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Horse Racing, Kentucky Downs Horses at The Downey Profile®

Derby by the Speed Numbers

5/4/2011

Or, Who'll Get to the Eighth Pole First; Who Can Run on An Off Track?

By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile

Posted May 4, 2011

In 53 of the last 56 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the winner was either on the lead with an eighth of a mile to go in the race, within a length of the lead, or running second although more than a length off the leader at that point. In all, 42 of the last 56 winners, or 75%, were on the lead at the eighth pole.

Super Saver was two lengths the best at the final furlong marker in 2010. Mine That Bird was one length ahead at the eighth pole in 2009. Big Brown, the 2008 Derby winner, was 2 1/2 lengths ahead. In 2007, Street Sense was up by a length, and in 2006, Barbaro was four lengths in front. The 2005 winner, Giacomo, was an exception to the rule. He was in sixth place at the eighth pole--and almost three lengths off the lead held by Closing Argument during that brief moment.

Nine Furlong Speed Figures Side-By-Side & Wet-Track Ability

Only 1 1/8-mile races run at age 3 are presented

Red = 4 Highest Figs
(Speed-Track Variant are combined figs)
(E1, E2 are combined figs)

Horse 3YO 9F Race Placement Win Time Bris E1, E2, LP Bris Beyer Spd-TV Tomlinson
Animal Kingdom Spiral Stakes 1st by 2 3/4 1:52 1/5 76, 84, 101 97 93 81-16 260
Archarcharch Arkansas Derby 1st by nk 1:49 1/5 81, 91, 103 99 98 97-10 398
Brilliant Speed Blue Grass 1st by nose 1:50 4/5 71, 80, 109 97 93 79-22 348
Comma to the Top Santa Anita Derby 2d by hd 1:48 3/5 84, 88, 103 98 97 - - -* 305
Decisive Moment Spiral Stakes 2d by 2 3/4 1:52 1/5 84, 89, 91 94 88 78-16 262
Derby Kitten N/A              
                 
Dialed In Allowance GP 2d by 1/2 1:51 69, 80, 112 98 90 81-24 378
Dialed In Florida Derby 1st by hd 1:50 81, 98, 99 101 93 87-10  
                 
Master of Hounds N/A 1 3/16 Mile 2d by nose 1:58 4/5 N/A N/A N/A N/A 334
Midnight Interlude Santa Anita Derby 1st by hd 1:48 35 81, 84, 108 98 97 - - -* 345
Mucho Macho Man Louisiana Derby 3d by 3/4 1:49 4/5 88, 90, 98 96 93 96 - 415
                 
Nehro Louisiana Derby 2d by nk 1:49 4/5 89, 89, 100 96 94 97 -  
Nehro Arkansas Derby 2d by nk 1:49 1/5 78, 84, 109 99 98 97-10 379
                 
Pants On Fire Louisiana Derby 1st by nk 1:49 4/5 92, 96, 93 97 94 97  - 394
Santiva Blue Grass 9th by 6 1/2 1:50 4/5 78, 91, 86 90 82 73-22 384
                 
Shackleford Allowance GP 1st by 2 1/4 1:50 75, 88, 97 94 89 87-08 418
Shackleford Fountain of Youth 5th by 23 1/2 1:50 1/5 82, 95, 61 77 58 62-18  
Shackleford Florida Derby 2d by hd 1:50 102, 112, 84 101 93 87-10  
                 
Soldat Allowance GP (sy) 1st by 10 3/4 1:49 1/5 85, 100, 110 108 103 91-26 (sy) 407*
Soldat Fountain of Youth 1st by 2 1:50 1/5 89, 99, 104 104 96 86-18  
Soldat Florida Derby 5th by 10 1/4 1:50 95, 106, 70 89 76 77-10  
                 
Stay Thirsty Florida Derby 7th by 16 3/4 1:50 92, 100, 63 82 66 70-10 368*
Twice the Appeal Sunland Derby 1st by 1 1/2 1:50 4/5 79, 89, 92 95 89 88-13 423
                 
Twinspired Spiral 3d by 6 1:52 1/5 75, 77, 96 90 93 79-22 365
Twinspired Blue Grass 2d by nose 1:50 4/5 82, 95, 95 97      
                 
Uncle Mo Wood Memorial 3d by 1 1/4 1:49 4/5 89, 97, 91 96 92 94-06 419
Watch Me Go Illinois Derby 6th by 17 1:51 4/5 79, 83, 75 79 66 69-27 402

*The first meet with a new surface, Santa Anita didn't have a history from which to assign speed-track variant numbers.

Brisnet Figures

Brisnet uses pace numbers to evaluate horses' speed in the early and late stages of the game, called E1, E2 and LP.

E1 is the pace rating of the horse from the start to the first call, and E2 is the pace rating of the horse from the start to the second call.

LP is the pace rating of the horse from the second call to the finish of the race.

Beyer Figures, Speed and Track Variant

The Beyer Speed Figures, a well-known staple at Daily Racing Form, are complemented by the publication's pure Speed Rating and Track Variant figures, explained succinctly as follows.

The Speed Rating is a comparison of a horse's final time with the best time at the distance at that track in the last three years. The best time is given a rating of 100. One point is deducted for each fifth of a second by which a horse fails to equal that time.

To compute the Track Variant, the Speed Ratings of all winners in each type of race on a card are added together and an average is computed, which is deducted from 100. The lower the Track Variant, the faster the track, or the better the overall quality of competition that day, according to the Form. Conversely, a higher track variant almost always means a slow track.

Tomlinson Figures

Tomlinson numbers rate a horse's off-track potential based on progeny of the sire and maternal grandsire. The higher the number, the better. A rating of 320+ means the horse merits further consideration as one that could run particularly well over a wet track. The rating is to be used with horses trying mud or slop for the first, second or third time. Runners whose sire and/or damsire have relatively small samples (fewer than 80 runners), are listed with an asterisk (*), and the rating is not necessarily reliable. Tomlinson's are published by Daily Racing Form as a "wet" rating.

The following runners have wet dirt track racing experience. All races were on tracks rated sloppy unless indicated otherwise:

On a track rated good at Oaklawn Park, Archarcharch finished fourth, beaten 13 lengths in the Smarty Jones Stakes going a mile.

Decisive Moment debuted on a good track at Calder and won by a head. Second time out, he was fourth by 6 1/4 but moved up to third after being bumped hard twice.

On a track rated wet-fast at Santa Anita, Midnight Interlude broke his maiden by 8 1/2 lengths going a mile in 1:36 1/5.

Pants on Fire broke his maiden by seven lengths going a mile timed in 1:40 3/5 at Delaware Park. He led throughout.

Santiva was third behind Soldat's second in his debut on a good track at Saratoga.

Soldat: (1) on a muddy track at Belmont in his debut, he was second; (2) on a good track at Saratoga in his second outing, he was second by a wider margin; (3) he won an allowance at Guflstream Park by 10 3/4 lengths going 1 1/8 mile in 1:49 1/5.

Stay Thirsty was second to Sovereign Default in his debut on a good track at Belmont.

On a wet-fast track at Santa Anita, Twice the Appeal broke his maiden in a $30K claimer by 4 1/4 lengths going seven furlongs.

Watch Me Go was fifth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths in the Dr. Fager last year at Calder.

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