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Kentucky Derby Post Position Quandaries

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 2

Wasn’t it William Shakespeare who said, “What’s in a post position? That which we run for the roses by any other spot would smell as sweet.”

Regular readers of mine know that I have landed on Nehro and Archarcharch as my top two selections for the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Or have I?

Yesterday, I watched in horror as those two fine colts, coming out of the strongest prep of the year in the Arkansas Derby, landed dismal post positions. First Nehro drew the 19. He’s so far out there that I might give him a good luck pat from the grandstand rail before loading. Then, and worse yet, Archarcharch was given the dreaded #1 position. One needs only to go back as far as last year to see what that position of horrors can hold for a potential Derby winner.

Lookin at Lucky, a two-time champion, and a horse with a similar running style as Archarcharch, was pinched, pushed, pulled, and pinballed all in the first quarter mile, on the way to a disappointing 6th place finish. Does a similar fate await Archarcharch? Did he lose the Kentucky Derby at yesterday’s post position draw?

My definitive answer is, … Maybe.

Maybe, horses outside him will drop farther back, and horses outside them will speed to the lead, allowing for Jon Court to have some room down the stretch for the first time. Maybe he will find a seam to get off the rail at some point, or an opening to make his run from the inside. That’s the thing about the Kentucky Derby, you just don’t know.

What we do know is that 20 horses will barrel out of the starting gate with all the emotion fitting of the grand race. 150,000 fans plus will roar, adding to the fever pitch. What happens from there is the definition of racing luck.

As for Nehro, I would rather be in the 19 hole than the 1, despite the fact that no horse has ever won from that spot. Hopefully he can ease inward smoothly as he drops to the final third of the field, so as not to lose too much ground. Again racing luck will be paramount.

What does all this mean to my selections? It means I have a little less confidence in the two of them than I did yesterday morning. It means the horses I liked next best moved a little bit up in my eyes. Mucho Macho Man and Midnight Interlude received much more preferable spots in numbers 13 and 15 respectively. Yes, I am taking a stand against the two favorites, Dialed In and Uncle Mo. Meanwhile my best longshot, Animal Kingdom, also fared well yesterday with a #16 post position.

I will play all five, (Nehro, Archarcharch, Mucho Macho Man, Midnight Interlude, and Animal Kingdom) now with less emphasis on the top two. Nehro remains my overall top pick.

More than anything, I wish all 20 horses a safe trip. May the best horse win!



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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby Post Position Quandaries...

At this point, I won't be surprised with a big upset at high odds.
I like 7,8,14,15,16 and 19 only because I feel so many will be getting tired and I hope he can grab 4th for the SUPER
Lots of respect, but the combination of the odds, inexperience, and the expected position of last early, have me squarely on others.
Zipse, I miss a lot during my day job! But when did you stop liking Dialed In?
midnight interlude uncle mo archarcharch master of hounds safe trip
From the strange but true department....the 137th running of the KD and the date 5-7-11 are all prime numbers.....there's hope for Archarcharch yet! Also, the 2, 3, 5,7,11,13,17 & 19 will be looking good! Aren't those all prime numbers?
I've come to the conclusion that I'd like a personal audience with each jockey and trainer. Yet, I still have the feeling that I'd continue waffling! Today, it's Nehro, Dialed In and Soldat... emphasis on Today!!

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