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Sep 18, 2018

The PA Derby


Edited: Sep 18, 2018

Past Performance Sheets are out and up! Looks like a really great field this year. I am going to post the numbers soon on this one and I hope to hear your thoughts. I will be attending this race if it doesnt rain. It has been raining in these parts for what seems like months! Anyway, glanced at the PP's this morning - this is a really good group. Looking hard at Axelrod and Mr. Freeze - so far.

Sep 19, 2018Edited: Sep 19, 2018

Looked over the numbers for this race and I am sorry to say that numbers for this field will be completely irrelevant and a waste of time this year. With 10 entries, 7 of them are in the 2.00 to 3.00 range. Two of them are under 2.00 and only one is above 3.00. Over the past decade, this has never happened. There is no line between the speed - the average - and the stamina. This field is pretty much even across the board as it pertains to optimum distances through breeding.


The second part that should be the fairly easy part is also a bust. Parx race track generally runs extremely fast and caters to speed. That track is usually fast but - the entire philly area has not seen a day without rain in what feels like weeks. So in attempting to go through the charts of the races that have run over the past couple weeks to determine present bias leanings is coming up a huge dud. The bias is all over the place. The weather was so bad at one point, they even cancelled races. The track is overly saturated, the likes of which I believe would be incomparable to any other day in the past that the PA Derby has run. History is dead this year and I apologize for not going forward with it in my usual manner. It simply can not be done.


The PA Derby has always been one race where you could grab a few of those advantaged runners fairly easily with the use of higher indexed horses or very balanced horses along with their running style as it aligns with the bias. This year, both aspects need to be thrown out.


With that said, all that can be used are those PP's this year. This is the type of race now where extra elements need to be addressed and studied. The items to look at pertain to the horses current condition, his past performance and past condition, adjustments to past performances and the Present Race Factors. All 4 are important to this race because of the inability to use any historical trends and the fact that the bias is skewed due to the extraordinary weather conditions that will affect the bias in ways we could never match in the past.


In order to draw out the 4 most advantaged guys out of a group of 10 who are all basically even in their breeding for the race (7 out of 10) - These are the factors that should be looked at:

1)Performance in recent races.

2) Time since last race.

3) Recent Workout times and performance.

4) Normalized times of Past races (using converted lengths behind winner)

5) Strength of competition in past races

6) Weights in past races

7) Jockey in PAST races

8) Compensation for advantage or disadvantage in Post Position

9) Compensation for Bad Luck, Steadying, Bumping, Breaks

10)Weight for todays race

11) Todays Jockey ability and ranking

12) Todays Post Position advantage or disadvantage to running style.

13) Preference to distance

14) Specific track past performance ability

15) Surface preference wet vs dry


Still more work to do as far as figuring this race out. Major setback with how their numbers panned out. Its very unusual but it was the cards we were dealt.

Sep 19, 2018

Thanks for doing so much work on it, Lisa. It will be interesting to see which horses relish this type of going.

Sep 19, 2018

@Sysonby This one is looking like the type of race where you could just bet on your lucky number or the prettiest horse on the field and still have an even shot!!! It will be very interesting!

Sep 21, 2018Edited: Sep 21, 2018

Anybody could actually win this race, so I would need at least 10-1 to cold bet a winner. I was looking it over and I think I will just do exacta box with horses I think have a shot and a mixture that represents good value: Core Beliefs, Hofburg, Instilled Regard, Trigger Warning ---- if you want a 5 horse box then add Bravazo. :) IF making a win bet I would have to use Trigger Warning, Instilled Regard or Core Beliefs, given my need for good odds for such a compettitive race where horses are similarly talented/bred. Pennington is a killer rider at that track, so if you like that horse at all, put in superfecta. If you went by historicals, like jockey, trainer, sire ---- the bet would just be too chalky to bother with for me. :) Really not clear about this one and probably totally off the mark,

Sep 21, 2018

The 3 I keep looking at 3 that you dont mention! McKinzie, Mr. Freeze and Axelrod!! Just goes to show how good this field is! Tonight I will take the time work on it, but right now those are the 3 I am leaning towards.

Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

Im set - McKinzie - Hofburg - Axelrod - Mr. Freeze boxed super and boxed tri. I'm probably going to go to Parx and maybe seeing them in person will change my mind but thats where I am right now.

Sep 22, 2018

Thanks Lisa. Definitely a tough race to call. It'd be kind of nice if Bravazo finally got a win after all his running this year. The Cotillion is my favourite though, so curious to see how Wonder G is after all her running plus she's meeting up with Monomy Girl again.

Sep 22, 2018

That race is one of the reasons why I might bite the bullet and go. Its would pretty cool to see Wonder Gadot, Monomoy Girl, Hofburg, Axelrod etc in person. And Bravazo, well, most likely I will throw him into the bottom of my super. He scares me today. That guy, Axelrod, is so hard to overlook at the odds he will end up with. He smashed his competition at Parx last out and his late running is really great. I do believe his numbers show that 9f could very well be his sweet spot. But the last time I put all my faith in him he let me down. I'm going to keep an open mind if I get my butt in gear and ride over there and wait to see them in person. I remember that year when Bayern won the PA Derby- I loved him and Candy Boy on top UNTIL I saw Tapiture in the paddock. I would have never switched him over Candy Boy unless I didnt see in person how magnificent he was while prancing around before the race. You could tell, he was to fire. And you could tell that Chrome just wanted to lay down in his stall. Seems that it is would be very advantageous to see this group too prior to running. Great group of horses.

Sep 22, 2018

Lisa GO!!!! Honestly, the chance to see that group? I almost didn't go to Mile last weekend I had so much to do but realized there were a few I really had to see. Always worth it. And then Johnny Bear won the Northern Dancer again and it made my whole week. So GO, get a good look at them. Wonder Gadot is not a slim little thing. And very curios about a lot of them.

Sep 22, 2018

Anna, I'm here with BRIAN!!!! We met finally met for the first time after 8 years!!

Sep 22, 2018

How cool is that? Man you get to discuss the horses as they walk by, talk talk, look look, have a great GREAT time both of you.

Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

Hmmmm, the verdict is still out on Monomoy Girl, No Wait, she just got disqualified. Drama!

Sep 22, 2018

Penn Derby up, take pictures if you can.

Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

Wish I were there studying & discussing.

Sep 22, 2018

Want Bravazo to win just because he's been such a stalwart, but not betting.

Sep 22, 2018Edited: Sep 22, 2018

Good thing I didn't bet. There's Jimmy again, taking care of the winner, no surprise.

Sep 22, 2018

I kind of like McKinzie, every time Mike raised the stick, he flashed the tail. Plus he's a Street Sense, and we need more of those.

Sep 23, 2018Edited: Sep 23, 2018

It was a great day. Finally got to meet Brian after 8 years of handicapping together online. Nothing better than that. McKinzie and Smith were ready to go today. Axelrod did great. Hofburg a bit disappointing but he was heard. Crazy running by Monomoy Girl down the stretch. But the craziest was Firenze Fire getting bit for winning his race (photo below)! Oh, Brian did get pictures in the paddock. They will be posted. The winner in the looks department - Core Beliefs.


Sep 23, 2018

Well someone is sure a sore loser. They're such a nippy bunch at that age anyway. Aren't you glad you went Lisa? Met Brian, no doubt talked your heads off about all in front of you. Really happy for Firenze Fire, he's done quite well this year, and so gracious in victory! Monomoy Girl was a bit of a puzzle, the nose went up like an elk when she got into the stretch like she lost her focus completely, then was floundering, when she's usually so professional. I think Wonder G may need a vacation. Glad you went, absolutely no better way to spend an afternoon.

Sep 23, 2018Edited: Sep 23, 2018

Yes very glad. Im not good with the crowds and after getting out of the cold and to a quiet table inside, it was much better and the day flew by. Only bet the one race. But lost. Trigger Warning! Fell for Core Beliefs when I saw him. Wow. He is beautiful.


BTW, is it me or are there 10 horse legs in that photo of the bite? Am I losing my mind?!!

Sep 25, 2018

Firenze Fire is hiding a herd, pretty cool picture.

Sep 27, 2018

Some Photos sent from Brian at Parx - PA Derby Paddock



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