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Kentucky Derby Field to Take Shape

The Kentucky Derby news is light for now with some two weeks until the big race on May 4. Fierceness is expected to be the favorite after his smashing Florida Derby score while Sierra Leone turned heads in winning the Blue Grass Stakes. The field will be finalized over the coming days with the post position draw one week before the Run for the Roses. Once that’s done, the real handicapping can commence for the 150th Kentucky Derby.


Kentucky Derby Field to Take Shape
The field heads to the first turn | Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Post Position Draw Set for April 27

Post positions for the Kentucky Derby will be drawn on April 27. The top 20 horses listed in the Kentucky Derby point standings earned a spot to run for the roses. Horses 21-24 will be listed as also-eligibles. Three horses in the top 20 – Encino, Endlessly and Deterministic – may not run in the Kentucky Derby, so horses 21-23 could join the field because of scratches. Rich Strike was an also-eligible when he stunned the racing world by winning in 2022 at 80-1.


Early Favorites Wowed in Preps

Fierceness and Sierra Leone are the clear-cut favorites after providing visually impressive victories in their final preps. The BetUS racebook offers Fierceness at +325 with Sierra Leone listed at +300 in the Kentucky Derby odds. Fierceness won the Florida Derby by 13½ lengths while Sierra Leone circled the field to take the Blue Grass Stakes by 1½.


Pace Makes the Race Available to Closers?

Mage won the 2023 Kentucky Derby from off the pace at 15-1 in the horse racing odds after Kingsbarn and Reincarnate pushed Verifying through ridiculous early fractions of 22.35 seconds for the first quarter and 45.73 for the half. There is plenty of speed in this year’s edition, so those who fancy betting closers could cash again with the right setup.

Sierra Leone and Chasing Freedom (+1100) are deep closers who will attract a lot of money. Fierceness won the Florida Derby in front-running fashion, but is not a need-the-lead type. He should enjoy a trip right behind the speed – much like Two Phil’s in 2023. Two Phil’s, though, may have been a bit too close to the pace and could not hold off Mage.



Questions Of The Day

Who was the last favorite to win the Kentucky Derby?

Justify paid ($7.80) as the 5-2 favorite in winning the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

Which two horses won the Kentucky Derby in less than 2 minutes?

Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1 minute, 59.40 seconds while Monarchos (2001) stopped the clock at 1:59.97.

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