SPORTS VIEW AMERICA – We Are Your Top Sports Source …
Please check us out on X, INSTAGRAM, & FACEBOOK … 

If you ask wildly successful local trainer Brad Cox about post positions he will tell you it does not matter very much.  He believes a really good horse will overcome adversity. And, who am I to question Brad Cox? However, most everyone else in the industry thinks otherwise. When you put twenty adolescent horses in a gate in front of a roaring crowd of 160,000, they need every advantage possible and things to go their way to win. 

With a twenty-horse gate, the one horse has only one choice…break as quickly as possible and get over. Dornuch, the full brother to the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, Mage, drew the rail. His connections could not possibly be happy with the post. Fortunately, though, Sierra Leone drew the two hole and he is a closer. Having a front-running speed horse just to the outside would have made it much more difficult for Dornuch to get over and put himself in contention. Having Sierra Leone there gives him a fighting chance. 
The favorite, Fierceness, drew the seventeen post. Since the Kentucky Derby fields have increased in size to twenty, the seventeen horse is 0-44. If you are a  superstitious player, Fierceness is no longer your horse! However, with the scratch of #9 Encino early on Tuesday, Fierceness will actually run from post sixteen. I am not too worried about his number. And, quite frankly, it may be to his advantage to be on.the outside. Less traffic. Less chance of getting hammered at the break. With his talent he should be able to clear and get over  closer to the rail. He will undoubtedly have to run farther, though, than most of his competition. 
Stronghold drew the eighteen post just outside of Fierceness. As you may recall from my previous article, Fierceness needs everything to go his way to run his best. According to Stronghold’s trainer, Phil D’Amato, the Santa Anita Derby winner is just the opposite. Apparently, he readily adapts to most any race setup with very little frustration. That should bode well for him. 
Post positions seven through twelve in a twenty-horse field tend to be the “sweet spots” for getting good position into the first turn. The connections of serious contenders Honor Marie, Just A Touch and Forever Young (JPN) should be quite pleased with their draw. 
On paper, Fierceness is your winner and Sierra Leone completes the exacta. But this race is not run on paper. Anything can happen. Many things will happen. Good luck, godspeed, and a safe trip to all. 

Leave a Reply