LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The two favorites drew the inside and outside posts in the annual 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. The horse with the best speed figure had the best workout of the week and came out of it with a fractured ankle. The horse that looked the best on the track yesterday did not have enough graded stakes earnings to get into the race. Other than that, not much happened before and during yesterday afternoon's Derby post-position draw.
Likely favorite Lookin At Lucky drew the No. 1 post, not exactly what trainer Bob Baffert would have chosen if he had an option. Unlike recent years, there was no draw for deciding the order of choosing. The posts were drawn the old-fashioned way - horse name and post-position. The other top class Southern California horse, Sidney's Candy, drew the 20 post, not necessarily ideal either, but not as potentially tricky as the rail.
"This horse, he can't catch a break," Baffert said. "We named him wrong. Can we change the name? . . . You've got to break well. If he doesn't break well, then you're screwed."
With so much traffic in front, Lookin At Lucky's jockey, Garrett Gomez, will have decisions to make very early in the race. With significant rain in the forecast in the hours leading up to the race and the possibility of a sloppy track and serious kickback, this will be no easy run for the favorite.
Sunland Derby winner Endorsement was brilliant in his final workout. Sadly, he came out of the work with that ankle injury. He was not entered and his place in the field was taken by longshot Make Music For Me, a winner of one race, and that was on grass.
Trainer Richard Mandella really wanted to run Setsuko in the Derby. The colt was a late-running second to Sidney's Candy in the Santa Anita Derby. A son of Pleasantly Perfect, Setsuko figured to relish the Derby's mile-and-a-quarter. He looked great on the track in the hours before the draw. He was 21st on the earnings list, so he was excluded.
With that, the Kentucky Derby field is set. The winner is in there somewhere. The where is the hard part.
Kentucky Derby field
Saturday, 6:24 p.m./At Churchill Downs
1 1/4 miles. Weights: 126 pounds.
Purse: $2,185,200, if 20 start (1st: $1,425,200; 2nd, $400,000; 3rd, $200,000; 4th, $100,000; 5thm $60,000).
1 Lookin At Lucky, jockey Garrett Gomez, trainer Bob Baffert, odds: 3-1
2 Ice Box, jockey Jose Lezcano, trainer Nick Zito, odds: 10-1
3 Noble's Promise, jockey Willie Martinez, trainer Ken McPeek, odds: 12-1
4 Super Saver, jockey Calvin Borel, trainer Todd Pletcher, odds: 15-1
5 Line of David, jockey Rafael Bejarano, trainer John Sadler, odds: 30-1
6 Stately Victor, jockey Alan Garcia trainer, Mike Maker, odds: 30-1
7 American Lion, jockey David Flores, trainer Eoin Harty, odds: 30-1
8 Dean's Kitten, jockey, Robby Albarado, trainer Mike Maker, odds: 50-1
9 Make Music for Me, jockey Joel Rosario, trainer Alexis Barba, odds: 50-1
10 Paddy O'Prado, jockey Kent Desormeaux, trainer Dale Romans, odds: 20-1
11 Devil May Care, jockey John Velazquez, trainer Todd Pletcher, odds: 10-1
12 Conveyance, jockey Martin Garcia, trainer Bob Baffert, odds: 12-1
13 Jackson Bend, jockey Mike Smith, trainer Nick Zito, odds: 15-1
14 Mission Impazible, jockey Rajiv Maragh, trainer Todd Pletcher, odds: 20-1
15 Discreetly Mine, jockey Javier Castellano, trainer Todd Pletcher, odds: 30-1
16 Awesome Act, jockey Julien Leparoux, trainer Jeremy Noseda, odds: 10-1
17 Dublin, jockey Terry Thompson, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, odds: 12-1
18 Backtalk, jockey Miguel Mena, trainer Tommy Amoss, odds: 50-1
19 Homeboykris, jockey Ramon Dominguez, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., odds: 50-1
20 Sidney's Candy, jockey Joe Talamo, trainer John Sadler, odds: 5-1