AMERICAN LION (post position 7, jockey David Flores, 30-1) – Trainer Eoin Harty: “I’m quite happy. It doesn’t change the way the horse is going to run, one way or the other. Seven is a lucky number for me. Well Armed was No. 7 in Dubai.”
AWESOME ACT (post position 16, jockey Julien Leparoux, 10-1) – Co-owner Tom Ludt: “I’m happy. He’s a closer and not inside, so we should be able to sit out and ride comfortably. Obviously, we didn’t want the ‘1’ and we didn’t get that, so it shouldn’t have any impact on us. It should give us a chance to break and get comfortable. I didn’t want to be out there on the lead, so I’m happy about it.”
BACKTALK (post position 18, jockey Miguel Mena, 50-1) – Trainer Tom Amoss: “I’d like to answer that after they’ve gone a quarter-of-a-mile. You don’t know. Any post can be trouble in a 20-horse field. The outside does alleviate the traffic but at the same time it could cause you to be wide. Paul (Buhlman, Gold Mark Farm) and I are going to discuss tactics, along with Gold Mark’s general manager Todd Quast, and obviously with Miguel Mena, and we’ll hopefully come to some thoughts on what we can do to avoid any real problem with the post.
“Ideally we’d like to see it unfold with us crossing the finish line first. I think that would be wonderful. How would I like to see it unfold? I’d like to see it be a clean race where everyone has a fair chance to win, if I had my way.”
CONVEYANCE (post position 12, jockey Martin Garcia, 12-1)/LOOKIN AT LUCKY (post position 1, jockey Garrett Gomez, 3-1) – Trainer Bob Baffert: (Lookin at Lucky): “This horse, he can’t catch a break. We named him wrong. Can we change the name? You know what? You can’t worry about that. We’ve made it this far.
“Nothing surprises me with this horse. He just can’t catch a break. He’s either inside or outside. If they hadn’t changed the draw, I would have finally gotten the first break after all those years.
“It is what it is. You can’t worry about that. You’ve got to break well. If he doesn’t break well then you’re screwed.”
(Conveyance): “It’s fine.”
Lookin At Lucky co-owner Mike Pegram: “There no use in crying about it. All we’ve got to do is think positive. Real Quiet was buried down on the rail (No. 3) in ’98 and he came through. It’s all about position and I’ve got the best jockey. We’ll just see what happens.
“I feel very comfortable with Garrett. Garrett has been around there. He knows how to do it and we’ll get there. That’s the good thing about Lookin At Lucky. Coming in, I wasn’t apprehensive because he’s talented enough that he’ll be able to run his race from anywhere.
“When you get lemons you make lemonade, right?
“It’s better to have a good trip than a good post position. It’s ironic that he drew the total outside in the Breeders’ Cup and then he comes and draws the rail in the Derby. With a little bit of luck in the Breeders’ Cup he still would have overcome that because we didn’t get the trip there. If we get a good trip, there is no reason why this horse should not run his race. We’ll find out if he’s good enough to win.”
DEAN’S KITTEN (post position 8, jockey Robby Albarado, 50-1)/STATELY VICTOR (post position 6, jockey Alan Garcia, 30-1) – Trainer Mike Maker: (Stately Victor) – “It’s not terrible. It wouldn’t have been my first choice. The main reason I wanted to be outside was just to try to stay out of trouble. Let him get in a rhythm and then get to freewheelin’.”
NOTE: Maker had expressed prior to the draw his desire to land Stately Victor in an outside post in the auxiliary gate.
(Dean’s Kitten) – “I think Dean’s Kitten drew great. I didn’t think post position would be as much of an issue for him. He’s not a great big horse and he has a better chance of overcoming any problems he may encounter from there.”
DEVIL MAY CARE (post position 11, jockey John Velazquez, 10-1)/DISCREETLY MINE (post position 15, jockey Javier Castellano, 30-1)/MISSION IMPAZIBLE (post position 14, jockey Rajiv Maragh, 20-1)/SUPER SAVER (post position 4, jockey Calvin Borel, 15-1) – (Super Saver): “Perfect. I was hoping for a spot down by the rail. We’ve got Calvin (Borel) up, so you know where he’s going to want to go.”
(Devil May Care): “I like her draw. It’s a good spot. The only caution I feel is the fact that she’ll be loading right near the start of it and will have to do some waiting. But other than that, it’s fine.” On the filly putting blinkers on: “We’ve been thinking about doing it since her (last start in the) Bonnie Miss (at Gulfstream March 20). When she made the lead that day she started easing up and looking around. We’ve been training her in them (blinkers) since and now it has become a no-brainer. It will just help her focus.”
(Mission Impazible and Discreetly Mine): “I like both their spots on either side of the break (in the starting gate). (In the 20-horse Derby field, the first 14 horses are loaded in the standard gate, the last six in an auxiliary gate parked outside of it. There is a break of approximately nine feet between the gates.) I went back and looked at some earlier Derbies and saw that General Challenge (Post No. 14 in 1999) got banged pretty good coming out of there, but for the most part that break is a good thing and allows a rider some room. I like the locations for both horses.”
DUBLIN (post position 17, jockey Terry Thompson, 12-1) – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas: “Great. I like it. Your draw is always in relation to where everybody else draws. Where the other horses are is more important probably that where you drew. That dictates your strategy. Certain horses that have certain styles are compromised by various positions. This one complements us. We’re very happy there. And I’ve been lucky out there, too.”
Lukas’ four winners and their post positions: 1988 - Winning Colors, No. 11 … 1995 - Thunder Gulch, 16 … 1996 - Grindstone, 15 … 1999 - Charismatic, 16.
HOMEBOYKRIS (post position 19, jockey Ramon Dominguez, 50-1) –Trainer Rick Dutrow: “We’re going to have to deal with it.”
ICE BOX (post position 2, jockey Jose Lezcano, 10-1)/JACKSON BEND (post position 13, jockey Mike Smith, 15-1) – “I like the fact that we’re drawn next to both of (Bob) Baffert’s horses. Maybe they can rub together and give us some luck, who knows?
“Ice Box will probably just sit early out of there anyway, and since he’s a closer I don’t mind the two-hole at all.
“I think we’re going to be fine with Jackson Bend. He’s a tough little horse and the draw in the middle of the field is what it is.”
LINE OF DAVID (post position 5, jockey Rafael Bejarano, 30-1)/SIDNEY’S CANDY (post position 20, jockey Joe Talamo, 5-1) – Trainer John Sadler (Sidney’s Candy): “Not the best of draws. What can I say? At least you’re outside and can see what’s going on. It just shows you how tough it is (to win any race, and especially this race). But what are you going to do? That’s how it works. You’ve just got to deal with what you’ve got and do the best you can with it.”
(Line of David) – “It’s a good post. I like it for him. We’ll try to take advantage of it.”
MAKE MUSIC FOR ME (post position 9, Joel Rosario, 50-1) – Trainer Alexis Barba: “It’s perfect. I think I’ve asked for ‘10’ and I got ‘9’ so how much closer can you get? It’s a good balanced post. Unfortunately the two favorites didn’t draw too well, did they?”
NOBLE’S PROMISE (post position 3, jockey Willie Martinez, 12-1) – Trainer Ken McPeek: “I wanted to be inside the 12 post, nothing too far out, and I wanted to be inside both Dublin and Jackson Bend because both of those have a history of getting out. So it worked out very well for us. The fact that the two horses drawn inside of us are both closers is even better. It’s a real good set-up for us. I’m thrilled.”
PADDY O’PRADO (post position 10, jockey Kent Desormeaux, 20-1) – Trainer Dale Romans: “I think it is the spot I would have picked if I had the chance to pick. It’s right in the middle and gives you a lot of options. Kent (Desormeaux) can decide where he wants to place him. It’s a good post to come from, and I think it’s produced the most Derby winners. I’ll have to do some research, but I think so.”