Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In , winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) got a favorable draw in post 8 and was made the morning line favorite for the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The odds were set by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. Julien Leparoux will ride the son of Mineshaft for trainer Nick Zito. Dialed In broke his maiden over the Churchill Downs surface in his debut last Nov. 12.
"I spoke to (owner Bob) LaPenta and told him we'd like posts 7 through 11, and we got 8,” said Zito after the draw. As for being the morning-line favorite, the Hall of Fame trainer said: “It's flattering. I think it could have gone either way, with Dialed In 9-2 and Uncle Mo 4-1. Anything Dialed In gets, he deserves.
"I think most of the major players got good positions, too," he said. "Archarcharch, they're going to talk about the 'one,' but we were certainly happy with our draw."
The Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Archarcharch was the last horse selected and drew post one, perhaps the worst draw in the field.
“(Trainer) Jinx (Fires) has the best attitude in the world and he just said that’s what we drew and we’ll make it work,” said an upbeat jockey Jon Court, who will pilot Archarcharch. “It’s a big boost of confidence. There’s nothing negative about his attitude.”
Mike Repole's Uncle Mo , last year’s champion 2-year-old champion male, drew post 18 for the Derby and was made a close second choice at 9-2. Uncle Mo was unbeaten until he finished third in the April 9 Resorts Casino New York Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I).
“I was OK with the draw,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Uncle Mo’s outside draw. “We’re happy with that. We had the overlying fear that we were going to get the one, so once we got anything but the one, we were happy.”
"I like 18,” Repole said. “I'll take 18. We're outside of five or six horses with tremendous speed and Uncle Mo doesn't have to get to the front. I'd rather have posts 15-20 than posts 1-5."
Repole and Pletcher also entered Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Stay Thirsty , who drew post 4.
“I was actually rooting for the four,” Pletcher said. “I’m not superstitious, but Super Saver was the four last year and that worked out well.” Pletcher trained Super Saver for WinStar Farm.
Zayat Stable’s Nehro is the third choice at 6-1 and will break from post 19. Corey Nakatani will ride the colt who has run second, beaten a neck, in his last two starts: the March 26 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Arkansas Derby.
“I’m relieved,” Baffert said. “I wanted to be on the outside. He’s a lightly raced horse and we want to keep him in the clear as much as possible, so we have the speed on the inside of us. We just hope we break well. Everything’s gone smooth so far. I think this (the draw) is the toughest part of the whole Derby. Now we can relax. From here on in, it’s luck and if we have the horse, we have the horse.”
Midnight Interlude, winner of the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) off a late February maiden victory, is 10-1 on the morning line along with Archarcharch.
Trainer Kathy Ritvo was pleased with post 13 for Mucho Macho Man .
"I think it's a lucky number, 13. I got my heart transplant on the (Nov.) 13 and I was born on Feb. 13, so I thought I'd be getting the 13."
Front-running Shackleford , listed at 12-1 on the morning line, got a favorable post in 14.
“It’s perfect,” said a happy trainer Dale Romans. “It gives us a few options. I also like the fact Comma to the Top is inside of us.”
"We're happy with the draw for both horses next to each other in the nine and 10," he said. "We were hoping to draw something around 10 and farther out, and pretty much we got that with both horses."
The Derby is slated to go at 6:24 p.m. A total purse of $2,196,800 is up for grabs with the winner receiving $1,436,800.
The draw for post positions was done in a traditional pill-pull format and took place on the second floor of the grandstand in the Secretariat Room. The made for TV event was shown on the Versus network.
Conducting the draw was Ben Huffman, racing secretary for Churchill Downs, who drew the horses’ names. The pills were pulled by assistant racing secretary Dan Bork.
Post 10 has been the most successful post over the last 30 years with five wins. Ferdinand, the 1986 Derby winner, was the last horse to win from the rail. No winners have come from posts 2, 9, 12, 14, 17, or 19. Big Brown won from post 20 in 2008.
|Kentucky Derby (gr. I)|
|1.||Archarcharch||Jon Court||Jinks Fires||10-1|
|2.||Brilliant Speed||Joel Rosario||Tom Albertrani||30-1|
|3.||Twice the Appeal||Calvin Borel||Jeff Bonde||20-1|
|4.||Stay Thirsty||Ramon Dominguez||Todd Pletcher||20-1|
|5.||Decisive Moment||Kerwin Clark||Juan Arias||30-1|
|6.||Comma to the Top||Patrick Valenzuela||Peter Miller||30-1|
|7.||Pants On Fire||Rosie Napravnik||Kelly Breen||20-1|
|8.||Dialed In||Julien Leparoux||Nick Zito||4-1|
|9.||Derby Kitten||Javier Castellano||Mike Maker||30-1|
|10.||Twinspired||Mike Smith||Mike Maker||30-1|
|11.||Master of Hounds||Garrett Gomez||Aidan O'Brien||30-1|
|12.||Santiva||Shaun Bridgmohan||Eddie Kenneally||30-1|
|13.||Mucho Macho Man||Rajiv Maragh||Kathy Ritvo||12-1|
|14.||Shackleford||Jesus Castanon||Dale Romans||12-1|
|15.||Midnight Interlude||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||10-1|
|16.||Animal Kingdom||Robby Albarado||H. Graham Motion||30-1|
|17.||Soldat||Alan Garcia||Kiaran McLaughlin||12-1|
|18.||Uncle Mo||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||9-2|
|19.||Nehro||Corey Nakatani||Steve Asmussen||6-1|
|20.||Watch Me Go||Rafael Bejarano||Kathleen O' Connell||50-1|