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Kentucky Derby Analysis 2010 (Continued)
by Mr. X  

Contenders as of April 18, 2010

Mr. X was a phone guest on "Trackfacts Live," a handicapping show on the Capital District OTB channel. After showing the previous page of Derby Winners and explaining the theory, I then categorized the horses in the three Tiers below. Note that as the trainers are getting less enchanted with polytracks, we have a better distribution of horses.

All of the preps are now done except for the Derby Trial. I don't expect any horses from that race to be a winner in the Derby. But of course, we will evaluate all the horses entered in the Derby at the appropriate time.

Here is the chart with the explanations of the Tiers at the top:

Tier I - Horses that appear to be able to go 10f based on energy distribution of less than 68% and less than 38 seconds in the last three furlongs of a 9f race on dirt
Eskendereya Mission Impazible
Ice Box Endorsement
Conveyance American Lion
Awesome Act
Tier II - Horses that may have made the grade on synthetics or at less than 9f, chance
Sidney's Candy Homeboykris
Dean's Kitten Paddy O' Prado        
Jackson Bend Stately Victor
Lookin At Lucky
Tier III - Horses that appear to be unable to go 10f and cannot win
Rule Dublin        
Discreetly Mine Super Saver            
Line of David Interactif

Preliminary Analysis

While we need to wait for the workouts to be done, post positions to be drawn, weather, and whether any horse steps on a pin (again), there are some truths that are evident and some obvious contenders based on my numbers.


There are seven horses who appear to want the lead based on their past performances to date: Rule, Sidney's Candy, Line of David, Conveyance, American Lion, Discreetly Mine, and Super Saver. From my pace numbers, Sidney's Candy, American Lion, Discreetly Mine, and Conveyance will not get the lead, so we have to discount their chances to win.


As with all of these races, the key to the race is the pace. All three - Rule, Super Saver, and Line of David - will be winging. I expect a fast pace in the 1:11 range. Remember that Pletcher has two of these and some contenders. WinStar Farms has a few in here as well. Many of the horses above have not raced against a fast pace and may be too far back in the early stages to get to the winner's circle.


Eskenderaya has major Beyer numbers (106, 109), much better than the rest of the field. Note that the Derby winning Beyer is about 108-109 over the last ten years. We need to decide whether Eskenderaya is a Barbaro or a Bellamy Road. He has not raced in fast paced races, looks to be a lumbering, less athletic  type with one run, and had fronts on in the Wood. But he did win very easily and had plenty left. So the question is can he sustain his run with a faster pace?

Ice Box is battle tested having run three 9f races at Gulfstream. Usually the heat in Florida would make him questionable, but it was cold this year. He ran a great race in the Florida Derby running from last, inside, then outside of horses. He did have some trouble switching leads at the end, but he was beat with 50 yards to go and still won. A fighter. Ran against Rule in the best paced race of the year, so we know he can handle the pace. Will have six weeks off and worked well the other day for Zito. 

Endorsement is no rags to riches story. Cost $450K for WinStar Farms and is a Distorted Humor. Went from 78 in maiden win to track record winner of Sunland Derby in 101. Improving horse whose past performances look like Summer Bird, but running style reminded me of Funny Cide. Went by Conveyance very easily, and Conveyance is no slouch.

Conveyance looked to be a horse that may keep going at constant velocity, but after Endorsement caught him at 9f and passed him easily, I think he is best as a miler. Will not win.

Lookin At Lucky is a puzzle. Passed our test at 8.5f on dirt and passed a 9f test on poly. So we could have put him in the Tier I group. He looks like a horse who gets in trouble, and I don't like Baffert taking blinkers off in a big race, so I have to discount his chances to win. He will be bet as well and will be a major underlay in my opinion. Not a surprise if he wins.

Sidney's Candy is another that will be bet. He could be a rug specialist, but he did have a good work on dirt at Churchill Downs. I still don't see how he will get the lead, so the only way he can win is off the pace which I doubt he can do. Not for me.

Remember that this list is for win only and does not consider final times yet. We are only looking at  the last three furlong time and the median energy distribution.

With no other preps of any consequence, check back before or on Derby Day for our final analysis.

Mr. X