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Horse Racing, Kentucky Downs Horses at The Downey Profile®

Derby by the Speed Numbers

Or, Who'll Get to the Eighth Pole First

4/29/2014

By Dick Downey
@DowneyProfile

In 55 of the last 59 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. In all, 42 of the last 59 winners, or 71%, were on the lead at the eighth pole.

In 2013, Orb was second, 2 1/2 lengths off the lead at the eighth pole. In 2012, I'll Have Another was second, three lengths off the lead with a furlong left in the Derby. In 2011, Animal Kingdom didn't make this stat, but he was about as close as you can get -- third by by 1 1/2 length at the eighth pole. In 2010, Super Saver was two lengths the best at the final furlong marker. 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 at the eighth pole. 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 at that moment.

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

Only 1 1/8-mile races run on dirt or synthetic at age 3 are presented*

*UAE Derby is 1 3/16 mile. No UAE Derby horses in 2014.

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

Horse 3YO 9F Race Placement Win Time Bris E1, E2, LP Bris Beyer Speed-TV Wet Track
                 
California Chrome SA Derby 1st by 5 1/4 1:47 2/5 103, 110, 97 106 107 95-10 390
Candy Boy SA Derby 3d by 8 3/4 1:47 2/5 102, 109, 80 96 92 86-10 418
Chitu Sunland Derby 1st by 2 1/4 1:47 4/5 91, 104, 96 103 102 98-12 421
Commanding Curve La, Derby 3d by 5 1:50 3/5 84, 102, 91 98 89 80-11 358
Dance With Fate El Camino Real 2d by 1/2 1:51 1/5 68, 73, 103 89 90 95-08 339*
Dance With Fate Blue Grass 1st by 1 3/4 1:50 96, 92, 101 99 97 83-23   "
Danza Arkansas Derby 1st by 4 3/4 1:49 3/5 89, 97, 106 104 102 95-08 397
General a Rod Florida Derby 3d by 1 1/2 1:49 81, 90, 97 95 97 92-09 394
Harry's Holiday Spiral 2d by nose 1:52 1/5 116, 115, 68 93 85 95-09 385
Harry's Holiday Blue Grass 13th by 28 1/4 1:50 100, 98, 39 67 48 55-23   "
Hoppertunity SA Derby 2d by 5 1/4 1:47 2/5 100, 107, 89 100 98 90-10 362
Intense Holiday Louisiana Derby 2d by 3 1/2 1:50 3/5 98, 110, 85 100 91 81-11 395
Medal Count Blue Grass 2d by 1 3/4 1:50 97, 95, 94 97 94 81-23 366
Ride On Curlin Arkansas Derby 2d by 4 3/4 1:49 3/5 86, 92, 101 99 94 90-08 401
Samraat Wood Memorial 2d by 3 1/2 1:49.01 107, 118, 75 99 98 91-13 346
Tapiture Arkansas Derby 4th by 7 1/4 1:49 3/5 86, 95, 93 96 90 88-08 411
Uncle Sigh Wood Memorial 5th by 8 1:49 1/5 102, 108, 76 94 91 87-13 402
Vicar's in Trouble La. Derby 1st by 3 1/2 1:50 3/5 101, 114, 88 104 97 85-11 351
Vinceremos Blue Grass 14th  by 28 1/2 1:50 100, 96, 40 67 48 55-23 394*
We Miss Artie Spiral Stakes 1st by nose 1:52.1/5 110, 111, 72 93 85 95-09 322
Wicked Strong Wood Memorial 1st by 3 1/2 1:49 1/5 103, 114, 86 103 104 95-13 335
Wildcat Red Florida Derby 2d by neck 1:49 83, 91, 99 97 99 94-09 372

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.

Wet Track Figures

Wet track 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 dam sire have relatively small samples (fewer than 80 runners), are listed with an asterisk (*), and the rating is not necessarily reliable. These figures are published by Daily Racing Form as a "wet" rating.

The following runners have wet dirt track racing experience:

Commanding Curve debuted at Saratoga sprinting on a sloppy track and finished sixth, beaten 23 1/4 lengths by Grand Arrival.

Hoppertunity won the 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes on a wet-fast track.

Ride On Culin finished third, beaten a length in the Rebel Stakes, on a wet-fast track, and he won a sprint allowance at Oaklawn Park on a track rated good.

Samraat won  the mile and 70 yard restricted Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct by 16 3/4 lengths.

Tapiture finished secoind, beaten a half-length in the Rebel Stakes, on a wet-fast track.

Uncel Sigh debuted at Aqueduct sprinting on a muddy track and and finished second, beaten a head by Groupthink.

Vicar's in Trouble last year won a state-bred, maiden special weight sprint at Fair Grounds by 13 lengths on a track rated good.

Vinceremos debuted at Gulfstream Park sprinting on a sloppy track and finished second, beaten six lengths buy Three Quarter Roy.

Wicked Strong debuted sprinting on a sloppy track at Belmont Park and finished second, beatren 5 1/2 lengths by Manhattan Johnnie.

 

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