All stats date back to 1930, when the Kentucky Derby introduced starting gates. Much of the information here comes from the Kentucky Derby’s official website.
No. 1 Firenze Fire (50-1)
Last horse to win from No. 1: Ferdinand, 1986.
Eight horses have won from No. 1: That’s good! Ronald Reagan was president the last time it happened and John F. Kennedy was president the time preceding it: That’s bad! Lookin at Lee finished second last year from the No. 1 post, however.
No. 2 Free Drop Billy (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 2: Affirmed, 1978.
Seven winners have come from the No. 2 spot, but none since the 1970s. However, 28.4 percent of the horses who started here since 1930 have finished in the money, second only to No. 10 (it most recently happened in 2013, when Revolutionary took third).
No. 3 Promises Fulfilled (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 3: Real Quiet, 1998.
Only five winners have come from post position 3, which isn’t great, but eight horses have finished third (ranking third among post positions). So there’s that!
No. 4 Flameaway (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 4: Super Saver, 2010.
Seattle Slew broke from post position 4 to win the Kentucky Derby on his way to the 1977 Triple Crown, one of five horses to win from there. Only 17 percent of the horses to start at No. 4 have finished in the money, the lowest percentage of any of the first five gates.
No. 5 Audible (8-1)
Last horse to win from No. 5: Always Dreaming, 2017.
Since 1930, a Kentucky Derby-high 10 horses (11.4 percent) have won from post position 5, with five of those champions in the past 21 years. No. 5 horses also have the best average finish in Derby history (7.32).
No. 6 Good Magic (12-1)
Last horse to win from No. 6: Sea Hero, 1993.
Sea Hero and Iron Liege (1957) are the only two champions from Post Position 6. Horses that start there have an average finish of 9.41, worst among the top 10 gates.
No. 7 Justify (3-1)
Last horse to win from No. 7: Street Sense, 2007.
Per ESPN’s Chris Fallica, five favorites have broken from the No. 7 post since 1930. Two have won: Gallant Fox (1930) and Street Sense (2007). They are two of only six winners from No. 7.
No. 8 Lone Sailor (50-1)
Last horse to win from No. 8: Mine That Bird, 2009.
Appropriately enough, there have been eight winners from post position 8, but Mine That Bird also was the last No. 8 horse to finish in the money at the Kentucky Derby.
No. 9 Hofburg (20-1)
Last horse to win from No. 9: Riva Ridge, 1972.
The No. 9 post position has the longest drought among the first 10 starting gates.
No. 10 My Boy Jack (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 10: Giacomo, 2005.
Nine horses to break from No. 10 have won the Derby since 1930 (11.1 percent), second only to No. 5. Secretariat was in the No. 10 slot, as were four winners between 1980 and 1989. But the No. 10 horse has won only once since Lil E. Tee in 1992, and that was 50-1 long shot Giacomo in 2005. Still, No. 10 horses have finished in the money in 29.6 percent of the races since 1930, tops among position posts.
No. 11 Bolt d’Oro (8-1)
Last horse to win from No. 11: Winning Colors, 1988.
Winning Colors and Brokers Tip in 1933: The winners to come from post position 11 are an exclusive club, indeed. Battle of Midway finished third as the No. 11 horse last year, but only 14.3 percent of such horses have finished in the money.
No. 12 Enticed (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 12: Canonero II, 1971.
Of the gates that have produced a winner, No. 12 has the second-longest drought behind No. 14, and it has been 13 years since a No. 12 horse finished in the money (Afleet Alex, show in 2005).
No. 13 Bravazo (50-1)
Last horse to win from No. 13: Nyquist, 2016.
No. 13 has been lucky for five winners, and 23.9 percent of the horses to start here have finished in the money, tops among gates 11-20. Also tops among that group is the No. 13 horse’s average finish: 8.35.
No. 14 Mendelssohn (5-1)
Last horse to win from No. 14: Carry Back, 1961.
Apart from post position 17, which has never produced a winner, No. 14 has the longest current drought. Plus, the last horse to place or show from No. 14 was Impeachment in 2000.
No. 15 Instilled Regard (50-1)
Last horse to win from No. 15: American Pharoah, 2015.
All five winners from the No. 15 post position have been recent, starting with Swale in 1984.
No. 16 Magnum Moon (6-1)
Last horse to win from No. 16: Animal Kingdom, 2011
Like No. 15, the four winners from post position 16 have all been modern-era horses. Thunder Gulch was the first in 1995.
No. 17 Solomini (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 17: It has never produced a Kentucky Derby winner.
Only 7.7 percent of the horses to start from No. 17 have finished in the money (tied with No. 19 for worst). The last was Forty Niner, who finished second in 1988. Heck, no one from No. 17 has finished in the top five since Don’t Get Mad in 2005 (fourth place).
No. 18 Vino Rosso (12-1)
Last horse to win from No. 18: Gato Del Sol, 1982.
The 21-1 long shot from 1982 is the sole winner from No. 18.
No. 19 Noble Indy (30-1)
Last horse to win from No. 19: I’ll Have Another, 2012.
There is no other to I’ll Have Another: He is the only horse to win from the No. 19 position. Only 7.7 percent of the No. 19 horses have finished in the money, too.
No. 20 Combatant (50-1)
Last horse to win from No. 20: Big Brown, 2008.
A bad post position did little to halt Big Brown’s sprint to the title as the favorite in 2008. He remains the only horse to win from No. 20 since 1930.
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