Mubtaahij Draws Well

Favourite doesn't get as lucky as he pulls 18 - Mubtaahij at 6

Mike De Kock

Mike De Kock – countdown to Saturday

If American Pharoah, the 5-2 favourite, is going to win Saturday’s Kentucky Derby he’ll do it from post position 18 in a full field of 20 horses.

None of the favourites seemed to be concerned with their starting gate position as all dodged the inside rail where a horse can compromised at the start in a huge field.

Second choice Dortmund, who like American Pharoah is trained by Bob Baffert, drew post No. 8 while third choice Carpe Diem will start from the No. 2 hole.

Gato Del Sol in 1982 is the only horse to win from the 18th post but Baffert, who has won the race three times, took the draw pretty much in stride.

“As long as there’s been a winner (from that gate). I didn’t want to carry that with me. But it takes a good horse to win it. I mean the break is going to be so important.”

The horse’s owner wasn’t sweating the draw either.

“The good ones find a way to win. At least we are not handicapped. We should have no excuse,” said Ahmed Zayat who will also have Mr. Z and El Kabeir in the race.

The favorite will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby last year on California Chrome.

“I definitely didn’t want to be the one horse, that’s for sure,” said Espinoza. “I mean, I don’t think it matters, but just to be safe. I feel more comfortable to be on the outside.”

Baffert said Dortmund can handle an inside start from No. 8.

He gets going. He’s quick and so he’ll be right there in the mix,” said Baffert.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who will have four horses in the Derby, will start the highly regarded Carpe Diem out of the No. 2 gate. There were just seven spots left when Carpe Deim drew that gate.

“I mean there was limited numbers left at that time, so it is what it is,” said Pletcher. ” … You don’t get to pick. I’m happy he’s in there. We’re going to go with it. What are you going to do.”

The No. 5 and No. 10 slots have each had nine Derby winners with the No. 1 and No. 8 having eight winners each.

Last year’s winner California Chrome broke from the No. 5 post.

Thanks to www.usatoday.com

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