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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Derby by the Speed Numbers

Or, Who'll Get to the Eighth Pole First

4/28/2015

By Dick Downey
@DowneyProfile

In 56 of the last 60 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, 43 of the last 60 winners, or 72%, were on the lead at the eighth pole.

In 2014, California Chrome led by five lengths with at the furlong marker. 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 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 Rating

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

*Al Bastakiya and UAE Derby are 1 3/16 mile. Time at 1 1/8 mile mark is estimated in the "win time" column. Beyer Speed Figure for UAE Derby is based on an estimate by Andy Beyer as posted by Jay Privman on Twitter.

**Stanford was disqualified to 6th in Islamorada Stakes

***Frammento number 21 and Bold Conquest number 22 in Derby points as of this post.

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
                 
American Pharoah Arkansas Derby 1st by 8 1:48 2/5 98, 103, 95 102 105 101-04 370
Bold Conquest*** Arkansas Derby 5th by 9 1/4 1:48 2/5 86, 87, 93 91 90 92-04 405
Bolo Santa Anita Derby 3d by 6 1/2 1:48 3/5 106, 112, 81 98 95 84-12 332
Carpe Diem Blue Grass Stakes 1st by 3 1:49 3/5 89, 99, 101 102 95 99-08 394
Danzig Moon Blue Grass Stakes 2d by 3 1:49 3/5 82, 92, 102 99 90 96-08 417
Dortmund Santa Anita Derby 1st by 4 1/4 1:48 3/5 111, 118, 89 106 106 91-12 405
El Kabeir Wood Memorial 3d by 5 3/4 1:50 1/5 93, 102, 95 101 94 84-15 382
Far Right Arkansas Derby 2d by 8 1:48 2/5 78, 88, 94 93 92 93-04 364
Firing Line Sunland Derby 1st by 14 1/2 1:47 1/5 99, 104, 94 101 97 101-07 350
Frammento*** Blue Grass Stakes 4th by 7 1/4 1:49 3/5 67, 85, 101 94 83 92-08 374
Frosted Wood Memorial 1st by 2 1:50 1/5 94, 108, 101 107 103 90-15 413
International Star Louisiana Derby 1st by nk 1:50 3/5 76, 87, 107 99 98 85-14 394
Itsaknockout Florida Derby 4th by 21 1:52 1/5 92, 100, 63 82 76 52-30 415
Keen Ice Louisiana Derby 4th by 6 3/4 1:50 3/5 74, 84, 97 92 87 78-14 394
Materiality Islamorada Hcp 1st by 5 3/4 1:49 1/5 87, 96, 100 100 102 88-23 378
Materiality Florida Derby 1st by 1 1/2 1:52 1/5 103, 115, 90 105 110 73-30    "
Mr. Z Louisiana Derby 9th by 20 3/4 1:50 3/5 88, 93, 59 76 64 64-14 409
Mr. Z Arkansas Derby 3d by 8 3/4 1:48 2/5 96, 101, 80 92 90 92-04    "
Mubtaahij Al Bastakiya 1st by 2 1/2 1:52 3/5* NA NA NA NA 280*
Mubtaahij UAE Derby 1st by 8 1:52* NA NA 95* NA    "
Ocho Ocho Ocho Blue Grass Stakes 3d by 5 1/2 1:49 3/5 89, 100, 89 96 86 93-08 396
Stanford Islamorada Hcp 2d by 5 3/4** 1:49 1/5 89, 99, 86 94 93 82-23 415
Stanford Louisiana Derby 2d by nk 1:50 3/5 90, 95, 98 99 98 85-14    "
Tencendur Wood Memorial 2d by 2 1:50 1/5 97, 111, 94 105 100 88-15 357
Upstart Florida Derby 2d by 1 1/2 1:52 1/5 101, 114, 88 103 108 71-30 411
War Story Louisiana Derby 3d by 4 1/2 1:50 3/5 80, 89, 96 94 91 80-14 376

Brisnet Figures

Brisnet uses pace numbers to evaluate horses' speed in the early and late stages of races, 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 Speed 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 Ratings

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 (Top 23 in Derby points in order of Derby points):

American Pharoah won the Rebel Stakes on a sloppy/sealed track.

Frosted finished second by 1 1/2 length sprinting in his debut run on a track rated good at Saratoga. Bayerd won that race.

Materiality won sprinting in his debut on sloppy/sealed track at Gulfstream Park.

El Kabeir has a 4 2-1-0 record on wet tracks. He won the Jerome and the Gotham on a good track and a muddy track. He finished second by five lengths to Blofeld in the Nashua on a muddy track. He was fourth by 17 3/4 lengths to Daredevil in the Champagne Stakes on a sloppy/sealed track.

Upstart finished second to Daredevil by 2 1/2 lengths in the Champagne on a sloppy/sealed track.

Far Right won the Southwest Stakes on a sloppy/sealed track.

Danzig Moon finished fourth by 3 3/4 lengths sprinting on a good track at Keeneland in his debut won by Joe Franklin.

Tencendur is 3 1-0-1 on off tracks. He's never run in a sprint. He finished third in his debut, beaten 6 1/4 lengths on a good track by Far from Over.He broke his maiden on a sloppy/sealed track in his next start.

Mr. Z was third to Far Right, beaten less than a length, in the Southwest Stakes on a sloppy/sealed track.

Bold Conquest was fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Southwest Stakes and third, beaten 8 1/4 lengths in the Rebel Stakes.

 

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