2021 Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw: Winners and Losers

Chris Adams

The Kentucky Derby post position draw is one of the most anticipated parts of Derby week. Throughout the history of the race some starting positions have proven to be far more productive than others.

While post alone may not be a reason to use or toss a horse from a wager, the post can be used to upgrade and downgrade horses based on their starting position.

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The 2021 Post Draw

Here is a breakdown of where each horse will start in the 2021 Derby. Note that if a horse scratches all horses to their outside get moved in one spot leaving all empty stalls on the outside. Program numbers will not change if this occurs.

Post 1: Known Agenda 6-1

This likely contender drew the dreaded rail and will have to use energy early to find the right stocking trip.

Impact: Big Downgrade

Post 2: Like The King 50-1

He was likely not going to show up on many tickets anyway, but this makes him almost totally unplayable.

Impact: Downgrade

Post 3: Brooklyn Strong 50-1

The last addition to the race and was an outsider as it was. The post doesn’t do anything to suit his chances.

Impact: Downgrade

Post 4: Keepmeinmind 50-1

The horse is a grinder and could benefit from saving ground, but will have to deal with a lot of traffic.

Impact: Neutral

Post 5: Sainthood 50-1

This horse has had an issue with finding traffic. The inside may provide the ability to save ground for an improving horse, but could also create more obstacles. Pletcher listed him as one that might appreciate being further inside.

Impact: Upgrade

Post 6: O Besos 20-1

This late runner draws toward the inner middle of the gate which suits him perfectly. He will be able to take back off the scrum for the lead and save ground.

Impact: Upgrade

Post 7: Mandaloun 15-1

Hard to know exactly what this horse will do in the race. If they take him off this pace this should be an ok post, but if they move him forward he could end up squarely in the middle of a scrum for tracking positions.

Impact: Neutral

Post 8: Medina Spirit 15-1

This horse has some early speed, but it seems that most of the speed is outside which could be a disadvantage.

Impact: Neutral

Post 9: Hot Rod Charlie 8-1

The connections were audibly thrilled with this post. With his versatility, he just wanted to avoid the inside posts.

Impact: Slight Upgrade

Post 10: Midnight Bourbon 20-1

As a horse who could look to push the pace the draw inside of other speed may allow this horse to push out and find himself on the lead if Rock Your World can’t get over.

Impact: Slight Upgrade

Post 11: Dynamic One 20-1

This runner is tactical and should be okay in the middle of the gate.

Impact: Neutral

Post 12: Helium 50-1

This horse was going to need help as it was. His post really didn’t really help or hurt.

Impact: Neutral

Post 13: Hidden Stash 50-1

This horse would need to improve to contend and the post is fine but doesn’t do much to improve him.

Impact: Neutral

Post 14: Essential Quality 2-1

This tactical runner probably would have preferred to draw outside of Rock Your World, but he can be tactical so overall this post should be positive.

Impact: Slight Upgrade

Post 15: Rock Your World 5-1

The likely speed of the race drew outside of most of the other likely early speed types which should allow his jockey to analyze the pace set up and position him accordingly.

Impact: Upgrade

Post 16: King Fury 20-1

This is a tactical horse and outside is usually better for those types.

Impact: Slight Upgrade

Post 17: Highly Motivated 10-1

Tactical horses like this one like to be on the outside as they can survey the group and find the right spot.

Impact: Upgrade

Post 18: Super Stock 30-1

He sat and pounced in his final prep, he will be ok with this post but it may be a bit further out than he was hoping for.

Impact: Neutral

Post 19: Soup And Sandwich 30-1

This horse is a speed type that could be hurt by the post. His jockey will need to rush him out in front to get the lead and will have to do so getting clear of a lot of speed to the inside.

Impact: Downgrade

Post 20: Bourbonic 30-1

This plodder would definitely have preferred to get down inside to save ground.

Impact: Downgrade

Kentucky Derby Post Draw Winners

The big winners of the post draw were Rock Your World and Highly Motivated who seemed to get everything they wanted with outside draws. Essential Quality also got a great draw, but most likely would have preferred to be outside of Rock Your World.

Midnight Bourbon, Sainthood, and O Besos got the best draws for horses outside of 10-1 with posts that should allow them to run their races.

Kentucky Derby Post Draw Losers

While there were very few losers in the post position draw, the biggest loser was Todd Pletcher who’s top runner Known Agenda got the dreaded #1 post. This is a really big challenge for a big horse like him. It will take something special to get him home from there.

The one-two punch was completed with Pletcher’s other runner, Bourbonic, drawing the outside. Had these two flipped positions, Pletcher would have undoubtedly been much happier heading into Saturday.

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