Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby post positions with the most and fewest winners

There's one post position that has never seen a Kentucky Derby winner.

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Lucky number … five?

The post positions for each of the 20 horses in the 150th Kentucky Derby were randomly assigned on Saturday. But, after Encino was scratched from the race due to injury, several horses had their starting gate changed and one new horse drew into the field.

So, which Kentucky Derby participants have history on their side in regard to the starting positions? And which ones don’t?

Before the starting gates open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, here's what to know about Derby post positions:

Which post position has the most Kentucky Derby wins?

History is on the side of Catalytic, a 30-1 longshot, as the highest number of Derby winners have come from the No. 5 spot. Ten of the 94 horses that began in that gate went on to be crowned champion, more than any other post position. The most recent champion was Always Dreaming in 2017.

Meanwhile, the No. 8 and No. 10 spots have each seen nine winners, with No. 10 holding a higher winning percentage. Last year's Derby winner, Mage, started from the No. 8 post position, and Just a Touch (10-1 morning line odds) will do so this year. T O Password (30-1) was originally in the No. 10 spot, but Forever Young (10-1) will now start from there following Encino's scratch.

Which post position has the fewest Kentucky Derby wins?

Derby favorite Fierceness (5-2) was originally slated to start from the No. 17 gate, which is the only post position that's never produced a Derby champion. But now Stronghold (20-1) has the unenviable task of trying to break the Kentucky Derby curse.

Of the 44 horses that have started from the No. 17 gate, zero were winners.

Kentucky Derby winners by post position

Generally speaking, it’s more advantageous to start from a gate toward the middle. Being too far inside could make it difficult to get out in front of a large field.

While the No. 1 and 2 post positions have produced a combined 15 champions, it’s been nearly 40 years since the last one. And the No. 3 spot hasn’t seen a winner since 1998.

Starting too far outside, meanwhile, creates a longer path to the inside of the track. The No. 17 through 20 post positions have combined for five victories in 128 starts.

The No. 20 spot actually boasts the best winning percentage of any gate, though it's also the post position with the fewest starts. Rich Strike’s historic upset in 2022 marked the second champion in 18 starts from the No. 20 post position. Last year's Derby didn't have any horses in the No. 19 and No. 20 gates after several pre-race scratches.

Here’s a full look at Kentucky Derby winners by post position, according to America’s Best Racing:

1: 8 wins in 94 starts, last winner in 1986

2: 7 wins in 94 starts, last winner in 1978

3: 5 wins in 94 starts, last winner in 1998

4: 5 wins in 94 starts, last winner in 2010

5: 10 wins in 94 starts, last winner in 2017

6: 2 wins in 94 starts, last winner 1993

7: 8 wins in 93 starts, last winner in 2021

8: 9 wins in 93 starts, last winner in 2023

9: 4 wins in 90 starts, last winner in 1972

10: 9 wins in 87 starts, last winner in 2005

11: 2 wins in 83 starts, last winner in 1988

12: 3 wins in 79 starts, last winner in 1971

13: 5 wins in 77 starts, last winner in 2016

14: 2 wins in 67 starts, last winner in 1961

15: 6 wins in 62 starts, last winner in 2020

16: 4 wins in 51 starts, last winner in 2011

17: 0 wins in 44 starts

18: 2 wins in 36 starts, last winner in 2019

19: 1 win in 30 starts, last winner in 2012

20: 2 wins in 18 starts, last winner in 2022

What are the Kentucky Derby 2024 post positions?

Encino was assigned the No. 9 post position before being scratched, meaning horses in post positions 10 through 20 will move in one spot. And Epic Ride (50-1), who replaced Encino in the field, will start from the No. 20 gate.

Here are the updated post positions for this weekend’s Derby, along with the morning line odds:

1. Dornoch, 20-1

2. Sierra Leone, 3-1

3. Mystik Dan, 20-1

4. Catching Freedom, 8-1

5. Catalytic, 30-1

6. Just Steel, 20-1

7. Honor Marie, 20-1

8. Just a Touch, 10-1

9. T O Password, 30-1

10. Forever Young, 10-1

11. Track Phantom, 20-1

12. West Saratoga, 50-1

13. Endlessly, 30-1

14. Domestic Product, 30-1

15. Grand Mo the First, 50-1

16. Fierceness, 5-2

17. Stronghold, 20-1

18. Resilience, 20-1

19. Society Man, 50-1

20. Epic Ride, 50-1

When is the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The 150th Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4.

What time is the Kentucky Derby?

The race is set to begin at 6:57 p.m. ET.

Here's everything you need to know about the 150th iteration of the Kentucky Derby, known as the fastest two minutes in sports.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in 2023.

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