Monday, April 30, 2012

The Road to the Kentucky Derby

This the final installment in a four-part blog series previewing the upcoming Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

The field of 20 is all but set, the prep races are over and now it's time to start handicapping the Run for the Roses and make your selection ... or is it?

Good handicappers will wait until Wednesday night to start doing any serious breakdown of the Kentucky Derby because by then you will know where all the horses will be in the starting gate.

The post position draw is Wednesday at 5 p.m. This is of enormous importance and those of you trying to find an edge should pay close attention to it. With a 20-horse field, there are certain horses who will not want to be in certain spots at the gate.

Speed horses on the rail or on the far outside is difficult. On the rail, there are 19 horses to the outside and the chance of getting trapped is likely. On the outside, it is a lot of ground to cover to make the lead and expends a lot of energy over a distance never run before.

Actually, the rail is a tough spot for any horse just because of the traffic issues (See Lookin at Lucky in 2010).

There are some horses you know will be among the favorites no matter where they land at the post position draw like Bodemeister, Union Rags and Gemologist. But, it is important to see how the 20 horses shake out before actually starting to put together a strategy for betting the race.

At least, that is one railbird's opinion on it.


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