With nine days left until the May 6th running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby, the 20 likely starters, and their trainers and owners, are awaiting May 3’s assignment of post positions, and maybe just as importantly, up to date weather reports.
With the Derby now generally featuring 20 horses (before late scratches), one would think that those far out post positions mean trouble. Not as bad as number one, or even number two, being out there at 16, 17, 18. 19 or 20 could be problematic, especially for
frontrunners that want to get out of the gate and into the lead. But history, surprisingly, tells a different story. While before the 20 starter number became the standard, the Derby generally featured less entrants, and in the years since the 20 starter number was created, several races have still gone off with less. That said, only 15 races of 142 have gone off with 20 starters, and in those races horses racing from the number 20 post position have won the Derby three times, a remarkable 13.3% of the time.
Not only that, but the recent trend shows that horses in those far out gates do well. Of the last six Kentucky Derbys, Continue reading