The post position draw for the Kentucky Derby often becomes the difference between the perfect (winning) trip and a nightmarish trip that sucks the life from those that dare compete.
The draw for Kentucky Derby 142 was no different.
- Trojan Nation- This one didn’t figure to have much of a shot to begin with and, now, he has drawn the dreaded one-post. As a closer, I see him getting crushed on the rail, losing all position early, before having way too much to do later on.
- Suddenbreakingnews- With his past performances, I wouldn’t be a fan of this particular post. However, he has been equipped with a new shadow roll, which seems to have focused him. He wore that piece in his last work, where he rolled through five furlongs in 59 seconds and change. If he can show some of that speed early he could end up working out a ground-saving trip.
- Creator- He will get another good pace to run into, but the question he faces is will he be able to make up all the extra ground? This post doesn’t really hurt him, as he’ll drop to the back anyways, but he’ll have to make up more ground while going much wider than ever before. Can he do it? I have some doubts.
- Mo Tom- This horse needed an outer post position and didn’t get it. He has found trouble in his last two starts and will likely encounter more with this starting position.
- Gun Runner- This horse knows how to run in traffic, and he’ll need that skill with this post. Thankfully, the horses immediately to his inside and outside don’t possess the same speed he does. He should be able to break from the gate and establish a good position off the leaders, while saving ground.
- My Man Sam- Another closer, but at least he is away from the first three post positions. Like Creator, he will need to make up much more ground while going much wider than ever before. Knowing that, and knowing the strength of those who will be getting the jump on him, I don’t think he’ll be able to get the job done.
- Oscar Nominated- Decent post, but it is wasted on a horse that doesn’t belong. He has no dirt experience and his work over the course was unimpressive. He won’t be a factor.
- Lani- Another good post with a horse that figures to have only a small chance to win. He hasn’t shown the willingness to run the entire week and I don’t see that changing by Saturday. Even if it did, and he were to show up with a mind to run, his antics in the morning have likely left him at much less than 100% for this race.
- Destin- He will be able to work out a good trip from this post. He is talented, fast, and bred for the distance, but the question is will he be fit enough. If so, he will be dangerous from this spot.
- Whitmore– He has all the right tools, and now gets a prime spot. Can he step it up to take the win? This post certainly makes that job easier, but he always seems to find a way to hang in the stretch.
- Exaggerator- This will be a perfect spot for the son of Curlin. He can avoid the crush of the speedsters to his outside, while gently sliding over the deep closers, establishing a good mid-pack position in the clear. If he can run back to the Santa Anita Derby he will be very tough to withstand.
- Tom’s Ready- Post position won’t matter for him. He’s looked horrible on the track and likely won’t have an impact on the race.
- Nyquist- Do you believe in good omens? If so, bet this horse. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby from this post was Smarty Jones, who was also undefeated at the time and had a similar running style.
- Mohaymen- If he wants to display more speed, then this post will allow him to do so. Nyquist doesn’t need the lead and since there is nobody else with an abundance of that, he could easily establish early dominance. If he doesn’t want the lead, this position still allows him to be flexible enough to sit just off the pace.
- Outwork- This is a perfect draw for the son of the sensational sire Uncle Mo. If he wants the lead, he can easily take it, but if Mohaymen goes a little haywire, he can just take back some and sit just behind him and Danzing Candy, putting him in the catbird’s seat.
- Shagaf- Not a bad position for a horse with his running style. Orb won with this position just three years ago, employing a similar style to Shagaf’s.
- Mor Spirit- American Pharoah got lucky last year, getting to break from post 16, despite wearing the 17 saddle cloth, after some late defections. If you believe in curses, then you’ll want to stay away from Mor Spirit, as no horse has ever won while breaking from the 17-hole.
- Majesto- This post position has just one lonely winner. Can he give the post its second tally in the winner’s column?
- Brody’s Cause- Only I’ll Have Another has won from this post and, while Brody is talented, he is no I’ll Have Another.
- Danzing Candy- He may run like him, but he is no Big Brown. It took a freak of nature in a weak year to give this post its first winner. He is not a freak and this is nowhere near as weak as 2008. He will use up all his energy trying to clear the field to establish the lead. With this in mind, I don’t see him lasting much past six furlongs.
After all is said and done, it would seem that Outwork was the biggest winner of the draw, followed closely by Mohaymen and Gun Runner. Danzing Candy, on the other hand, just got hosed.