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Kentucky Derby Analysis 2010
by Mr. X  

My analysis has shown that all of the winners of the Derby since 2000 to 2007 have had median energy distributions of less than 68% and final 3f times in their last race before the Derby of less than 38 seconds.  In effect, the energy distribution number indicates as to whether a horse wants to go beyond 9 furlongs to the classic distance of a mile and a quarter (10 furlongs) in the Derby.  I want to see an energy distribution of less than 68% at 9f, a final 3f time of less than 38 seconds, and a competitive final time.   (See my analysis of Kentucky Derby 2002  at the Doghouse Confidential Archives for more information on how I reach my conclusions). You can also review some past year's analysis at the Doghouse Archives.

The following is a  table of past Derby winners' race before the Derby:
Yr Name Derby Winning Beyer Last Race
Final 3f time
Last Race
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 108 37.0 67.60% SP
2001 Monarchos 116 37.3 67.79% SP
2002 War Emblem 114 36.7 66.75% S
2003 Funny Cide 109 37.5 67.82% SP
2004 Smarty Jones 107 37.8 67.69% SP
2005 Giacomo 100 37.6 67.55% S
2006 Barbaro 111 37.7 67.89% SP
2007 Street Sense(a) 110 36.2 66.03% S
2008 Big Brown 109 38.1 68.28% EP
2009 Mine That Bird 105 --- --- n.m.(b)

(a) Key race was at 8.5f (Tampa Bay Derby) because could not use Keeneland Bluegrass at 9f (too slow early).
(b) No mas, no way.

In 2006, trainers like Michael Matz started racing horses fewer times, so that is a complication. Then about the same time came the advent of the polytracks. Unfortunately, because of the way the polytrack races are run (like turf - slow early

fast late) many more horses qualified under our criteria. Both these complications have added to the complexity of segregating horses into those that can get the 10f and those that cannot.

In 2008, Big Brown broke our streak. I did not like him because he didn't make our numbers, and he had bad feet. But I did write that the only exception to the rules was that a horse could be much  better than all the rest and could "outlast" them all at any distance. So Big Brown had much higher Beyer's coming into the race, won from the 13 hole at Gulfstream which no horse had done and no horse has done since, and looked to be better than the rest. Just couldn't bet him at a short price. However, even though I wanted Big Brown to win the Belmont and Triple Crown and I bet him, I did feel vindicated that the horse didn't appear to want anything to do with 12 furlongs.



Last year, everyone got a mulligan as the weather conditions were way too tough. Mine That Bird was my first

throwout; no way I would have bet the horse under any conditions. However, the oddity of the year was that virtually every horse in the race qualified under my numbers. That has never happened before.