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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby Horses at The Downey Profile®

Derby Points: Moderate Bump in Prep Runners

4/16/2013

By Dick Downey
@DowneyProfile


We take a look back at the 2013 Kentucky Derby Trail to determine whether the new points system attracted more horses to the prep races for the first Saturday in May.

Our study begins with Feb. 23, when the Grade II Besilu Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Grade II Risen Star Stakes kicked off the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Derby points ratcheted up from 17 to 85 per race at that point.

We've excluded the Group 2 UAE Derby from the study, resulting in an examination of 14 races in the U. S. concluding with the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Grade I Arkansas Derby.

The bottom line is that a few more horses ran in these races compared to the averages from 2009 to 2012. In 2013, there were a total of 147 starters in the 14 races, compared to an average of 136.5 during the previous four years. Thus, average field size grew from 9.75 to 10.5. See chart below for details.

Broken down by race-by-race, we see the following:

The Risen Star averaged 11.50 starters in 2009 through 2012. This year, there were 12.

The Fountain of Youth averaged 8.75 starters during the same time period and drew nine starters this year.

The Gotham Stakes drew 9.75 on average the past four years and had 11 this year.

The Tampa Bay Derby averaged 9.25 starters between 2009 and 2012, and it had nine this year.

The San Felipe Stakes, the most lightly populated of the first five races, had 8.25 starters per year during the prior four years. Eight ran this year.

The Rebel Stakes averaged 9.25 and drew 11 starters this year.

The Spiral, formerly the Lane's End, had 12 starters this year, the maximum, and one more than it averaged the previous four years.

The Sunland Derby moved in the opposite direction with nine starters this year, one less than its prior four-year average.

The Florida Derby, surprisingly, only averageed 8.5 starters per year from 2009 to 2012. This year it had 10.

They really ran for the points in the Louisiana Derby, rising from an average of 11.75 to 14 starters this year.

The Wood Memorial made a similar move, growing from an average of 7.75 to 10 starters.

The Santa Anita Derby stayed pretty much in place. Eight ran this year after an average 8.75 the previous four.

The Toyota Blue Grass maxed out with 14 starters compared to an average 11.25 in the previous four years.

And the Arkansas Derby turned out much like the Santa Anita Derby. It had 10 starters last Saturday compared to a four-year average of 10.75 the previous four years.

Race Starters 2009 Starters 2010 Starters 2011 Starters 2012 Total Starters -- 4 yrs  Avg. starters per year --4 yrs Starters 2013
               
RISEN STAR STAKES  13  12  10  11  46  11.50  12
               
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH STAKES  10  10  8  7  35  8.75  9
               
GOTHAM
STAKES
 9  10  7  13  39  9.75  11
               
TAMPA BAY DERBY  10  7  9  11  37  9.25  9
               
SAN FELIPE STAKES  6  7  10  10  33  8.25  8
               
REBEL STAKES  9  7  9  12  37  9.25  11
               
SPIRAL STAKES  12  9  11  12  44  11  12
               
SUNLAND DERBY  12  9  11  8  40  10  9
               
FLORIDA DERBY  7  11  8  8  34  8.5  10
               
LOUISIANA DERBY  9  13  12  13  47  11.75  14
               
WOOD MEMORIAL  8  6  9  8  31  7.75  10
               
SANTA ANITA DERBY  7  10  9  9  35  8.75  8
               
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS  11  9  12  13  45  11.25  14
               
ARKANSAS DERBY  10  9  13  11  43  10.75  10
               
TOTALS  133  129  138  146  546  136.5  147

 

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