The post positions and early odds for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be set Wednesday evening at a Churchhill Downs ceremony. A maximum field of twenty will run on Saturday. A late entry is Optimizer, trained by four-time Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas.
Optimizer moved into the field after Mark Valeski was pulled from consideration by trainer Larry Jones, who said the horse wasn’t training well.
One of this year’s top Derby contenders is Union Rags. Trainer Michael Matz is looking for his second Derby victory. He won in 2006 with Barbaro.
Matz says with a full 20 horse field, it’s hard to predict what kind of speed to expect on Saturday.
"Your guess is as good as mine. I think there’s going to be enough speed in there that hopefully we’re going to sit right off the pace, hopefully can make one run. But that could be…who knows with these jockeys, you never know," said Matz.
The post positions are set for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks. Grace Hall is the early favorite in the fillies-only race, at 5-2. She’ll run from post position number two. On Fire Baby and Broadway’s Alibi are co-second choices, with odds of 4-1.