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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®


The Downey Profile: Overview and Construction

Description and Application of The Downey Profile® Based on Our 43-Year Study

Comprehensive Data Entries Since 1973
Do winners of the Kentucky Derby have factors in common more prevalent than non-winners? They do. In its history, The Downey Profile® has identified over a dozen such factors, and we have determined their rate of frequency in all starters since the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Winners have a higher rate of occurrence of these factors than non-winners.

All but two of the factors have existed all years of the study. One factor, Beyer speed ratings, has existed for the past 24 years; and a factor involving certain major Derby prep races has been applied over the past 36 years. This has resulted in over 9,000 entries in our factor charts, entries that have been checked, double-checked, and triple-checked. We guarantee the accuracy of our findings.

The Downey Profile ranks horses starting in each year's Kentucky Derby. It's a completely objective Kentucky Derby Ranking Profile built on weighted performance and pedigree factors more common to winners than non-winners of the Kentucky Derby, based on our study that dates back to 1973.

The Downey Profile narrows down the Kentucky Derby field to a Top Four. In a field of 20, which is now commonplace, we eliminate 80% of the field to try and find our winner. We also utilize a Profile Busters Profile that's produced several winners.


Application of the Profile to Wagering
Building the Downey Profile is a matter of determining which horses have the highest total of factor weights. Twenty-nine of the past 43 runnings of the Kentucky Derby have been won by a horse ranked in our Top Four by utilizing those factor weights. The factor weights are updated annually.

Occasionally there is a tie for the highweight. A $2 win bet on our top-ranked horse for the past 43 years cost $94.00, if you bet both of the highweights in the four years there has been a tie, the return on those bets is $161.20.

Along these same lines, a $2 win-place-show bet on our top-ranked horse over the same time period cost $282.00, and yields $341.00.

Boxing our top four horses (five if there's a tie for fourth*) in a $2 exacta wager** over the same time frame cost $1,084.00 and yields $1,961.60.

Compare betting favorites. A $2 win bet on the post-time favorite each year over the same time period cost $88.00 -- there was a virtual tie for lowest odds one year -- and yields $103.80. Along these same lines, a $2 win-place-show bet on the post-time favorite over the same time period cost $264.00 and yields $269.20.

A $2 exacta box of the four lowest post-time odds horses yields $588.40** while costing $1,032.00. Additional anecdotal evidence of the predictive nature of the Profile appears below.

Still interested?

*For the first and only time in our study, three horses tied for fourth ranking in 2006, and the resulting six-horse $2 exacta box cost $60.00. There was a two-way tie for the fourth-ranked spot in 2001, resulting in a five-horse box wager costing $40.

**Exacta wagering was unavailable in the Derby prior to 1985. Payoffs in those years are estimated by multiplying the win payoff on the win horse times the place payoff on the place horse.

Recent Revisions to Factors

1.    Synthetic track performance has necessarily figured into our calculations, but one change we made, effective in 2011, was the elimination of performance in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park (formerly the Lane's End Stakes) as a factor. In 2010, Dean's Kitten won the Lane's End and wound up ranked on top of the Downey Profile Top Four. We did not pick him in our top four selections for the Kentucky Derby, and he did not run well in the Derby. There were other similar examples in prior years. As fate would have it, in 2011 Animal Kingdom won the Spiral and the Kentucky Derby. However, despite the fact he didn't get points in The Downey Profile for winning the Spiral, Animal Kingdom still somehow made the Top Four of the Profile.

In 2010, Stately Victor won the Blue Grass run on Keeneland's synthetic main track, and he ranked third in the Top Four. We did not use him at all in the Derby. Brilliant Speed, the 2011 Blue Grass winner, was also ranked in our Top Four, and we didn't use him, either. We have retained the Blue Grass as a Profile factor, however, because Street Sense performed well in it in 2007 -- on a synthetic track -- and then won the Kentucky Derby; and because we hope the Blue Grass will attract top talent now that Keeneland has returned its main track to a dirt surface.

Sidney's Candy was yet another synthetic-track horse (Santa Anita) in our Top Four in 2010. He got stuck with a horrible post position in the Derby and finished way up the track. Santa Anita reverted to a dirt surface in 2011.

With these adjustments -- elimination of the Spiral, and Keeneland's and Santa Anita's return to a dirt main track -- our thought is that synthetic specialists won't be as prominent in the Profile.

2.     Before 2011, a component of our Performance Points factors had always included this one: "raced three or four times at age three before the Derby." As of 2011, the trend had gravitated away from this method of training. Super Saver (2010), Mine That Bird (2009), Big Brown (2008) and Street Sense (2007) each started only twice at age three before the Derby. The five Derby winners prior to 2007 each started either three or four times at age three before the Derby. Starting in 2011, Animal Kingdom (2011) and I'll Have Another (2012) won the Kentucky Derby off two prior starts at age three. Orb (2013) had three prior starts at age three, and California Chrome (2014) also had three prior starts at age three. While Orb ranked fifth in The Downey Profile. California Chrome ranked third. American Pharoah (2015) started two times at age three before the Kentucky Derby.

Before the 2011 Derby, we studied the previous 10 years (2001-2010) and determined the weights that result from both "raced three or four times" and "raced two times." The results mandated that we award points if the horse started two times before the Derby at age three, and that is what we are doing. Our baseline year remains 2001, and the factor weight is updated annually.

3.    Before the 2013 Derby, we dropped the following factor: The horse had six or more prior lifetime starts. Based on the previous 40 runnings of the Derby, this factor had a weight of only 1.02, rendering it virtually neutral as a factor.

4.    Through 2015, a factor in the Downey Profile was "horse is a dual qualifier." This factor has been used throughout our study, for many years we only utilized a factor weight based on the years since 1988, when the Dual Qualifer method began to deteriorate. The factor would have been given undue importance had we weighted it going back to 1973, an era when dual qualifiers absolutely dominated the Kentucky Derby. In 2015, American Pharoah's dosage index was 4.33, and he was therefore not a Dual Qualifier because his dosage index exceeded 4.00.  He of course still won the Derby. With his victory, our study since 1988 yields a weight of only 1.05 for this factor, rendering it virtually neutral in importance. We discontinued its use in 2016.

Anecdotal and Residual Results of Application of the Downey Profile

In addition to being an objective predictor of success in the Kentucky Derby, The Downey Profile is also proficient in predicting success in the other two legs of the Triple Crown, as well as later major stakes races. The key is to not give up on your horse.

The Profile focuses on its Top Four in the Kentucky Derby. Our study encompasses all runnings of the Kentucky Derby since 1973.

Let's take a look back.


American Pharoah, a Top Four horse in the Downey Profile, won the Kentucky Derby and became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.  Dortmund ranked at the top of The Downey Profile and finished third in the Kentucky Derby. He won a minor stake and a grade III later in the year, but some physical issues kept him away from racing as this was posted in 2016. Carpe Diem was ranked in the Top Four, and he was retired after running poorly in the Kentucky Derby. Materiality was ranked fourth and he was retired after running poorly in the Belmont Stakes. Frosted, the fifth-ranked horse, went on to accomplish some things and is still in training.


Caliornia Chrome, a Top Four horse in The Downey Profile, won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He ran a heck of a race in the Breeders' Cup Classic, coming up just short of the win. Some would say the top two finishers should have been disqualified, but they weren't, and that's that. California Chrome went on to win the Grade I Hollywood Derby on turf. The remaining Top Four: Samraat hasn't been seen racing since the Belmont Stakes. Danza, who may have been robbed of second place in the Derby after he was clobbered by stable mate Vinceremos early in the race, needed a long time before he could return to timed workouts. Chitu looks like one of the best middle distance horses in the country.


This wasn't a good year for residual results in 2013. The Top 4 -- Overanalyze, Java's War, Normandy Invasion and Revolutionary -- didn't do much the remainder of that year. In 2014, only Revolutionary impacted graded stakes races, winning the Grade III Pimlico Special and placing in the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap.


Number four Union Rags, Downey's pick to win the Derby, was compromised at the gate break; but he went on to win the Belmont Stakes. Dullahan, ranked number two in the Profile, finished third in the Kentucky Derby and won the Grade I Pacific Classic. Number three Creative Cause, whom we determined was a nervous animai Derby week, still managed to finish fifth in the Derby and third in the Preakness before being retired. Gemologist was ranked number one in the Profile but something went wrong with him and he was retired not long after the summer classics.


After winning the Derby, Animal Kingdom finished second in the Preakness, second in the Breeders' Cup Mile, second in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and won the Group 1 Dubai World Cup. Brilliant Speed was our top-ranked horse and finished third in the Belmont Stakes, won the Grade III Saranac, was second in the Grade I Jamaica, third in the Breeders' Cup Turf, third in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap and third in the Grade II Bowling Green Stakes. Comma to the Top is kind of a footnote. Poor old Archarcharch, whom we thought had the best pre-Derby workout, drew the one-hole, was hurt during the running of the Derby and was subsequently retired.


Super Saver wasn't in The Downey Profile Top Four in 2010, but we did have him in our top three selections for the Kentucky Derby on our Subscription Page because we could see how well he was training at Churchill Downs the week of the race. Ice Box was ranked second in our Top Four and we picked him to win. They ran one-two, and the exacta paid $152.40.

Super Saver was retired not long after the Derby. Ice Box peaked in the Derby and was never the same again.


Top-ranked Pioneerof the Nile finished second in the Kentucky Derby at 6-1 odds and then ran up the track in the Preakness. He was subsequently retired.

Third-ranked Papa Clem finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby at 12-1 odds and had only moderate success afterward, finishing fourth in the Grade I Haskell, third in a grade I and winning a grade II before retirement.

West Side Bernie ranked second in the Profile and finished ninth in the Derby, but he was then purchased for a large sum and taken to Dubai. He raced twice after that, accomplishing nothing, and he's not been heard from since July, 2010.

Since his Kentucky Derby, when he didn't fare well, General Quarters has, among other things, won the Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs; finished second in the Grade III Mineshaft and Grade II New Orleans Handicap; and finished third in the Grade I Stephen Foster.


Third-ranked Colonel John went on to win the most important 3-year-old race at Saratoga, the Travers Stakes, in a scintillating stretch effort. Second-ranked Tale of Ekati won the Grade II Jerome and the Grade I Cigar Mile later in 2008.


After a poor effort in the Derby, Nobiz Like Shobiz finished second in the Grade II Swaps, then was switched to turf and won the Grade II Hall of Fame Stakes, Grade III Kent Breeders' Cup and Grade II Jamaica Handicap. He registered a fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile but was eighth in the Grade I Hollywood Derby.

Scat Daddy was tied for top rank but was hurt during the running of the Kentucky Derby and was retired.

Sam P. was ranked third but never awakened from his mental slumber.

Fourth-ranked Any Given Saturday was compromised by post 18 in the Kentucky Derby, was probably the victim of a minor injury during the race -- he finished eighth. After recovering, he reeled off wins in the Grade II Dwyer, Grade I Haskell and Grade II Brooklyn before finishing sixth on a sloppy track in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Street Sense ranked sixth in The Downey Profile but would have been in the Top Four had he won the Blue Grass Stakes by a nose instead of losing it by a nose.


Barbaro, ranked third in the Downey Profile, looked to have a decent chance to win the Triple Crown, but he sustained a devastating injury in the first stretch run of the Preakness.

Jazil was in our Top Four and went on to win the Belmont Stakes.
Brother Derek, who was top-ranked, did not go on to do much.

Bob and John, who was second-ranked, turned out much the same as Brother Derek.

Afleet Alex, the Downey Profile number one-ranked horse, lost the Kentucky Derby by one length. He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and was easily the nation's top three-year-old.

Flower Alley, who was ranked third, won the Jim Dandy Stakes before defeating Bellamy Road in the 1 1/4 mile Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The Travers is, of course, known as the "Mid-Summer Derby." Flower Alley closed out his 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Buzzards Bay was ranked fourth in the Downey Profile and finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby at 41-1 odds after mounting a rally coming out of the far turn. His owners' partnership subsequently dissolved, he was sold, and he showed spotty performance afterward.


Smarty Jones was in our Top Four and won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.  He finished second by a heart-breaking length in the Belmont Stakes and was retired.

The Cliff's Edge led the Profile Rankings, and although he was fifth in the Kentucky Derby after reportedly losing a shoe in the race, he went to finish second in the Travers Stakes, Jim Dandy Stakes and Dwyer Stakes before being retired in 2004 with physical problems. 

Imperialism  was second-ranked in 2004 and validated himself with a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Third-ranked Borrego had a monster year in 2005, winning the Pacific Classic at 20-1 odds, followed with a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.


Fourth-ranked Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and was third in the Belmont Stakes.

Second-ranked Empire Maker was second in the Kentucky Derby and won the Belmont. He skipped the Preakness.

Third-ranked Ten Most Wanted was second in the Belmont and won the Travers. He skipped the Preakness.

Second-, third- and fourth-ranked Empire Maker, Ten Most Wanted and Funny Cide ran one-two-three in the Belmont.

Top-ranked Buddy Gil flopped in the Derby; developed physical problems, skipped other big three-year-old races; and was retired.


Top-ranked Medaglia d’Oro ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby and eighth in the Preakness. Bettors gave up on him, and he ran second in the Belmont Stakes at 16-1 odds. He subsequently won the Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes. The following year he won the Whitney, the Oaklawn Handicap and the Strub. He finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2002 and 2003, and was second in the Dubai World Cup.

Third-ranked Came Home ran fifth in the Derby but won the Swaps, the Affirmed, and the 1 1/4 mile Pacific Classic later in the year.

Fourth-ranked Perfect Drift ran third in the Kentucky Derby and tailed off later, only to come back and defeat Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster the following year, as well as winning the Hawthorne Gold Cup, Kentucky Cup Classic and the Washington Park Handicap.

Second-ranked Harlan’s Holiday earned over $3 million dollars before being retired.


Top-ranked Point Given ran fifth in a Kentucky Derby that no one will ever be able to explain. He then reeled off four consecutive Grade I wins: Preakness, Belmont, Haskell, Travers.

Second-ranked Monarchos won the Kentucky Derby. He was ranked number one in our separate Performance Points Only category, which does not utilize any pedigree-related factors.

Third-ranked Congaree finished third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was still running at age six, and earned over $3.2 million dollars including winning the Swaps, the 1 1/4 mile Hollywood Gold Cup and twice winning the Cigar Mile before being retired.


A strange year for the Profile. While he did not rank in the top four of our base Profile, the Total Points Category, Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was number one in our Performance Points Only Category.


Top-ranked Cat Thief was third in the Kentucky Derby and later won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, paying $41.20.

The Kentucky Derby Subscription Page and Preakness + Belmont Package
Whether you're an experienced handicapper or a novice, The Downey Profile gives you an edge in the Kentucky Derby. It's the centerpiece of our original Kentucky Derby Subscription Page.
Dick Downey is at Churchill Downs with the track clockers, very early in the morning, for a full week before the Kentucky Derby in order to assess which horses are training well over the track.

We build The Downey Profile on the Kentucky Derby Subscription Page. There is a one-time annual charge for this Subscription. In 2015, we added a second Subscription Page, and there was a good response. The 2016 Subscription service got off to a late start, and only the original product is offered. Membership in our original Kentucky Derby Subscription Page provides:
--The Downey Profile Rankings, continuously built as we progress toward the Kentucky Derby.
--Description of how to play the Profile
--Profile Busters Profile with possible Profile Busters
--Our exclusive NOTES about Kentucky Derby prep races where we break down internal fractions and comment on the performances
--Condensed dosage listings for a multitude of 3-year-olds
--Commentary about the type of running style we consider essential to winning the Kentucky Derby
--Other features we hope you enjoy.

The Downey Profile Rankings are published on a continuing basis, starting with the opening of the Kentucky Derby Subscription Page. The rankings will be maintained through the day of the Kentucky Derby. Unexpected defections can affect the final rankings, and it is not unusual for that to happen late in the game. We will stay on top of it so that accurate final rankings will be online on Derby Day.

A couple of days before the Derby, selections for the race are posted by Dick Downey and Greg "The Commish" Johnson.

At no additonal cost, we also offer, as part of your Subscription, the Preakness + Belmont Package, loaded with statistical trends of those two races since 1973, and selections by Dick Downey and Greg "The Commish" Johnson.


All prices are one-time annual subscription fees. To subscribe, click the Join Now button on the left sidebar.


Membership in the Kentucky Derby Subscription Page and Preakness + Belmont Package--$24.95. This is a $3.00 reduction from the 2014 rate and is $8.00 less than we charged at this time of year in 2015. We reduced the rate from last year because the Subscription coverage is a shorter period of time.


About Our Free Pages
We offer, without charge, numerous free pages containing information that's easy to find. Take a little time to review the Hone page and the left-hand sidebar, which shows our menu of Derby subjects.

Traditonally, Dick's Picks and "The Commish" provide free handicapping analysis of numerous races on the road the the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown. You'll also find Dick's Picks at Bloodhorse.com's Triple Crown Mania Channel.

The best way to use the site is to familiarize yourself with all the pages up front, so that the information you want will always be at your fingertips. The site is easy to navigate.

How The Downey Profile Fared: Runnings Since 2003


American Pharoah ranked number three and was Downey's pick to win all three Triple Crown races. Dortmund was ranked number one and ran third in the Derby. Frosted was ranked number four and ran fourth in the Derby. Carpe Diem, the second-ranked horse, wasn't used in Downey's top five selections, and he ran up the track. He was put in the sixth spot after International Star was scratched. Materiality was ranked fourth and Downey didn't use him. Firing Line didn't rank all that well, but he was highly touted in the selections. Downey also used Danzig Moon in selections and he ran fifth. Downey's top five selections ran one-through-five in the Derby.


California Chrome was ranked number three and was Downey's pick to win the Kentucky Derby, and he won. Danza, who was ranked number two in the Downey Profile and who was the backup choice to win if California Chrome faltered, finished third. His chances were compromised when stable mate Vinceremos slammed into him early in the race. Samraat, the top-ranked horse in The Downey Profile,  was our third choice and finished fifth.


Orb, the Derby winner (ranked number 5 in The Downey Profile) was a Profile Buster horse and became the third Profile Buster in the last four years to win the Kentucky Derby. Overanalyze (number 1) put in a brilliant workout six days before the Derby, but he was flat in the race. Java's War (number 2) had some physical issues that seemed to catch up with him. Normandy Invasion (number 3) finished fourth. Revolutionary (number 4) finished third.


Number four Union Rags was Downey's selection to win the Derby. Two strides out of the gate, he was done. Profile Buster horses I'll Have Another were one-two in the Derby and the Preakness. Dullahan, ranked number two, finished third in the Derby. Number three-ranked Creative Cause finished fifth. Gemologist, ranked number one, finished sixteenth.


Animal Kingdom won the Derby with a Top Four ranking in the Downey Profile. Top rated Brilliant Speed finished seventh. Poor Old Archarcharch unluckily drew the rail and finished fifteenth. Comma to the Top checked in last.


Ice Box ranked second in our Total Points category and first in our Performance Points Only category. He ran second in the Derby after being blocked multiple times in the stretch and returned $11.20 to place and $8.00 to show. An ascending bet of $150 to win, $200 to place and $250 to show returned $2,120.


Pioneerof the Nile was our top-ranked horse and was picked to win the Kentucky Derby by Downey. He finished second after 50-1 shot Mine That Bird came up the rail to take the race.

At 6-1, Pioneerof the Nile paid $8.40 to place and $6.40 to show. An ascending bet of $150 to win, $200 to place and $250 to show returned $1,640.00.

Papa Clem ranked third and finished fourth.

The fourth rule of play we recommend states:

"Examine horses that jump in rank from the Total Points Category  to the Performance Points Only Category...."

We gave little regard to the fact that Mine That Bird jumped from 16th in the Total Points Category to 10th in the Performance Points Only Category. In the end, he stitll ranked 10th at best. Lesson learned.

West Side Bernie ranked second, we put him fifth in our picks, and he finished ninth.

General Quarters ranked fourth, but Dick's Picks put him sixth. He finished tenth.


2008 was one of the few tough years The Downey Profile has experienced. Third-ranked Colonel John, our choice to win, got into heavy traffic trouble the opening quarter mile. By the time he shook loose, he was out of contention and finished sixth.

Tale of Ekati, ranked second in the Profile, finished fourth in the Derby.

Big Brown, the winner, ranked seventh. He was the 2.4-1 Derby favorite, and we reasoned that it wasn't our job to tout this particular favorite in the Kentucky Derby. His bad feet were an issue that hounded him his entire career, and the reason that was given for his non-participation in Breeders' Cup. Why he lost the Belmont Stakes is a debate that will not end in our lifetimes.

Second finisher Eight Belles, whose loss cast a pall over Derby 134, ranked only ninth in The Downey Profile.


Nobiz Like Shobiz and Scat Daddy were tied for top spot in the Downey Profile Rankings, and they were picked on top. Street Sense was the next choice in Dick Downey's final picks.

In Our Short Comments Two Days Before the Derby: "Had (Street Sense) won the Blue Grass by a nose instead of losing it by a nose, he would be a Top Four horse in the Downey Profile. As things stand, he's ranked sixth. Considering he's only raced twice at age two--a significant drawback in the Downey Profile--his ranking is very good, and would be phenomenal but for a nose."

From our Profile Busters Profile Section: "In eight of the last 34 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the Profile has gone bust--that is to say, none of our top four horses made it to the winner’s circle. We've identified some themes tying some of these winners together.

"Hard Spun meets five of the PBP factors and leads all others....   Street Sense meets four of the PBP factors."


The second rule of play we recommended prior to the 2006 Kentucky Derby stated: "Pick one of the top four Profile horses in the Total Points Category to win and back it up across the board if that is your style.  Top 4 horses have won 25 of the last 33 runnings of the Kentucky Derby."

For the 26th time in the previous 34 years, a horse from The Downey Profile Top Four won the Kentucky Derby. BARBARO ranked third in The Downey Profile. He was not the personal choice of publisher Dick Downey, whose pick, second-ranked BOB AND JOHN, encountered heavy traffic and finished a dull 17th. BARBARO, in contrast, got into handy position entering the first turn and made a far turn move to take the lead in upper stretch.

Top-ranked BROTHER DEREK dead-heated for fourth with JAZIL, who was co-fourth weight in the Downey Profile. The result: Three of the Derby top five finishers came from the Downey Profile Top Four. Second and third finishers BLUEGRASS CAT and STEPPENWOLFER ranked 10th and 18th, respectively, in the Downey Profile.


The Downey Profile uses a Base Profile, called the Total Points Category, composed of both performance and pedigree factors. There is a backup Profile, called the Performance Points Only Category, which eliminates all pedigree factors and employs only performance factors.

The fourth rule of play we recommended prior to the 2005 Kentucky Derby stated:

"Examine horses that jump in rank from the Total Points Category  to the Performance Points Only Category.  In 2004, Limehouse did just that, jumping from mid-pack in Total Points to a number 5 Ranking in Performance Points. He rounded out the superfecta with a fourth place finish at odds of 41-1."

In our notes and picks immediately prior to the 2005 Kentucky Derby, we wrote: 

--"Giacomo is the best bridesmaid in the country."
--"Giacomo moves up from thirteenth in the Total Points Profile (to fifth in the Performance Points Category); consistently hits board."

Giacomo won the  2005 Kentucky Derby at 50-1 odds, the second-highest odds winner in the history of the race.

The Downey Profile ranked Afleet Alex number one in both categories. He was our pick to win the 2005 Kentucky Derby. He finished third, beaten one length, then went on to crush his opponents in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Closing Argument finished second in the 2005 Kentucky Derby. He was sent off by bettors at 71-1 odds. Likewise, he did not figure in the Downey Profile.

The 2005 Kentucky Derby exacta paid $9,814,80, the trifecta $133,134.80. Yours truly had Afleet Alex and Giacomo all over his tickets but did not pair up either of those two with Closing Argument.


Smarty Jones ranked in our Top Four in 2004, and we picked him to win. Not to boast, but we called the way the race would play out, with Smarty laying just off Lion Heart's speed, taking the lead near the top of the stretch, and racing a straight line to the wire.


Both Funny Cide and Empire Maker made the Top Four. They made up the exacta, which paid $97.00.

The Factors Are Weighted
Each of the factors is weighted. We can't tell you the weights of them all, or we'd have nothing to sell you. But we are happy to tell you one, and to explain the weighting process.
Example: The Beyer factor

The Beyer speed ratings are published by the Daily Racing Form and were created by Andrew Beyer, the noted turf writer. The Beyer ratings were first applied to Kentucky Derby starters in 1992.

The Beyer factor is this: the horse ran at least a 100 Beyer figure in each of its final two starts before the Derby.

From 1992 through 2004, eight winners and a total of only 60 starters had the Beyer factor; five winners and a total of 164 starters did not. The ratio of winners to starters with the factor over that time frame was 4.37 times greater than the ratio of winners to starters without the factor. The weight assigned to the Beyer factor in 2005 was 4.37.

The Remaining Factors
This same statistical analysis has been applied to the remaining factors:
--Running style.
--Whether or not horse won at a mile or greater at age two.
--Whether or not horse broke his (or hers, for the infrequent filly) maiden within first three starts.
--Whether or not horse had final two-year-old race in October, November or December.
--Whether or not horse raced in January at age three.
--Total number of career starts (discontinued in 2013).
--Won or placed in any of five specific major Kentucky Derby prep races (we eliminated the Lane's End, now the Spiral, from this category in 2011).
--How the horse ranks in earnings per start in three-year-old campaign, excluding the UAE Derby.
--The number of starts at age three.
--Whether or not horse has dosage index of 4.00 or less.
--Whether horse has required dosage stamina points or has dominant classicity in the dosage profile.
--Whether horse is a dual qualifier (discontinued in 2016).
--One factor discontinued in 2006 was this: Whether or not horse has dosage index of 3.00 or less. Due to the continuing industry trend of breeding for speed as opposed to stamina, horses with a dosage index above 3.00 and those with an index below 3.00 were at that point weighted virtually equally in our study.
Last year, we made a promise that we'd revisit this factor after the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and we've done that. From 2006 through 2013, six of the eight winners had a dosage index of 3.00 or less, or 75% of all winners. However, the percentage of all starters with a dosage index of 3.00 or less was virtually identical to the percentage of winners. Therefore, we will continue not applying this factor.

Profile Busters Profile
In 14 of the last 43 runnings, The Downey Profile has not produced a winner in its Top Four ranked horses. We have examined what happened, and we've determined some threads of commonality that have resulted in the Profile Busters Profile. This information is included in the Kentucky Derby Subscription Page.

From our 2007 Subscription Page, Profile Busters Profile Section: "Hard Spun meets five of the PBP factors and leads all others....   Street Sense meets four of the PBP factors." Street Sense won, Hard Spun was second.

From our 2008 Subscription Page: "Adriano, Big Brown, Gayego and Recapturetheglory lead the Profile Busters Profile, with each having four Profile Busting factors. Big Brown won; Recapturetheglory was fifth.

In 2010, we identified three Profile Busters. One of them, Endorsement, defected late. One of them, Conveyance, was the speed and had no chance. The other one was the winner, Super Saver.
In 2012, Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another was a Profile Buster Profile horse, as was second finsher Bodemeister. Third finisher Dullahan was a Downey Profile Top 4 horse. I'll Have Another and Bodemeister repeated their one-two finish in the Preakness, and Downey Profile Top 4 horse Creative Cause was third. Union Rags, a Downey Profile Top 4 horse, won the Belmont Stakes. Optimizer was the only other Derby horse to run in the Belmont.
In 2013, Kentucky Derby winner Orb was a Profile Buster, making the 139th running of the Derby the third time in four years that a Profile Buster won the race. Oxbow (the Preakness winner) and Palace Malice (the Belmont winner) were not Profile Busters.

Demise, Rebirth and Further Demise of the Dual Qualifier
Dual Qualifiers were examined in our Kentucky Derby study. That theory ended a long winning streak in 1988, when the D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly Winning Colors won. Before that, all 15 winners in our study were Dual Qualifiers. From 1988 through 2006, Dual Qualifiers won only five times in 19 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. Until Street Sense won in 2007, Silver Charm (1997) had been the last dual qualifier to win the Kentucky Derby. Super Saver helped breathe further life back into the concept when he won in 2010, but none of the winners since then have been dual qualifiers.

Still, the Downey Profile utilized the Dual Qualifier status of a horse as a factor through 2015 -- though we limited its weight to that based on only the past 27 runnings due to its demise as a predictor -- because, in spite of its demise, it still yielded a positve weight factor. In 2015, American Pharoah became yet again another non-Dual Qualifier to win the Derby, rendering the weight of this factor based on the last 28 runnings to only 1.05. It's therefore become a neutral factor and is not being used in 2016.

Dick Downey Bio
Dick Downey, owner and publisher of The Downey Profile, is a native Kentuckian who practiced law in south-Central Kentucky from 1977 to 2012. At the close of 2005, he retired from private practice after 28 years. In 2006, he began representing low-income clients in civil cases -- no criminal cases -- at Kentucky Legal Aid. After seven years at Kentucky Legal Aid, he retired again. In March 2014, Downey was appointed to serve as a Circuit Judge in Bowling Green, Kentucky to complete the unexpired term of the late Margaret Huddleston. He did not see election to the office and is now retired for the third time.
Downey was introduced to Thoroughbred racing in the 1960’s by his parents, Doug and and the late Betty Downey, who took him and their other children to the races at Churchill Downs and Keeneland.

In the 1990‘s, he became interested in Jennie Rees’ writings in the Louisville Courier-Journal about Kentucky Derby winner trends -- factors, as he calls them. In 1997, he first formed the idea to rank Kentucky Derby contenders by assigning a single point for each of a few factors that were present to a greater or lesser degree in that year’s group of starters, and the approach worked.

Curious as to whether these factors were statistically significant, he began an in-depth research project that consumed several hundred hours over the next few years. As time passed, he discovered that some of the factors he had first used could be validated and that others could not be -- and he found several more factors. The end result is The Downey Profile®, a qualitative analysis of the Kentucky Derby that has a positive application to the reality of the world‘s most difficult race to handicap.

The Downey Profile has been recognized under federal law and was awarded a Service Mark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2008. The Mark was renewed in 2013.

John Cameron is a Louisville businessman who believed that Downey was onto something. In 2002, he encouraged Downey to start a website focused on the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Downey’s studies. The website, which is seasonal, has been published every year since.

The connection of The Downey Profile to Bloodhorse.com was the brainchild of Ron Mitchell, Bloodhorse.com's online editor. Mitchell provided Downey with a blend of support and healthy skepticism during the developmental years, and their relationship continued through 2014. Downey changed the way his website is presented in 2015. He remains best of friends with Mitchell and still enjoys a great relationship with The Blood-Horse.

Downey has been involved in racing partnerships. The first was with Team Valor and the ill-fated Rodman. Since then, he's focused on more local ventures, the most successful one involving Techno Vision, a filly who was outstanding in the claiming ranks in Kentucky, and who was retired with a pulled suspensory ligament after winning five of 16 career starts and paying her own way.

Downey is completely hooked and is among credentialed media at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness annually, sometimes the Belmont Stakes -- he was there in 2015 -- and sometimes the Breeders' Cup. Along with his wife, the ever-patient Cindy, he regularly attends racing meets at Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Ellis Park, Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Saratoga, and, last but not least, the fall meet at Kentucky Downs. He and Cindy have ventured overseas to attend the Irish Derby at Curragh and the Arc d'Triomphe at Longchamp.

Downey earned his undergraduate degree at Davidson College in 1973 and attended the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating in 1977. He began the private practiced of law then. As for The Downey Profile, he’s self-taught.


The Downey Profile is owned by The Downey Profile © 2003-2017

The Downey Profile® was awarded a Service Mark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2008. Renewed 2013.