Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders: Post Position May Hurt ArchArchArch

Kentucky Derby contender ArchArchArch drew the post for Saturday's race and though 12 winners have come from the No. 1 post position, it could be troublesome. In order to maintain position and not get squeezed out at Churchill downs, ArchArchArch will have to run smart, but may not necessarily have to come out of the gates with reckless abandon. The strategy involved, and how it differs based on post position, is interesting, especially when it comes to the contenders.

ArchArchArch can, and has, come flying out of the gate, though his starts appear to have been erratic. Additionally, ArchArchArch will be flanked on the outside by Brilliant Speed who only seems to show that speed down the stretch; not right of the starting gates. It would seem ArchArchArch doesn't run the risk of being squeezed towards the rail immediately by the horse in the No. 2 pole position, but there are 18 other horses bearing down from the outside, all with one goal in mind.

And therein lies the problem for ArchArchArch. With the rail on one side and the field on the other, there's little margin for error and no room to escape. Caught in trouble or fall a step behind early? There's nowhere to go but backwards, forcing him to navigate around the pack and away from the rail.

At 10/1, ArchArchArch has a good shot at winning the Kentucky Derby, but the pole draw didn't do him many favors. It's not a horrendous draw, but it's not great, either. Most of all, it makes the race that much more difficult tactically.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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