By Gene Kershner
The post position draw for Kentucky Derby 139 was held this afternoon at Churchill Downs in Louisville, which included 20 entrants that qualified under the new Derby Championship Series points system. The race will be televised nationally on NBC (Ch. 2) on Saturday afternoon during a three- hour telecast starting at 4 p.m.
- Orb (7-2) was declared the morning line favorite and will be ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Shug McGaughey.
- Second choice on the morning line favorite Verrazano drew the No. 14 position late in the draw, trainer Todd Pletcher breathing a huge sigh of relief with both posts 1 and 2 available when his post was drawn. "It was huge, a great post position draw for us," said Pletcher. He drew outside of the suspected speed horses (Goldencents and Falling Sky) so it is was a big win for the Pletcher barn and Team Verrazano.
- D. Wayne Lukas, seeking his fifth Derby title, drew the #2 post for Oxbow and the #17 post with Will Take Charge. He'll team with 50-year-old jockey Gary Stevens on Oxbow, a combination that has two Derby wins under their belts (1988 and 1995).
- Pletcher's cast of thousands, actually his other four horses drew as follows: Revolutionary (#3),Overanalyze (#9), Charming Kitten (#15) and Palace Malice (#10).
- Goldencents drew the 8 hole and will have Kevin Krigger aboard trying to become the first African-American jockey to win the Derby since Jimmy Winkfield in 1902. Things have been coming up roses for owner Rick Pitino, this post position has won 8 times, most recently in 2009 with Mine That Bird.
- Post No. 19 produced its first Derby champ ever in 2012 in I'll Have Another, this year Java's War drew that post this year.
- One post that has never produced a Derby champion is 17, and post 14 hasn't had a winner since 1961. The post that has been in the money the most since 1970 is No. 10, which has hit the board 36 percent of the time. Palace Malice drew post 10 this year and will wear blinkers for the first time. "When he gets close to the lead he tends to loaf, that's why he's putting the blinkers on," said jockey Mike Smith.
- Fear the Kitten is listed as the 21st horse and will draw in as an also-eligible should any of the 20 horses in the field scratch by 9 a.m. on Friday, when Derby advance betting begins.
Here's a look at the posts, morning line odds as set by Mike Battaglia for the field: