No horse drawing the number one position has won the Kentucky Derby in 26 years. Big Brown was the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby in 2008 from the No. 20 position. This year, the crop of Kentucky Derby runners is so evenly matched that oddsmaker Mike Battaglia is waiting until post positions are chosen on Wednesday to set the Derby’s morning line odds.
Battaglia says the favorite will most likely be Union Rags or Bodemeister, depending on which one gets a better draw. According to USA Today, Battaglia said the early odds on either contender will not fall below 4-1.
Ferdinand was the last horse to win from the No. 1 in 1986. Despite the traffic at the No. 1 position, the post has seen the most Derby winners, along with the No. 5 position, with 12. Docsports.com reports that the No. 2 slot has seen 9 winners, No. 4 has had 11, and positions 8 and 10 have each produced 10 winners.
According to Bleacher Report, the fifth through the tenth slots have produced about half of the Kentucky Derby winners in the last 33 years. The Number 10 hole has seen 11 horses finish in the top three over that time.
Possible favorite Bodemeister had his career debut at Santa Anita in January. The Sacramento Bee reports that he will be trying to become the first horse to win the Derby without racing at age 2 since Apollo in 1882. His fourth start in the Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 14 saw him win by 9 1/4 lengths.
Animal Kingdom won the 2011 Kentucky Derby from the No. 16 position.