2015 Kentucky Derby Analysis
Originally posted on HRF-Online April 2015
One of the questions I receive every year around this time is "What dosage numbers are best for the Derby?"
There are four things that need to combine together when it comes to the running of the Kentucky Derby and Dosage numbers.
First is the Chefs. There is no doubt that some Chefs dosage configurations stand out among the previous winners. The ends of the spectrum usually prevail. Higher end and lower end. Great speed and/or great stamina. As the years have passed, the index has risen. Not because the speed end has become more dominate in later years, it is because breeding has taken it along that course. But, in recent years as well, the lower end still has a tendency to shine, so you can't simply look at a Chefs index and make a determination. It is usually the highest and the lowest from the Chefs numbers that make the board. Even though it is not set in stone, generally this is the end result. The best speed inheritance and the best stamina inheritance dominate over those in the middle. This leads us to the Second Ingredient.
The Reines. They are a major part of the numbers. If there are two entrants with high speed index from the Chefs, 9 times out of ten, the stamina inherited from the Reines will set one apart and allow him to get that 10f over the other. In some cases, the chefs numbers are actually irrelevant. It is all about their Reines. After all, a horse will favor one side or the other. (Sometimes both). Discarding the numbers of the Reines is a recipe for disaster and one of the main reasons why dosage has its flaws in the minds of those who don't take the entire picture into consideration and simply look at half the puzzle. When combined - the full picture emerges. That is, the picture of their true inheritance. But, the third ingredient must come into play when assessing the whole.
The Performances. Dosage numbers do not dictate how a horse will run. It only tells you what they inherited. Many three year old horses have inherited the goods to tackle the 10f at Churchill. Actually thousands most likely have the correct breeding for the job. However, even with a stamped ticket for a gate to compete at Churchill, there are some who may have the numbers but they are not running to their inheritance. You must look at the inheritance and determine if in fact they are living up to it. Many do not - even with earning a gate. There are always the ones who run to what they inherited and in some cases they far surpass it. These two ideas goes hand in hand.
Determine if he has the breeding and then determine if he has run to that breeding in the past. Finally, the fourth ingredient, which is the factor that brings it all together.
Track Bias and Dosage. While the highest and the lowest indexes usually combine to fill up the top 4 spots in the Derby, it is important to determine which end of the spectrum will hit the top spot first. It is always one or the other. Over the years, one can see a pattern as it pertains to track conditions. Sloppy track will favor one dosage configuration, fast track favors another and fair track, yet another. High index wins on sloppy track. High Points win on sloppy track. A very fast track may work in the opposite direction. You would think that the speedsters would relish a fast track. They do, but then they tire themselves out on the perfect course for them and stamina prevails.
There is no perfect chefs dosage configuration unless all 4 components come together. When using dosage as another tool in determining your bet, make sure to take all 4 ideas into consideration. Not just one or two. Most years you will see the same type of dosage numbers fall to the bottom of the order of finish. Sometimes they are the high indexes, like last year. The bottom three - Vinceremos (7.00). Wildcat Red (5.67) and Vicars in Trouble (5.00). The bias was speed but it was their downfall against the distance.
In 2013, it was a sloppy track and the bottom three all had the lowest points, lowest Indexes and CD's while the top 3 all showed highest points: 1st - Orb (40 points) Index 3.21 - CD .75 2nd - Golden Soul - (38 points) Index 1.92 - CD .61 3rd - Revolutionary (32 points) Index 3.00 - CD .78
The bottom three in 2013 - Goldencents (8 points) Index 1.67 and CD .38. Vyjack (14 points) 1.80 - CD .71 Falling Sky - (12 Points) 1.40 .33
Every year the results produce a distinct pattern. It is the goal to figure out that pattern prior to the running, not after! Some years, all the average numbers are on the bottom, while some years the bottom consists of all stamina horses. It is part of the handicapping process to determine which horse gets an advantage as to how the track caters to what he inherited. There is no formula to that. It is how handicapping the Derby needs to be dissected from all angles and the steps that need to be taken to determine which four colts have the greatest mix of these ingredients:
1. The inheritance and breeding to tackle the 10f.
2. Past performances conclude that he is running to that inheritance.
3. The track bias will cater to or be detrimental to his inheritance.
And then finally the unforeseen factors: A colt could have the greatest set of dosage numbers, proven over the years. He could have the best past performance numbers with track bias in his favor. But other factors come into play: Post Position, Clean Break, Getting Blocked, Checking, etc will affect even the perfect horse. The only way to handicap the Kentucky Derby is to take everything into consideration as a whole and go in with colts who have the highest percentage in their favor. Then hope for the best.
Below is the field for the 2015 Kentucky Derby listed in order from Highest Chef Index to Lowest Chefs Index. Good luck to all.
American Pharoah – 4.33 (Pioneerof the Nile)
Chefs Profile: 2-3-3-0-0 / Points: 8 / Index: 4.33 / CD: 88
Reines: 7-4-4-9-4 / Triads: 15-17-17
Best Projected 10f – (120.85) Best PF – (-49)
Highest Speed – 103 at 7f. - Last Speed – 102
Last Race – Ark Derby – came in 1st Sloppy Track – Led the way and won by 6 ¼ lengths even with bad start in the Rebel.
Pros – The longer he runs he is winning by greater lengths. He is surpassing his numbers and running against his high speed Index. His .88 CD stands out like a sore thumb. With such a high Index, his CD is giving him much more distance. His sire, Pioneerof the Nile finished second in the Derby over a sloppy track.
Cons - He only has 8 points from his chefs. Only two have taken the roses with points under 12. His high index historically hits the board but does not win. Reines distance might be watered down.
Outlook – The fact that he is surpassing his numbers at the 1 1/8 distance bodes well for a major shot at 10f. History is not in his favor to win, however, he is proving that he is running on his own merit. His CD is his saving grace. Highest Index hits the board just about every year.
International Star – 4.09 (Fusaichi Pegasus)
Chefs Profile: 12-5-11-0-0 / Points: 28 / Index: 4.09 / CD: 1.04
Reines: 6-6-4-8-4 / Triads: 16-18-16
Best Projected 10f – (122.42) Best PF – (-51)
Highest Speed – 99 at 1 1/8. Last Race – LA Derby - came in 1st.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Ran in 9 races, off the board only once and that was on turf. The only pro concerning Dosage is that a very high Chefs Index hits the board most every year. He could break away from that high CD and do it. His sire won the Derby.
Cons – Unlike American Pharoah who also shares a very high index, International Stars CD is extremely high and historically that’s very tough on a normal fast track.
Outlook – A high index like this does hit he board every year but his high CD and low triad numbers may not give him enough stamina.
El Kabeir – 3.57 (Scat Daddy)
Chefs Profile: 6-4-5-1-0 / Points: 16 / Index: 3.57 / CD: .94
Reines: 6-4-4-5-11 / Triads: 14-13-20
Best Projected 10f – (122.77) Best PF – (-66) Highest Speed – 101 at 1 1/8.
Last Race – Wood Memorial – came in 3rd behind 5 ¾.
Sloppy Track – At Aquaduct in the Gotham. Won his race coming from 9th position up to first.
Pros – His index is still considered high so he could be there to hold for a piece. Reines are giving him some serious stamina. Has the best PF (-66)
Cons – After he hits a race with Speed # in 100+, the next race out he falls back. He hit a 101 in his last race.
Outlook – That nice PF number and high stamina Reines number is hard to ignore. This one goes either way.
Frammento – 3.50 (Midshipman)
Chefs Profile: 4-6-8-0-0 / Points: 18 / Index: 3.50 / CD: .78
Reines: 7-4-3-5-10 / Triads: 14-12-18
Best Projected 10f – (122.37) Best PF – (-33) Highest Speed – 97 at Gulfstream.
Last Race – Bluegrass Stakes – 4th behind 7 ¼ lengths.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Dosage numbers are just fine for the Derby.
Cons – Reines profile is split and triads are too low. Hasn’t won a race since October 2014. Came in 4th at Churchill going 1 1/16th. PF number is very low compared to most.
Outlook – Not likely based on Reines triads and low PF.
Danzig Moon – 3.44 (Malibu Moon)
Chefs Profile: 13-9-18-0-0 / Points: 40 / Index: 3.44 / CD: .88
Reines: 8-4-1-7-11 / Triads: 13-12-19
Best Projected 10f – (122.24) Best PF (-50) Highest Speed – 99 Last Race – Bluegrass – took 2nd.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Those 40 points stand out, especially on a sloppy track, even though he has never shown on it. High points win or hit the board in the Derby. Came in 2nd on the Churchill track. In 5 races, he has run on 5 different tracks and has hit the board in every one. Reines profile is outstanding.
Cons – His worst race was when he showed early speed, so if it happens, not promising. Reines triads are so-so, the stamina end is great.
Outlook – Worth a second look.
Bold Conquest – 3.36 (Curlin)
Chefs Profile: 6-7-11-0-0 / Points: 24 / Index: 3.36 / CD: .79
Reines: 9-3-0-9-10 / Triads: 12-12-19
Best Projected 10f – (126.72) Best PF – (-26) Highest Speed – 91 Last race – Bluegrass – 4th behind 7 ¼ lengths.
Sloppy Track – Oaklawn Park, 2 times – took 3rd and 4th.
Pros – Not much. He came in 2nd at Churchill going 1 1/16th.
Cons – Hasn’t won a race since last August and that was going 6.5f.
Outlook – Not much.
Toasting Master – 3.29 (Congrats)
Chefs Profile: 11-5-14-0-0 / Points: 30 / Index: 3.29 / CD: .90
Reines: 9-5-3-5-11 / Triads: 17-13-19 Best Projected 10f – (125.58) Best PF – (-46) Highest Speed – 90 Last race – Wood Memorial – came in 6th.
Sloppy Track –Led the pack and lost steam in the Gotham. Hit 4th.
Pros – High Speed and Stamina numbers in Reines Triads.
Cons – Too much inherited speed from both Reines and Chefs which fight the stamina he gained from the Mares. Keeps him average. Favors speed side but is not yet showing what he inherited on that end, maybe never will. His only two wins came at Churchill, but they were at 6 and 6.5f.
Outlook – Not much
Madefromlucky – 3.21 (Lookin at Lucky)
Chefs Profile: 8-14-17-1-0 / Points: 40 / Index: 3.21 / CD: .73
Reines: 10-5-0-6-10 / Triads: 15-11-16
Best Projected 10f – (122.72) Best PF – (-25) Highest Speed – 96 Last Race – Ark Derby – 4th – behind 9 lengths.
Sloppy track – The Rebel Stakes, took second, behind 6 lengths
Pros – Beautiful Dosage numbers. High Points are great. High Index coupled with lower than norm CD is also outstanding.
Cons – Reines numbers are split, giving low triads. Not high enough. Best Beyer numbers come out of Gulfstream. Will not have Johnny V. PF is very low for this group.
Outlook – Dosage numbers say give him a second look. Reines numbers say toss him. Either way here.
Tencendur – 3.00 (Warriors Reward)
Chefs Profile: 4-2-3-1-0 / Points: 10 / Index: 3.00 / CD: .90
Reines: 5-9-5-5-8 / Triads: 19-19-18
Best Projected 10f – (122.58) Best PF – (-55) Highest Speed – 105 Last Race – Wood Memorial – 2nd.
Sloppy Track – Ran twice on Muddy Track. Hit 5th in one and came in first in one.
Pros – Reines Triads are close to the best of the entire field. High (but not highest) in Chefs CD speed.
Cons – The 10 points in Chefs Profile does not bode well for a win. The Reines profile looks too staggered. He far surpassed his norm in his last race. Almost out of character. All races have been run at Aquaduct.
Outlook – Not good for a win, however, if he is on an upswing from his last, his Reines triads are giving him a thumbs up for the board.
Stanford – 3.00 (Malibu Moon)
Chefs Profile: 7-6-11-0-0 / Points: 24 / Index: 3.00 / CD: .75
Reines: 6-5-2-4-11 / Triads: 13-11-17
Best Projected 10f – (122.44) Best PF – (-50) Highest Speed – 99 Last Race – LA Derby – 2nd by a neck.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Both his Chefs and Reines numbers are fine, especially the Reines profile. Very high stamina inheritance coupled with some good sprinting (speed) inheritance. PF is better than the majority of the field. Getting better and faster with each subsequent race.
Cons – Controlled the pace in last two starts at 1 1/8th and could not close the deal for a win. At 10f, definitely won’t hold.
Outlook – No reason why his numbers would hold him back from contention. Would need to draw from the Mares to make it happen. May be too soon in his career for that but worth a second look for underneath just in case he rises past his last.
Mr. Z – 3.00 (Malibu Moon)
Chefs Profile: 8-7-12-0-1 / Points: 28 / Index: 3.00 / CD: .75
Reines: 6-5-2-4-11 / Triads: 13-11-17 Best Projected 10f – (122.69) Best PF – (-37) Highest Speed – 100 (Back in November of last year)
Last Race – Ark Derby – 3rd – behind 8 ¾
Sloppy Track – Southwest – Came in 3rd, but very close up with the top two.
Pros – Chefs numbers are fine. Reines dominant in 16f+ distance.
Cons – Poor showing at Churchill at 1 1/16th, tired and hit 5th. He has never won a race past 6f. Outlook – Not much.
Upstart – 3.00 (Flatter)
Chefs Profile: 7-5-12-0-0 / Points: 24 / Index: 3.00 / CD: .79
Reines: 9-3-1-3-13 / Triads: 13-7-17
Best Projected 10f – (121.29) Best PF – (-61) Highest Speed – 105 at Gulfstream Last Race – Fla Derby – 2nd behind 1.5 lengths. Sloppy – Came in 2nd at Belmont with a 101 speed Figure.
Pros – Chefs profile is great, high Index and good CD. Reines dominant in 16f+.
Cons – Has a tendency to drop in speed after hitting 100+ for his next race. Hit 103 last out. The 7 in the triads is not good.
Outlook – His best projected speed rivals the favorites and his best PF is within the top of the field. His dosage looks fairly good to take on Churchill. One to keep for spreading.
Firing Line – 3.00 (Line of David)
Chefs Profile: 5-1-6-0-0 / Points: 12 / Index: 3.00 / CD: .92
Reines: 6-6-2-7-10 / Triads: 14-15-19
Best Projected 10f – (119.58) Best PF – (-50) Best Speed – 101 at 1 1/8th Last Race –Sunland Derby – First.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Reines number are fantastic. Enough points from Chefs to get over the hump. High Index. Hit the board in all five of his races at 4 different tracks. Last 2 races 100+. Consistent. Definitely gained the right stamina from the Reines. Projected 10f is tops. High PF. Has Gary.
Cons – Dortmund.
Outlook – He has all his numbers where they need to be to make some noise. Look at him three times before placing your bets.
Frosted – 2.75 (Tapit)
Chefs Profile: 6-9-14-1-0 / Points: 30 / Index: 2.75 / CD: .67
Reines: 10-5-0-4-11 / Triads: 15-9-15
Best Projected 10f – (122.10) Best PF – (-63) Best Speed – 107 Last Race – Wood Memorial – First. Sloppy Track – Never Pros – Best Speed Figure from Last out. One of the Top PF numbers. Chefs dominant in the Classic distance. High Chef Points. Great CD number. Dominant quick speed and dominant 16f+ stamina from the Reines.
Cons – 2.75 Index is not good for a win in the Derby. Best suited underneath. Triads are not very good for a win either.
Outlook – Both the Chefs and Reines dosage is saying no for a win but his performance numbers are saying it is very possible. Looks to be one who is outperforming his numbers. Tough one to read.
War Story – 2.73 (Northern Afleet)
Chefs Profile: 7-6-15-0-0 / Points: 28 / Index: 2.73 / CD: .71
Reines: 8-5-3-6-9 / Triads: 16-14-18
Best Projected 10f – (122.56) Best PF – (44) Best Speed – 96 Last Race – LA Derby – Took Third.
Sloppy Track – Never. Pros – Always hits the board.
Cons – For the win, his dosage numbers are poor. His speed numbers are as average as his dosage numbers and, to date, he is not outperforming his inheritance. Outlook – The 2.73 index coupled with the fact that he has never posted above 96 makes him a very good horse, but not good enough for the Derby. Unlike Frosted who shares that same type of configuration, he has not stepped past his inheritance.
Keen Ice – 2.73 (Curlin)
Chefs Profile: 5-8-15-0-0 / Points: 28 / Index: 2.73 / CD: .64
Reines: 3-3-4-10-7 / Triads: 10-17-21
Best Projected 10f – (123.19) Best PF – (-37) Best Speed – 94 Last race – LA Derby – Fourth – Behind 6 ¾ lengths.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Always hits the board. Speed numbers rise with additional distance. Won at Churchill going 7f.
Cons – Same boat as War Story, however his Reines numbers dominate.
Outlook – Just like War Story, this race is never won by this type. For a win, he seems much better suited at Belmont. Not overly speedy where he tires and inherited the right stamina from both sides for 12f.
Dortmund – 2.38 (Big Brown)
Chefs Profile: 4-5-13-0-0 / Points: 22 / Index: 2.38 / CD: .59
Reines: 5-9-5-8-5 / Triads: 19-22-18 Best Projected 10f – (120.20) Best PF – (-54) Best Speed – 106 Last Race – SA Derby – First.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Great CD (low) coupled with an Index under 2.40. He just makes it. Very high (the best of the field) in Reines Triads. Over 100 Speed Numbers in last 3 races. Won at Churchill going 8f. High PF. Very good projected time. Undefeated. His sire won the Derby.
Cons – Hard to wire the field at 10f for any horse, will have to change up from last three.
Outlook – If he is held off from the lead, he has the stamina for 10f. Deserves to be up there based on all his numbers.
Materiality – 2.33 (Afleet Alex)
Chefs Profile: 2-2-6-0-0 / Points: 10 / Index: 2.33 / CD: .60
Reines: 7-6-3-9-5 / Triads: 16-18-17
Best Projected 10F – (121.23) Best PF – (-66) Best Speed -105 Last Race – Fla Derby – First
Sloppy Track – Gulfstream running 6f. Came in first while stalking.
Pros – Shares the highest PF number at -66 with El Kabeir. Projected10f is excellent. CD is very good and Index just hits the cutoff. His speed numbers rise with each subsequent race. Undefeated.
Cons – All races and numbers from Gulfstream track. Only has 10 points from Chefs. Will not have Johnny V.
Outlook – Everything in his numbers says he hits the board but they go against the win. Just like Frosted, he is on the cusp for hitting the gold.
Ocho Ocho Ocho – 2.11 (Street Sense)
Chefs Profile: 6-0-7-1-0 / Points: 14 / Index: 2.11 / CD: .79
Reines: 7-6-4-10-5 / Triads: 17-20-19
Best Projected 10F- (122.89) Best PF – (-40) Best Speed – 104 at 6.5f. 101 at 1 1/16th. (Both last year) Last Race – Bluegrass – Third, behind 5.5 lengths.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – His Chefs Dosage is primed for winning the Derby. 2.11 Index is exactly perfect, low 14 points does not get watered down. Triads are top of the field. Projected 10f is right there. His sire won the Derby.
Cons – The .79 Index might be the reason to hold him back. His performance numbers need to rise to match his inheritance numbers for this year as opposed to his 2 year old season.
Outlook – Everything says he has what he needs, but he hasn’t lived up to it as a 3 year old yet. If he gets a good trip, he has one of the better configurations to take advantage.
Bolo – 2.00 (Temple City) Chefs Profile: 6-2-16-0-0 / Points: 24 / Index: 2.00 / CD: .58
Reines: 4-5-4-7-8 / Triads: 13-16-19
Best Projected 10F- (120.61) Best PF – (-39) Best Speed – 102 on Turf. 101 on dirt. Last Race – SA Derby, Third behind 6.5 lengths.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – The 16 in his Classic Distance says he gets the 10f. The high last two numbers from the Reines puts an exclamation on it. Projected 10f taken from the San Felipe puts his time just under Dortmund.
Cons – Only two races on dirt without crossing the finish line first.
Outlook – Dosage numbers are fine, lack of experience on dirt could go either way.
Firespike – 2.00 (Flower Alley)
Chefs Profile: 6-1-10-1-0 / Points: 18 / Index: 2.00 / CD: .67
Reines: 4-6-2-13-5 / Triads: 12-21-20 Best Projected 10F- (123.20) Best PF – (-44) Best Speed – 100 on AWS.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – Triads are excellent.
Cons – Nine races under his belt, eight on AWS or turf. Only race on dirt, takes 7th, behind 14 lengths.
Outlook – Not much.
Carpe Diem – 1.83 (Giants Causeway)
Chefs Profile: 4-6-24-0-0 / Points: 34 / Index: 1.83 / CD: .41
Reines: 2-8-5-11-4 / Triads: 15-24-20
Best Projected 10f – (121.77) Best PF – (-62) Best Speed – 102 Last Race – Bluegrass Stakes – First. Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – High Points from Chefs. The 24 in the Classic distance depicts the highest inheritance in that distance amongst the field. Low index but not so low that there is no speed, showed he can handle speed early by winning maiden at 5 .5f. Almost perfect to date on 4 different tracks. Reines triads are best of the field. Best PF is in the top. Will love the distance. Huge possibility to take the Crown.
Cons – Not seeing any.
Outlook – This race is custom made for him.
Far Right – 1.50 (Notional)
Chefs Profile: 2-1-6-1-0 / Points: 10 / Index: 1.50 / CD: .40
Reines: 10-4-3-7-10 / Triads: 17-14-20
Best Projected 10F- (121.90) Best PF – (-40) Best Speed – 96 Last Race – Ark Derby – Second. Behind 8 lengths.
Sloppy Track – The Southwest at 1 1/16th – took first.
Pros – Has hit the board in all 9 of his races. Showed speed short and long. Triads for Speed and Stamina are high. Won his maiden at Churchill. Last race at Churchill going 8f came in third and was gaining, the distance could have been too short for him.
Cons – Only 10 points from the Chefs. Never hit 100.
Outlook – His style of running could see him pulling a Commanding Curve. He has the right numbers to make it around the track, but his performance numbers need to rise. Especially if it rains, he needs to be highly considered to roll past the pack down the stretch. He has the stamina and the experience for it.
Itsaknockout – 1.29 (Lemon Drop Kid)
Chefs Profile: 7-0-13-4-0 / Points: 24 / Index: 1.29 / CD: .42
Reines: 10-3-4-7-8 / Triads: 17-14-19
Best Projected 10F- (120.68) Best PF – (-44) Best Speed – 102 in an OCL going 8f. Last Race – Fla Derby – Fourth.
Sloppy Track – Never.
Pros – His dosage numbers say he wants more distance than he has run to date, therefore, poor performance numbers will follow his shorter races. Has hit the board in all 4 races.
Cons – The high Brilliant speed numbers found in both his chefs and reines profile would suggest that he should have and could have posted higher performance numbers to date. He hasn’t.
Outlook – The only thing here is that he has inherited the stamina to go the distance, however he also inherited short early speed and really didn’t display it. No telling if he would display his stamina side in the Derby.
Mubtaahij – 1.00 (Dubawi)
Chefs Profile: 1-0-2-0-1 / Points: 4 / Index: 1.00 / CD: 0.00
Reines: 6-6-4-10-4 / Triads: 16-20-18 Best Projected 10f – (124.93) Best PF – (-80) Last Race – UAE Derby – First by 8
Pros – Serious Stamina from both Chefs and Reines. Dominant on both sides at Classic distance. Missed being flawless on dirt by a head. Can tackle this distance running backwards. Highest PF of the field. Triads are outstanding.
Cons – Overseas Runner. Projected 10f from UAE derby not as low as would be expected by his performance. Only 4 Points from Chefs, however, his Profile and Points mimic those of Count Fleet’s. The only contender out of 141 runnings to resemble Count Fleet and to also prove that he is seriously out-performing those numbers.
Outlook – If he takes to the Churchill Dirt, he flies home and smokes this field. He is a serious contender even with those 4 points. If he pulls it off, huge shot that he takes the Crown. Put him all over your tickets just in case. He stands out like a sore thumb. The only downfall to this guy is that he is long way from home. It is venturing into the unknown with a 50/50 shot. He either takes to it or he doesn’t.