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Derby favorite in 13th post spot

Times Wire Reports

I Want Revenge, the 3-year-old colt favored to win the $2-million Kentucky Derby, drew the 13th post position Wednesday for the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

I Want Revenge, installed as the early 3-1 favorite, is trained by Jeff Mullins and will be ridden by 19-year-old Joe Talamo.

Dunkirk, the second favorite at 4-1, will go off from the 15th position in the 1 1/4 -mile race. Santa Anita Derby champion Pioneerof the Nile, also given 4-1 odds, drew the No. 16 spot. Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire, at 5-1, will go off in the sixth position in the 20-horse field.

If all 20 horses run in the 135th Kentucky Derby, it will be the fifth straight year with a full field.

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I Want Revenge has three wins in eight career starts and is coming off eye-catching victories in the Gotham Stakes and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

“It ended up perfect,” said Talamo of the draw for I Want Revenge. “It’s just what we wanted -- to be outside of the early speed. I think it worked out great.”

Bob Baffert, Pioneerof the Nile’s trainer, is looking to win his fourth Derby.

“I was set on 10 or 16" post position, Baffert said. “He hasn’t had that dirt experience, he’ll get less dirt kicked on him out there than on the inside.”

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Pioneerof the Nile has trained well over Churchill Downs’ sandy loam surface this week despite never having raced on dirt.

Dunkirk didn’t race as a 2-year-old and enters the Derby off only three career starts. Two of those were victories, and the other was a runner-up finish to Quality Road in the Florida Derby.

Dunkirk is one of three horses to be saddled Saturday by Todd Pletcher, who will take an 0-for-21 record into the Derby. His others are long shots Advice and Join in the Dance, co-owned by Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis.

“I was a little hesitant about going in next to Pioneerof the Nile because I know he doesn’t always come out of there the right way,” Pletcher said. “But 15 is a good spot. You’ve got some room there and being outside, you can fall into a good spot.”

The field, starting from the rail:

West Side Bernie (30-1), Musket Man (20-1), Mr. Hot Stuff (30-1), Advice (30-1), Hold Me Back (15-1), Friesan Fire (5-1), Papa Clem (20-1), Mine That Bird (50-1), Join in the Dance (50-1), Regal Ransom (30-1), Chocolate Candy (20-1), General Quarters (20-1), I Want Revenge (3-1), Atomic Rain (50-1), Dunkirk (4-1), Pioneerof the Nile (4-1), Summer Bird (50-1), Nowhere to Hide (50-1), Desert Party (15-1), Flying Private (50-1).

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

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Kentucky Derby

Field in post position order for Saturday’s 135th Kentucky Derby (post time approximately 3 p.m. PDT; TV: Channel 4):

*--* PP. HORSE JOCKEY ODDS 1. West Side Bernie Elliott 30-1 2. Musket Man Coa 20-1 3. Mr. Hot Stuff Velazquez 30-1 4. Advice Douglas 30-1 5. Hold Me Back Desormeaux 15-1 6. Friesan Fire Saez 5-1 7. Papa Clem Bejarano 20-1 8. Mine That Bird Borel 50-1 9. Join In The Dance DeCarlo 50-1 10. Regal Ransom Garcia 30-1 11. Chocolate Candy Smith 20-1 12. General Quarters Leparoux 20-1 13. I Want Revenge Talamo 3-1 14. Atomic Rain Bravo 50-1 15. Dunkirk Prado 4-1 16. Pioneerof The Nile Gomez 4-1 17. Summer Bird Rosier 50-1 18. Nowhere To Hide Bridgmohan 50-1 19. Desert Party Dominguez 15-1 20. Flying Private Albarado 50-1 *--*


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