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2016 Kentucky Derby post positions favor the favorites

By
Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Horses walk to the track during morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Monday. Trainers are preparing their horses for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby to be held at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
Horses walk to the track during morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Monday. Trainers are preparing their horses for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby to be held at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 4 (UPI) -- Nyquist, undefeated and last year's 2-year-old champion, drew gate No. 13 for Saturday's Kentucky Derby and was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite.

Nyquist, most recently winner of the Florida Derby, is trained by Doug O'Neill and will have Mario Gutierrez in the irons. He would be the first undefeated Kentucky Derby winner since Smarty Jones in 2004. Seattle Slew turned the trick in 1977 and went on to sweep the Triple Crown.

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Churchill downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia installed three rivals as co-third choices: Arkansas Derby winner Creator, who drew gate No. 3; Louisiana Derby winner Gun Runner, starting from No. 5; and Mohaymen, runner-up to Nyquist in the Florida Derby, in post position No. 14.

Bob Baffert, who trained American Pharoah to last year's Triple Crown, has one starter -- Mor Spirit, who was assigned gate 17. That gate has never produced a winner.

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"Breaking from 13 is just fine," O'Neill said. "It didn't matter to us a ton but we're happy to be toward the outside."

He pointed out Nyquist had No. 13 when he won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland last fall.

Baffert said the last time he was assigned with post No. 17 "was with Point Given with Gary Stevens. Here I am again."

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Stevens will ride Mor Spirit. Point Given finished fifth in 2001.

Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator drew a comfortable No. 11 for Saturday's 142nd running of the Run for the Roses. Blue Grass Stakes winner Brody's Cause could have issues from the No. 19 gate.

The dreaded No. 1 slot went to 50-1 long shot Trojan Nation. Runners from that inside gate frequently get shut out and shuffled back as the huge field thunders down the stretch for the first time seeking position into the first turn.

Lani, the Japanese-based winner of the UAE Derby in Dubai, drew No. 8. He sometimes is a bad actor, which could affect Spiral Stakes winner Oscar Nominated to his inside and Tampa Bay Derby victor Destin, to his outside.

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The outside slot went to Danzing Candy, fourth in the Santa Anita Derby.

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for 6:34 p.m. EDT on May 7 and will be broadcast live on NBC-TV and on Horse Racing Radio Network.

The field for the 142nd Kentucky Derby, by post position, with jockey, trainer and morning-line odds:

1. Trojan Nation, Aaron Gryder, Patrick Gallagher, 50-1

2. Suddenbreakingnews, Luis Quinonez, Donnie Von Hemel, 20-1

3. Creator, Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 10-1

4. Mo Tom, Corey Lanerie, Tom Amoss, 20-1

5. Gun Runner, Florent Geroux, Steve Asmussen, 10-1

6. My Man Sam, Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown, 20-1

7. Oscar Nominated, Julien Leparoux, 50-1

8. Lani, Yutaka Take, Mikio Matsunaga, 30-1

9. Destin, Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher, 15-1

10. Whitmore, Victor Espinoza, Ron Moquette, 20-1

11. Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, Keith Desormeaux, 8-1

12. Tom's Ready, Brian Hernandez Jr., Dallas Stewart, 30-1

13. Nyquist, Mario Gutierrez, Doug O'Neill, 3-1

14. Mohaymen, Junior Alvarado, Kiaran McLaughlin, 10-1

15. Outwork, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 15-1

16. Shagaf, Joel Rosario, Chad Brown, 20-1

17. Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens, Bob Baffert, 12-1

18. Majesto, Emisael Jaramillo, Gustavo Delgado, 30-1

19. Brody's Cause, Luis Saez, Dale Romans, 12-1

20. Danzing Candy, Mike Smith, Clifford Size Jr., 14-1

Also eligible: Laoban, Cornelio Velasquez, Eric Guillot Cherry Wine, Robby Albarado, Dale Romans

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