The post positions for the 2020 Kentucky Derby are set, and the entry list includes 18 horses for what’s now the second leg of horse racing’s annual Triple Crown.
Yes, the Triple Crown races are being run out of their traditional order for the first time since the early 1930s, but the Kentucky Derby specifically is experiencing significant change in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the Kentucky Derby four months from its original date on the first weekend of May all the way to Labor Day weekend.
In addition to the weird schedule, Churchill Downs last month announced it would not host fans for the 146th Kentucky Derby.
MORE: New Triple Crown race schedule for 2020
“Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance,” the track said. “We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available.
“With the current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans.
“Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.”
Below are the complete results of Tuesday’s draw for post positions at the 2020 Kentucky Derby, plus the history of wins for each draw position in the field.
MORE: Full betting guide to the 2020 Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby post positions 2020
The draw for 2020 Kentucky Derby post positions occurred at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday. The morning line favorite for the race and the winner of the Belmont Stakes, Tiz The Law, drew the No. 17 post position, which has produced a grand total of zero winners since the Kentucky Derby began using the gate in 1930.
Below is the complete list of post positions for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, complete with Tuesday’s morning odds for each horse.
|Post position||Horse||Morning line odds|
|1||Finnick The Fierce||50-1|
|4||Storm The Court||50-1|
|9||Mr. Big News||50-1|
|17||Tiz The Law||3-5|
The original entry list for the 2020 Kentucky Derby was expected to include 19 horses, but Art Collector dropped out of the race Tuesday morning because of “a minor foot ailment.”
What is the best post position in horse racing?
The best post positions in horse racing vary based on factors like track styles and the number of horses in a given race. At the Kentucky Derby, though, multiple post positions have produced solid win numbers thanks in part to the traditionally large number of horses in the race.
Three years ago, when Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby, he became the 10th horse to win the Running of the Roses from the No. 5 post position. It’s the most wins for any post position at the Derby, barely ahead of the No. 10 position with nine wins.
Below is the complete list of Kentucky Derby winners (since the starting gate was implemented in 1930) at each post position in the 2020 race.
|Post position||Kentucky Derby winners|
Kentucky Derby winners by post position
(Since the use of a starting gate in 1930)
- 1 — (8) Ferdinand (1986); Chateaugay (1963); Needles (1956); Hill Gail (1952); Citation (1948); Gallahadion (1940); Lawrin (1938); War Admiral (1937)
- 2 — (7) Affirmed (1978); Bold Forbes (1976); Cannonade (1974); Dust Commander (1970); Tim Tam (1958); Ponder (1949) Assault (1946)
- 3 — (5) Real Quiet (1998); Alysheba (1987); Spectacular Bid (1979); Foolish Pleasure (1975); Shut Out (1942)
- 4 — (5) Super Saver (2010); Seattle Slew (1977); Decidedly (1962); Pensive (1944); Whirlaway (1941)
- 5 — (10) Always Dreaming (2017); California Chrome (2014); Funny Cide (2003); War Emblem (2002); Silver Charm (1997); Strike the Gold (1991); Count Fleet (1943); Johnstown (1939); Bold Venture (1936); Twenty Grand (1931)
- 6 — (2) Sea Hero (1993); Iron Liege (1957)
- 7 — (7) Justify (2018); Street Sense (2007); Pleasant Colony (1981); Proud Clarion (1967); Northern Dancer (1964); Determine (1954); Gallant Fox (1930)
- 8 — (8) Mine That Bird (2009); Barbaro (2006); Go for Gin (1994); Unbridled (1990); Majestic Prince (1969); Lucky Debonair (1965); Swaps (1955); Cavalcade (1934)
- 9 — (4) Riva Ridge (1972); Venetian Way (1960); Tomy Lee (1959); Count Turf (1951)
- 10 — (9) Giacomo (2005); Lil E. Tee (1992); Sunday Silence (1989); Spend a Buck (1985); Sunny’s Halo (1983); Genuine Risk (1980); Secretariat (1973); Dark Star (1953); Omaha (1935)
- 11 — (2) Winning Colors (1988); Brokers Tip (1933)
- 12 — (3) Canonero II (1971); Kauai King (1966); Hoop Jr. (1945)
- 13 — (4) Nyquist (2016) Smarty Jones (2004); Forward Pass (1968); Jet Pilot (1947); Burgoo King (1932)
- 14 — (2) Carry Back (1961); Middleground (1950)
- 15 — (5) American Pharoah (2015); Orb (2013); Fusaichi Pegasus (2000); Grindstone (1996); Swale (1984)
- 16 — (4) Animal Kingdom (2011); Monarchos (2001); Charismatic (1999); Thunder Gulch (1995)
- 17 — (0)
- 18 — (2) Country House (2019); Gato Del Sol (1982)
- 19 — (1) I’ll Have Another (2012)
- 20 — (1) Big Brown (2008)
When Tiz The Law won the Belmont Stakes a few months ago, he did so in a field of 10 horses. The Kentucky Derby presents a completely different challenge.
The Kentucky Derby starting gate can hold up to 20 horses thanks to a six-horse auxiliary gate that attaches to the 14-horse primary gate. Because there is so much jostling for position when the gate opens, the post positions aren’t as indicative of winning chances as they are for a race with fewer horses.