KENTUCKY DERBY | PURSE: $2 MILLION | GRADE 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | 1 1/4 MILES
Zayat Stables' Bodemeister, the runaway winner of the Arkansas Derby, was installed the 4-1 morning line choice for the May 5 Kentucky Derby after post positions were drawn May 2. The son of Empire Maker from the barn of three-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert will break from post 6.
Chadds Ford Stable's Union Rags was made the 9-2 second choice by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia after drawing post 4.
"The horses around him maybe don't have that much speed, so that pushes us closer to where Bodiemeister will be. It looks like it came up OK; we'll have to be running from the start," said Union Rags' trainer Michael Matz.
Baffert's other runner, Arnold Zetcher's Liaison, drew post 20.
"You gotta take what they give you," Baffert said.
Twenty-one 3-year-olds were entered for the Derby and with entry determined by graded stakes earnings, My Adonis is on the outside looking in. In the first year of taking up to four also eligibles for the Kentucky Derby, he'll be the race's lone also eligible. If there is a scratch before 9 a.m. on May 4, My Adonis will draw in as No. 20. All horses will carry 126 pounds.
Post time for the 138th Run for the Roses is slated for 6:24 p.m. NBC will offer three hours of Derby coverage from 4-7 p.m.
With 20 starters the Derby will be worth $2,219,600 with the winner taking home first prize of $1,459,600. Second place is worth $400,000; third place is worth $200,000; fourth place is worth $100,000; with $60,000 going to the fifth-place finisher. To get in, the cost is $25,000 to enter with another $25,000 due to start.
Adding drama to the draw, the one and the 14 spots were the last two to be selected. Remaining to be drawn were the top two graded stakes earners: Hansen and Daddy Long Legs. Hansen, the champion 2-year-old male of 2011 and winner of the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile, drew the 14 with the last selection.
"I wanted 14 or 15 from the start," said Dr. Kendall Hansen, the breeder and owner of Hansen. "So I'm excited."
The one post position has not been kind to Derby runners of late. While the rail, along with the fifth post position, has produced the most winners, 12 (since 1900), it has been 25 years since Ferdinand came from post one to win the Derby in 1986. It was a 23-year gap prior to that to Chateaugay's score from the rail in 1966.
The main starting gate will hold the first 14 horses with an auxiliary gate holding spots 15-20. There is a space between the two gates.
Hansen's morning line price will start at 10-1.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has a pair of entrants, was interviewed just prior to the draw. He noted he wanted an outside post for his unbeaten Gemologist, who wound up drawing the 15 post. Pletcher preferred an inside post for El Padrino. El Padrino drew just to his outside in 16.
WinStar Farm's Gemologist, winner of the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes, was made the third choice at 6-1.
Donegal Racing's Dullahan, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes is at 8-1 and will break from post five.
Animal Kingdom won last year's Run for the Roses from post 16.