Emotions high after Derby 141 post position draw

Posted to: American Pharoah Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Emotions high after Derby 141 post position draw
Owner Ahmed Zayat was ecstatic after the Wednesday afternoon post position draw when American Pharoah drew post 18 in the field of 20 3-year-olds aiming for immortality in Kentucky Derby 141.

“I was praying and asking for far outside and I got 18,” Zayat said of last year’s champion 2-year-old colt, who was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite by Mike Battaglia.

“I like it. I like it a lot,” added jockey Victor Espinoza. “Eighteen is good because I can control a little more of the race than being inside. I have a few options being on the outside.”

Trainer Bob Baffert was hoping for anything as long as he didn’t get the inside post. "It's OK. It's good. Anything but being down there (in post 1 or 2). We talked about being on the outside. I feel like 20 would have been great for me. Out there at least you have a little bit of an option. He's fast. American Pharoah is fast.” 

American Pharoah leads a three-pronged attack for Zayat, who also has El Kabeir (post 7) and Mr. Z (post 17).

“I’m fine with it. I think we drew great,” said El Kabeir’s trainer John Terranova. “We got speed on the inside of us. We’ve got speed outside of us. I'm actually glad about the post because we’d be in a position not to lose ground hopefully on the first turn or get pushed out. We’ll sit back and see how the race unfolds from there.”

The draw for Mr. Z, just to the inside of American Pharoah, had trainer D. Wayne Lukas happy as well. “I love it. Great post. Just being out there, not being in the gate very long, being able to just pop in there and leave. That's a good spot, great spot.''

With the draw complete, the waiting game begins. Saturday’s Derby post time is 6:24 p.m. ET.