Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, plays host to the 140th Kentucky Derby. Credit: Reuters
Post positions were assigned on Wednesday afternoon at Churchill Downs for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome is the horse to beat this year, and he drew post five as he seeks to earn trainer Art Sherman his first Kentucky Derby victory. California Chrome was made the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Victor Espinoza, who rides California Chrome, noted five might be his lucky number, as he won the 2002 Kentucky Derby aboard War Emblem from that post.
Logical contenders that drew poorly include Vicar’s In Trouble, winner of the Louisiana Derby, who got slammed with post one. Rosie Napravnik, who will try to become the first woman to win the Kentucky Derby, will have her work cut out for her. Vicar’s In Trouble was set at 20-1.
Wood Memorial-winner Wicked Strong, named in honor of the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, was given post 20, and was made third choice at 8-1. Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia admitted the horse would have been the 6-1 second choice if not for the unfortunate post draw.
Instead the second-choice honors went to Hoppertunity, who won the Rebel Stakes in March and finished second behind California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby in April. Hoppertunity, trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, will try to become the first horse to win the Derby without racing as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882.
The full post position chart is here (post number, name, jockey, odds):
1. Vicar's In Trouble, Rosie Napravnik, 20-1
2. Harry's Holiday, Corey Lanerie, 50-1
3. Uncle Sigh, Irad Ortiz Jr., 30-1
4. Danza, Joe Bravo, 10-1
5. California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, 5-2
6. Samraat, Jose Ortiz, 15-1
7. We Miss Artie, Javier Castellano, 50-1
8. General A Rod, Joel Rosario, 15-1
9. Vinceremos, Joe Rocco Jr., 30-1
10. Wildcat Red, Luis Saez, 15-1
11. Hoppertunity, Mike Smith, 6-1
12. Dance With Fate, Corey Nakatani, 20-1
13. Chitu, Martin Garcia, 20-1
14. Medal Count, Robby Albarado, 20-1
15. Tapiture, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1
16. Intense Holiday, John Velazquez, 12-1
17. Commanding Curve, Shaun Bridgmohan, 50-1
18. Candy Boy, Gary Stevens, 20-1
19. Ride On Curlin, Calvin Borel, 15-1
20. Wicked Strong, Rajiv Maragh, 8-1
Also Eligible (will only run in the event of a scratch before Friday at 9 a.m.)