The winner of the 143rd Kentucky Derby will need to navigate a full field of 20 this Saturday, May 6. Officially, 22 horses are eligible for the race, with Royal Mo and Master Plan as alternates, but they need two horses to withdraw by early Friday morning to be in the field.
Ben Huffman, Churchill Downs Racing Secretary, and Dan Bork, Churchill Downs Assistant Racing Secretary, pulled the post numbers at the event held at the Churchill Downs. The post-draw and early-line odds for the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing this morning, Wednesday, May 3 sets the stage for the one and one-quarter mile race.
Classic Empire drew the No. 14 post, and the horse is the early 4-1 favorite. Only two have won from the No. 14 post, with the last happening in 1961 when Carry Black won.
Good news for Classic Empire is that the betting favorite has won the derby the past four years, which is the longest winning streak for the favorite since the 1970s.
The co-second favorites at 5-1 odds are Always Dreaming, who drew the No. 5 post, and McCraken, who drew the No. 15 post. The last winner from the No. 5 post was California Chrome in 2014, and the last winner from the No. 15 post was Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015.
Irish War Cry will break from the No. 17 post at 6-1 odds. No horse has won the derby from that position. At 6-1, Irish War Cry is the last of the four horses listed with single-digit odds.
No. 7 post Girvin is the first of four horses at 15-1 odds, with Hence next to him in the No. 8 post. Gunnevera out of the No. 10 post and Gormley from the No. 18 post are the other two horses at 15-1 odds.
Six horses are at 20-1 odds, with Lookin At Lee in the No. 1 post. Lookin at Lucky, the sire to Looking At Lee, also drew the No. 1 post in 2010 and was the favorite at 6-1 before the race, but he finished sixth.
Thunder Snow drew the No. 2 post, Irap drew the No. 9 post, J Boys Echo drew the No. 13 post Tapwrit drew the No. 16 post, and Practical Joke round all the horse at 20-1 odds. The rest of the field is full of extremely long shots.
Untrapped in post No. 4, State of Honor in post No. 6, Battle of Midway in post No. 11 and Patch in post No. 20 are at early 30-1 odds. Patch is an interesting horse in this race, as he is missing his left eye.
Fast and Accurate, which Olympic skier Bode Miller partially owns, will break from the No. 3 post. That horse and Sonneteer out of the No. 12 post are listed at 50-1 odds. Sonneteer hasn’t won a race in his career, and if he won, he would be the first since Brokers Tip in 1933 to accomplish the feat.
The main gate at the Kentucky Derby holds 14 horses. An attached six-stall auxiliary gate accommodates the whole field. Horses go into the gate two at a time starting with post No. 1 and post No. 11, meaning Looking At Lee and Battle of Midway will spend the most time waiting for the race to start.
Alternate Royal Mo is listed at 20-1 odds, and Master Plan is at 50-1 odds. The 143rd Kentucky Derby is scheduled to start at 5:34 p.m. on May 6, and NBC will broadcast the event.