Much is made of the post position draw for the Kentucky Oaks and especially the Kentucky Derby. Here are the winners and losers from the 2022 draw.
Kentucky Derby Draw
Winners and Losers of the Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw
One of the major takeaways from this year’s Kentucky Derby post position draw is that is has to be considered a push for most of the runners. For the most part horses drew in spots that did very little to impact their chances.
- #3 Epicenter (7-2) drew the 3 post. He holds tactical speed meaning he can sit just off the lead and get the late jump. We saw this in the Louisiana Derby. The advantage here for Epicenter is that all of the need the lead types are to his outside. This may allow him to tactically press the pace facing runners like Summer of Tomorrow, Messier, and Classic Causeway to have to step on the gas and use more horse to clear over.
- #7 Crown Pride (20-1), #8 Charge It (20-1), and #9 Tiz the Bomb (30-1) drew middle posts. With the 1 and 2 likely to take back and the #3, 4, and 6 dropping back, these runners breaking from posts 7, 8, and 9 may all get to find the 2nd flight quite easily and get ground saving trips.
- #16 Cyberknife (20-1) is a runner who probably wanted a wide post in all honesty. The constant with this horse has been his immaturity. He is constantly keyed up and shows lack of professionalism in the lane. It caused him to get disqualified from his first maiden breaker and was still present in his final victory which came in the Arkansas Derby. The outside draw should allow this runner to have some room making it less likely that he has to deal with horses coming into his path early in the race.
Once again it is hard to say there were any true losers. The reality is that the horses listed below had very little negative impact on their overall chances.
- #17 Classic Causeway (30-1) probably gets the lowest grade for post position to match the horse. This horse was a flimsy contender at best, but has made it clear that he is a need the lead type. Drawing so far outside is probably the nail in the coffin for this runner who looked little more than cheap speed to begin with.
- #15 White Abarrio (10-1) probably got the worst draw of the horses in the “fringe contender” category. I guess you could make some of the same arguments that were made for Cyberknife about this one being clear and green which could help, but I feel like this one will want to be closer to the pace early and that could mean getting totally hung wide. It still is not a huge concern if you like the horse though.
- #13 Simplification (20-1) ran a sweet ground saving trip to get here and will have nothing of the sort in post 13. Downgrading a 20-1 shot is hardly making a bold statement, but I think you could make the argument that drawing outside didn’t help the chances of this runner.
What About the Dreaded Kentucky Derby Rail?
Much has been made over the years about how awful it is to get the one hole in the Kentucky Derby. The truth is there is a lot to that as horses look to fight for position and the inside runner can often get squeezed and lose position.
Watching the Derby post position live I couldn’t help but laugh as Mo Donegal (10-1) drew the #1 post. Immediately the comments blew up with declarations that his chances were dead on arrival.
However, these doom and gloomers are overlooking 2 very important factors. First, the auxiliary gate is no longer in use. This means that the 1 hole is no longer angled into the rail like it used to be. For greater discussion of the post positions and changes to the gate, check out Kentucky Derby Post Positions Stats: by the Numbers.
A Bona Fide Closer
The other and probably most obvious reason not to fear the 1 post in 2021 is the fact that Mo Donegal is a legitimate closer. Anyone who thought the horse had a chance in the race should have been hoping for a ground saving ride. There is no more ground saving trip than that along the paint.
With Mo Donegal seemingly having no interest in being involved in an early pace this post should do little to dissuade his supporters.
Kentucky Derby Post Draw Recap
While our analysis established the most and least benefited runners the reality remains the same. The 2022 post draw was of little consequence. The worst posts went to the worst horses or horses that should not be adversely impacted by the draw.
The good news is that any runner you liked, you can pretty much still use. The problem is that players don’t have any of the automatic tosses that this event can often produce.
Kentucky Oaks Post Draw
Winners and Losers of the Kentucky Oaks Post Position Draw
Similar to the Derby, the Kentucky Oaks did little to separate the contenders from one another.
- #4 Nest (5-2) was likely to be the favorite no matter what the outcome of the draw given the last performance, but the middle draw inside of the speed appears to be about as good as it could have been. This one should be able to sit the perfect trip and kick home late.
- #1 Secret Oath (6-1) drew the rail. This field isn’t as large as the male race to follow it on the card. Secret Oath likes to do her best running late and should be able to find a nice trip from there.
- #6 Yuugiri (30-1) may have gotten the biggest upgrade of a longshot. It may not be enough to class this one up to the competition, but it sure does help the chances. The thing I like the most about the draw is that this one will win this race by getting the jump on Echo Zulu who drew to the outside.
- #13 Shahama (15-1) was a dark horse I liked coming into the race. The 13 post did not help that cause. For what it is worth trainer Todd Pletcher said that he feels the post won’t be bad because it gives the horse options if she breaks slow. I’m not buying it.
- #8 Venti Valentine (20-1) needs to be on the lead and the two speediest horses in the race being drawn to the inside did little to help this one’s chances.
- #3 Hidden Connections (20-1) was an outsider to begin with, but this one wants to be more forwardly placed and the presence of so many speeds types to the direct outside may make things tight for this runner. This one isn’t as tactical as Secret Oath so I think she’ll struggle to work out a great trip from that type of position.
Kentucky Oaks Post Draw Recap
Much like the boys race, this race left everyone’s chances largely in tact. The good news for horse fans is that this is one of the deepest 3 year old fields we’ve had in a long time and the draw means that horseplayers could be in for a real treat. The even draw means that all of the superstars should be able to bring their best.
Kentucky Oaks and Derby Week Content
- Wednesday 9 am Eastern: Kentucky Oaks Final Answer Analysis
- Thursday 9 am Eastern: Kentucky Derby Final Answer Analysis
- Thursday 2 pm Eastern: Bankroll Management Tips for 2 Days of Racing Including Bets for Every Budget
- Friday 9 am Eastern: Upgrades and Downgrades Based on May 3rd, 4th, and 5th Racing.
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