LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wednesday’s post position draw for the Kentucky Derby dictated that Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice will break from the middle of the pack of 20 entrants in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
The No. 10 slot in the starting gate suits stable president Cot Campbell just fine.
“We’re delighted,” Campbell exclaimed. “We’ll load last and won’t have to sit in the gate long at all.”
The draw was relatively uneventful for all of the leading contenders.
Orb, the morning-line favorite at 7-2, will break from post No. 16. Verrazano, second choice at 4-1 and a barn mate of Palace Malice also under the tutelage of trainer Todd Pletcher, will start from the14th post. Goldencents, co-owned by Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, is the third choice at 5-1 and will start from the eight hole.
Listed at 20-1, Palace Malice has all the appearances of a live long shot.
Revealing a bit of strategy, Campbell said, “We hope they take off like scalded dogs and we’ll just drop in behind them until it’s time to go.”
Palace Malice will be equipped with blinkers for the first time in his career.
The colt schooled in the gate and galloped in the hood Wednesday morning and seemed to accept the change without complaint.
“We thought he was looking around some in his races at the Fair Grounds and then, in the Blue Grass Stakes, he noticed the starting gate’s tire tracks and changed leads as he crossed them,” Campbell said.
“We thought he might have done better staying on the same lead. We’re trying to improve his focus. If the blinkers move him up two or three feet, it could be worth it.”