The highly anticipated Kentucky Derby post position draw on Wednesday means the starting field for Saturday’s prestigious race is official.
Here is what some of the trainers had to stay about where their horses drew in the gate.
Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Alpha who will start in post position No. 11: “We’re first in the gate. But he’s been great. It’s just going to make me more nervous. He’s fine. It’s a good position in gate, No. 11. It’s just that he has to load first. We didn’t really want that. It’s OK. We can’t do anything about it. He’s been great. I’ll just be nervous until they spring the latch.”
Bob Baffert, trainer of Bodemeister, post position No. 6 and Liaison, post position No. 20: On Bodemeister: “I was relieved that he didn’t get the one hole. I just didn’t want to be stuck on the rail, like I was with Lookin at Lucky and had that horrible feeling. I think all the good horses drew really well for this race. It’s going to be very competitive.”
On Liaison: “It’s not upsetting. I was hoping for maybe the 16 or something like that. I wanted him on the outside because he doesn’t like to take a lot of dirt. At least he’s going to have a clear shot.”
Mike Harrington, trainer of Creative Cause, post position No.8: “It’s perfect. The post gives him a chance to get out and get a good stalking position. Depending on the speed, I expect him to be three of four lengths off the leaders. That’s the way he runs.
Steve Asmussen, trainer of Daddy Nose Best, post position No. 10 and Sabercat, post position No. 18: “We were extremely fortunate with the draw and love exactly where both of the horses are. Both of these horses have acted well so far. Derby day is a different scenario but I think we’re in great shape with both horses.”
Hamilton Smith, trainer of Done Talking, post position No. 17: “I would have liked to be a little further down inside than 17, but we’ll take it. I’m just glad to have a horse in the post parade.”
Dale Romans, trainer of Dullahan, post position No. 5: “It’s obviously a good spot when the five-hole is one of the winningest post positions in Derby history (eight wins tied for second-most since 1930).”
Todd Pletcher, trainer of El Padrino, post position No. 16, and Gemologist, post position No. 15: “Perfect. It worked out perfect. I love the 15, the first one in the auxiliary gate. There’s a little space there. He’s outside all the speed. They’re both together, so it makes it easier in the paddock.”
Mike Maker, trainer of Hansen, post position No. 14: “Pefect. We’ve got the little space between the gates. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
Doug O’Neill, trainer of I’ll Have Another, post position No. 19: “It’s not ideal, but it’s better than being inside. We will get to load late, so that is a plus. We’ll be outside all the speed so we’ll probably have a good chance to get good position. If they go 46 [seconds] or 47 and change for a half [mile], I’ll feel good. That will put him in position to close strongly.”
Michael Matz, trainer of Union Rags, post position No. 4: “We’re going to have him run out of there a little bit, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. My original thought was that I wasn’t crazy about it, but where everybody is, I don’t think it’s so bad.”
–Churchill Downs Communications contributed to this report.
Catherine Jones at Kentucky Derby post position draw/Reed Palmer photo
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