Kentucky Derby scratch of Stanford leaves American Pharoah in dreaded No. 17 post

American Pharoah will try and do something no horse has done in the Kentucky Derby: win from gate 17.

David Quinn/AP

At 30-1 on the morning line, Stanford didn’t figure to have a huge roll in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. But the colt was scratched on Thursday, and his absence could play a bigger role than had he been there at all.

The scratch of Stanford, who was going to start from post 11, moves every horse outside that gate in one starting positon. (Stanford’s replacement, Frammento, will start from post 20 on the extreme outside.)

Which means American Pharoah, the 5-2 morning-line favorite who drew post 18 for the first leg of the Triple Crown, will have to start at the No. 17 gate. 

A seemingly innocent shift, until one realizes that no horse has won the Kentucky Derby from post 17.

Out of 36 horses to break from that gate, only one has finished second and two have finished third. (On the other hoof, Gato Del Sol was the only horse out of 28 starters from gate 18 to win the first leg of the Triple Crown.)

So American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza will not only have to conquer 19 rivals, but Run for the Roses history, too.



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