begun to buck the trend with Fusaichi Pegasus, Big Brown, Animal Kingdom, I’ll Have Another, and American Pharoah all winning from the 15-20 slots in the new millennium.
Lack of versatility in 2016 field
With the exception of Nyquist, and arguably Gun Runner none of the 2016 Derby contestants have shown the kind of versatility and resilience to adapt to a variety of racing conditions, or the ability to overcome a bad trip. In a year where handicappers will certainly be required to make several fine-line decisions, the post draw may be the place to begin culling the field.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
The defending champ is back in the field for the 2016 Arlington Million on Saturday, but he's being overshadowed by a strong group of foreign invaders.