Curlin Moderate Morning Line Favorite for Kentucky Derby
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Curlin was installed the moderate 7-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $2 million, 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Wednesday.
Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia said it was a tossup between Curlin and 2006 champion Street Sense for favoritism. He said he went with Curlin because “he is undefeated we just don’t know how good this horse is.”
Curlin will start from post position 2 and Street Sense from post 7.
“Considering the 16th selection, the two hole was an excellent option for him," trainer Steve Asmussen. "He won the Arkansas Derby out of the two hole. I feel very confident.”
As for being the morning line favorite, Asmussen was unimpressed.
“The morning line is free and everything on the racetrack that is free isn’t worth anything.”
Robby Albarado will ride Curlin.
Street Sense, who is seeking to become the first Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner to win the Derby, was made the 4-1 second choice. Trainer Carl Nafzger won the Derby in 1990 with Unbridled.
"I was hoping to be 20-1 like Unbridled," Nafzger said. "I don't care what the morning line is. I'd just like to be No. 1 to the wire."
No Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner in 23 years has gone on to win the Derby; no 2-year-old champion has won since Spectacular Bid in 1979. Those stats don't deter Nafzger.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will try to end his 0-for-14 skid in the Derby with a record-tying five entries: Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, Cowtown Cat, Sam P. and Scat Daddy.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz will leave from the No. 12 post.
The most successful post positions in the Derby's 132-year history have been Nos. 1 and 5, which have produced 12 winners each.
After that, the next six post positions chosen were 10, 8, 9, 11, 7, and 6, respectively. Then, the connections of Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Scat Daddy went for the 14 post, the outside position in the first of two starting gates used for the Derby.
The post position order for the Derby, with trainer, jockeys, and morning line odds, is:
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