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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Kentucky Derby Analysis



This article may not be copied, reproduced, translated, or paraphrased, in whole or in part without consent. 4/25/2023 LDM


Listed in order of Highest Inbred Chef Speed to Highest Inbred Chef Stamina.

Mares and specific sires are taken into account separately.


Emphasis on historically successful configurations for the Derby. This article will be updated almost daily, based on new additions, defections, weather and posts.


3.10 and Over:


9.00 ANGEL OF EMPIRE

Sire and Mare: Classic Empire - Armony's Angel

2nd gen sires: Pioneerof the Nile - To Honor and Serve

DP = 4-4-2-0-0 (10) DI = 9.00 CD = 1.20

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-11-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-21-20


There are two hurdles for Angel of Empire when it comes to a win and one recent twist to the line-up has helped his cause. Because of his running style, a much faster pace that affects the lead tier negatively would certainly bump his chances substantially. With Brad Cox now able to secure Jace's Road with a gate, that could stir his approach to the early stages of the race. Of course, if he is considering a move to use Jace's Road as a rabbit, this would enhance other strong competitor's as well, including the favorite, Forte. The difference though is that Angel is equipped with historically correct Derby configurations and his late inherited speed is unmatched. The other hurdle is reliance on outside factors within his chart that push him past the 10f distance. All indicators, including his trainer's words, show a dominance from the mare's line even when looking at an 11.00 index through the ANZ numbers. For comparison, Nyquist held a 7.00 Roman number with dominant mare stamina. He also had a minimal 4 points in his chefs profile. When adding in the prominent non-chefs and consulting the ANZ index, Nyquist jumped all the way up to a 23.00 index. All of that speed gave him the Derby win in 2016, albeit on the lead. Angel runs with a different style but has still been successful regardless of a slow, moderate or a fast pace. The key here is that Angel has yet to perform on a truly fast track with the exception of his winning maiden on the wet surface at Indiana. Based on his two posted workouts so far at Churchill Downs, this rear-running colt posted 48.20 at 4f and a 1:13.40 at 6f. With his style of running, those two clocks are stellar and point to a horse who may finally be on a track that suits his breeding. Looking at potential pace, we have Confidence Game, Derma Sotogake, Jace's Road, Verifying, and Reincarnate (possibly Kingsbarns too) as possible suspects but the main standout factor with Angel is that up until this point, he has performed successfully from the rear regardless of early pace. So whoever ends up dictating the lead, be it slow or crazy fast, it won't affect his sprinting move when Prat says GO. He still performs regardless. This is due to his heightened inbred late sprinting speed. That speed is constant because it is inbred in him. His sire, Classic Empire was a forward runner but in the Kentucky Derby, he was bumped back to the 13th position and rallied his speed to hit 4th. Inbred speed with perfectly configured Derby numbers will find its way to the tote board, one way or the other. Angel of Empire has the most advantaged configurations on the 2023 field, rain or shine.

 

4.33 ROCKET CAN

Sire and Mare: Into Mischief - Tension

2nd gen sires: Harlan's Holiday - Tapit

DP = 1-4-3-0-0 (8) DI = 4.33 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 5-7-7-8-2 Speed = 12 Stamina = 10 Index = 1.26 Triads = 19-22-17


Out of the five competitors on this field that hold the famous Tapit influence, Rocket Can still remains with the best set of configurations out of them all, with Tapit Trice a close second. He is extremely well paced, which affects is outward speed, especially at 9f and under. He is not a fast speedster, but he has the ability to keep at an even pace regardless of how fast or how slow the race unfolds. Moving up to 10f, this is a favorable charm that he holds. The Kentucky Derby is not the same as the 9f Arkansas Derby and what he holds was not advantaged there. What stands out with this horse is his successful "short" performances at Gulfstream and Churchill with his Tapit factor. They show a strong leaning to Into Mischief and his 4.33 index. The sloppy win at Churchill is also note-worthy. He has 10f easily and with his even energy distribution, his run will not be as much of a shock to his system in the late stages, as it will be to others. His recent first workout at Churchill Downs, a bullet among 34 others in :46.60 at 4f. With his previous successes at Churchill Downs coupled with that workout, this reveals a horse who has a strong kinship with that track. His configurations scream Kentucky Derby, rain or shine, and will absolutely positively be a part of my superfecta. His potential odds demand it.

 

3.92 TAPIT TRICE

Sire and Mare: - Tapit - Danzatrice

2nd gen sires: Pulpit - Dunkirk

DP = 5-15-11-1-0 (32) DI = 3.92 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 10-6-1-7-7 Speed = 16 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.23 Triads = 17-14-15


Tapit Trice favors his sire very much. Based on each bias that he has worked throughout his career so far, he has yet to show how all of this will translate onto a very fast bias. The OC race at Gulfstream Park on 2/4 was not a fast bias, it was a strong headwind that affected all of the speed and his stamina persevered, beating that field by a visually impressive 8 lengths. That race does not coincide with a fast track at Churchill. Bias for May 6th will need to be assured at least the day prior or the day of in order to judge his true advantage. With 32 points in his profile, a 3.92 speedy index, and full confidence in his 10f+ ability, he should be able to continue his success but we are assuming this blindly, unlike some of the others. Tapit's do not have a strong history in the Winners Circle in the Derby, they do however grab their piece when they have an index over 3.00. This at least gives them a bit extra speed to counter all of that stamina that finds favor at Belmont Park in June. Between Rocket Can and Tapit Trice, of course the body of work falls directly into Trice's favor, but the evidence of the bias falls with Rocket Can. In that respect, both must be considered players in the wagers. He's in the Top Two for me.


 

3.00 EXACT:


3.00 FORTE

Sire and Mare: Violence - Queen Caroline

2nd gen sires: Medaglia d'Oro - Blame

DP = 4-4-5-1-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79

Mare Profile = 11-2-5-1-11 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.04 Triads = 18-8-17


Very nice horse who will love the Preakness but will have to face two potential monsters there, Faustin and First Mission, which will be the hardest task he has seen since his run-in with Loggins back in October. He has had a fairly easy run of it and at the distances so far, he has greatly excelled against weak competition at his preferred distances. His mare profile is split which may be the reason why he is able to work both sides of the track bias and this point alone is very favorable for the Churchill test. What is not favorable is the distance. Last year, Zandon, who is configured like this as well was highly successful due to the extreme pace and I firmly believe that he capitalized off of that just as much as Rich Strike did. That is not to say that Forte should be neglected, but at the odds he is going to gift everyone, there is very strong reason to go against for a win. His class and his success are undeniable, and he could run through those mare's numbers at 10f+ on a 20 horse field, coming from the back, with a group of late runners who have posted 100+ late figures. It is a stretch when laid out like that but not impossible based on his record of not allowing defeat to cross his path. Even with the low odds, sitting on the bottom end of the speed spectrum, and the way his mares are split, I'll still give a nod and use him because of his class, his will and his determination.

 

3.00 DERMA SOTOGAKE

Sire and Mare: Mind Your Biscuits - Amour Poesie

2nd gen sires: Posse - Neo Universe

DP = 1-1-2-0-0 (4) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 8-2-5-9-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.88 Triads = 15-16-20


You may not like this analysis but it is what it is. Last year, I reluctantly and with great protest, used Taiba in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots on my super because of my complete distrust with all things surrounding Bob Baffert. With every fiber in my being, I felt that the horse was incorrect for the Derby on so many levels. I loathed paying for that insurance and that is exactly what I will be doing here again, but for different reasons. This time, most likely, that insurance premium will cover all 4 spots instead of 3. The first is that you can't even handicap the horse properly without proper figures. Visually appealing races, overseas to boot, without real data is just ridiculous. Other reasons, I do not like this colt's configurations for the Derby. I do not like lead speed in the UAE Derby translating to Churchill Downs. I believe whole-heartedly that both Mendelsson and Thunder Snow were far superior to this horse, and you see where that got them. Fancy lead speedy wins in the UAE Derby occur over and over again. They are impressive with the bottom-line final figures and visually stunning. To say that there is a yearly lead speed advantage in the UAE Derby is an understatement. They hit 2nd and/or first place consistently. Everything is enhanced. He has 4 points in his profile and the mares line is off for the Derby. His Saudi Derby race, when he ran to his normal style mid-pack, was wholly inferior to his American speedy opponents (on another speedy bias as well) and without securing the lead there, he was defeated. Overseas horses struggle at Churchill Downs, especially when they are configured improperly. But the biggest reason is the fact that Derma and his 3 dirt buddies in Meydan beat a majority of turf runners on a very slick bias. Completely opposite of the competitors in Kentucky. With all that said, if I neglect to put this horse in my superfecta mix, he would surely win the race. There has been only one time where I did not use the overseas horse and with good reason, Lani had no shot. This time, we are looking at a horse who was basically given a 103 beyer for his effort at 1-3/16th. He runs forwardly placed and he has one of the best jockeys in the world on his back. He is also rated the highest in the world in Longines among every three year old. Lemaire learned quickly about succumbing to the pace last year, so his experience will serve him well. If he is allowed to grab the lead and if Lemaire decides he wants to take control of that pace this year, Derma does have the inbred capability to travel 10f+. The Sunday Silence addition sees to that quite comfortably, I might add. Along with the fact that we have no extreme superstar (like Epicenter last year) who is showing every advantage and proof that he is highly favored in this race, everything this year becomes wide open. Even Angel of Empire has some disadvantage circling a 20 horse field. As much as I don't want to and as much as I think his Japanese buddy is built better for this race, you can't shake superstition..."Spread him, and move on!"

 

3.00 SUN THUNDER

Sire and Mare: Into Mischief - Greenfield d'Oro

2nd gen sires: Harlan's Holiday - Medaglia d'Oro

DP = 2-3-2-1-0 (8) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 5-9-6-7-4 Speed = 14 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.19 Triads = 20-22-17


Half-decent typical numbers from an Into Mischief son. When pitted against his half-brother above, he falls short in his performances, his exhibited speed, and his class. That being said, I think his excessive mare speed will serve him well in this race. Noticing the very high amount of stamina in most all of the 2.00 to 3.00 contenders underneath here on the list, I'm starting to see that his mares line would probably serve him well, especially on a wet or sloppy track. I'm warming up to the idea of concentrating on those with more speed in them, so with that, I'm not opposed to saving him for under slots if post positions work against some of the lower odds on favorites. The triads aren't too shabby for low board-hit, the 17 in the last slot is just a couple of points under perfect.

 

3.00 VERIFYING

Sire and Mare: Justify - Diva Delite

2nd gen sires: Scat Daddy - Repent

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 9-1-6-7-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-14-19


This son of Justify (who is breeding high speed) with half decent stamina (.67 CD) is a very well-paced animal (like Rocket Can). It appears that what he has is very well balanced and the additional distance should be to his liking. Giving a pass for the Breeders Cup Juvenile which highly affected every speed horse on the field with the exception of Loggins, this guy may be coming into perfect form at the right time. He was able to compete with the stamina of Tapit Trice and he showed very nice speed in his short 8f OC race at Oaklawn. He did not like the sloppy track, as he was swept must faster on it than is his usual form. On a clean track, this is one 3.00 horse that should be acknowledged on any super ticket. The scheme of his triads work against him for the roses but there is no reason to doubt his ability to run for the backend of the board. He has an excellent balance. I do think that in this particular category (the 3.00 exact) there are much better configurations that correlate to being historically advantaged, so in that sense, since there are 6 in this category, if trimming the bottom lines were necessary, he might be the first to go. At the moment, he stays.

 

3.00 CYCLONE MISCHIEF

Sire and Mare: Into Mischief - Areyoucominghere

2nd gen sires: Harlan's Holiday - Bernardin

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 6-7-4-7-4 Speed = 13 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.21 Triads = 17-18-15


New Shooter on the scene. Unlike Mandarin Hero, this guy's configurations fall very short for the contest at Churchill Downs. He appears to be well situated for the one mile mark. He fades on Saturday.

 

3.00 REINCARNATE

Sire and Mare: Good Magic - Allanah

2nd gen sires: Curlin - Scat Daddy

DP = 2-3-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.70

Mare Profile = 6-5-5-7-8 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.79 Triads = 16-17-20


Looking at these contenders strictly through a breeding lens in conjunction with their performances, I certainly do like the Good Magic stamina and the mares complete line for moving on to the 10f distance. Just because there are alot of horses on this field this year that can run the mile and a quarter doesn't mean that you can easily bypass in order to simply chop it down. The initial combination with the 3.00 index would portend to make him much more lopsided to stamina, watering down his speed but when looking deeper and considering that his ANZ figure creeps up to a much more advantaged 3.80, you have to take notice and go from there. He exhibited that over-exaggerated stamina two times at one mile on turf in the beginning of his career. He won or came in second on the fast tracks of Santa Anita and DelMar, exhibiting his speed side. He was able to compete, at the very least, on a sloppy track at Oaklawn and also keep a steady pace in the Arkansas Derby. The problem with Reincarnate is not an inability to be competitive on a variety of surfaces, the problem is that he is so evenly balanced that he isn't excelling with explosions on any surface. He is even-keeled both in his inheritance and his performances which give him no extra advantage on either surface. He runs the same no matter where he is, it is all average. The Derby requires massive evidence of excessive speed, be it inbred or displayed. It simply isn't here.

 

2.10 to 2.90


2.64 TWO PHIL'S

Sire and Mare: Hard Spun - Mia Torri

2nd gen sires: Danzig - General Quarters

DP = 2-7-11-0-0 (20) DI = 2.64 CD = 0.55

Mare Profile = 3-4-8-8-5 Speed = 7 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.69 Triads = 15-20-21


This guy is one of the most talented horses on the field. Granted, his best performance so far has occurred on AWS and that aligns perfectly with his configurations. The speed he exhibited there, along with his successful win on the sloppy track at Churchill Downs traveling only 8.5f does not align with his set-up. He exceeds his set-up, with the ability to run on any surface. This horse has the potential to run like Animal Kingdom at Churchill Downs, as he has already shown what he can do on dirt traveling under his optimum. Within this "mid-range category" Two Phil's has shown his speed at a much higher clip even with his lopsided set-up. Coupled with his inbred stamina, this usually accounts for a very strong and favorable run. The odds should make him an even better gamble within the super. I'm keeping him and using him heavily.

 

2.50 HIT SHOW

Sire and Mare: Candy Ride - Actress

2nd gen sires: Ride the Rails - Tapit

DP = 2-5-6-1-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 6-2-4-6-8 Speed = 8 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.69 Triads = 12-12-18


Spent alot of time with this guy. Between the Tapit factor, the 2.50 unfavorable index associated with that factor, the lean in the triads, the past performance aligned with favoritism to his stamina dominance, the ease of performance at Aqueduct and Oaklawn and the failure to accelerate on the faster surface at Churchill leads me to believe that Belmont Park is the better spot for this guy. If we were to see a pace like we did last year, Hit Show would not succumb to it and this would work in his favor. With how the field is laying out, it appears unlikely. This guy would be one to insert on the "fast pace" ticket underneath if you are so inclined to configure two separate tickets.

 

2.50 MAGE

Sire and Mare: Good Magic - Puca

2nd gen sires: Curlin - Big Brown

DP = 2-4-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 7-8-2-9-8 Speed = 15 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.89 Triads = 17-19-19


The difference between Mage and the other guys in this mid-range category is two-fold. The Derby insists on inbred speed that balances the scale. If you notice the mare numbers compared against the other three in this category, Mage is holding the most inbred speed out of them all. His mares Speed number = 15. This is double than Two Phil's, Hit Show and Disarm. Combined with the stamina of his sires and chefs, this gives him a major upper-hand in this category for the Churchill race. His triads are aligned very nicely as well. Having the figures is one thing, but when sitting in the midrange category, you must have the evidence that he is taking what is available to him and using it. Based on his successful ability on the faster bias of Gulfstream and also his one length loss to the favorite at 9f shows that there is in fact something here. It is not the fact that another was able to pass him at 9f that should be considered a negative. It is the opposite. The 9f at Gulfstream was much more advantaged to Forte than to how this horse is configured. He needs more ground but still exhibited the speed to be competitive with the "top ranked" favorite on the field. Advantages switch from distance to distance. Additionally, this horse started the race in the opposite way of his normal running style because he was off slow. Forte was able to run his race in normal manner and still had to pass Mage in the stretch who showed fantastic speed to get himself out of the early mess he created. There is always a very strong probability that one horse in this category gets himself onto that tote board. I look to Mage to use that favorable inbred speed against the others in this category. He is a strong board-hit guy regardless of pace. He has both sides covered. Nice mid-range set-up.

 

2.43 DISARM

Sire and Mare: Gun Runner - Easy Tap

2nd gen sires: Candy Ride - Tapit

DP = 1-4-7-0-0 (12) DI = 2.43 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 7-3-5-9-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.85 Triads = 15-17-20


Ditto with Hit Show. The 2.43 Tapit factor will serve him well in the Belmont Stakes. It is against a win in the Kentucky Derby but should a pace meltdown happen to present itself (highly unlikely) he could be a gamble in an underneath spot on the second ticket. Other than that, I'll pass.

 

2.33 JACE'S ROAD

Sire and Mare: Quality Road - Out Post

2nd gen sires: Elusive Quality - Silver Deputy

DP = 2-2-6-0-0 (10) DI = 2.33 CD = 0.60

Mare Profile = 12-1-3-4-11 Speed = 13 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.97 Triads = 16-8-18


The superstition with late entries still would not sway a thing here. His numbers are incorrect for the Derby. He is very sub-par in his past performances. And the idea that Brad Cox may have secured himself a strategic play when it comes to Angel of Empire and Hit Show will leave this guy off of my tickets.

 

UNDER 2.00


1.86 RAISE CAIN

Sire and Mare: Violence - Lemon Belle

2nd gen sires: Medaglia d'Oro - Lemon Drop Kid

DP = 5-4-8-3-0 (20) DI = 1.86 CD = 0.55

Mare Profile = 9-2-5-4-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.09 Triads = 16-11-16


Short and to the point. This guy has no shot in the Kentucky Derby. Zero. Zip. Nada.

 

1.80 KINGSBARNS

Sire and Mare: Uncle Mo - Lady Tapit

2nd gen sires: Indian Charlie - Tapit

DP = 2-4-6-2-0 (14) DI = 1.80 CD = 0.43

Mare Profile = 9-2-7-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.08 Triads = 18-17-20


More than any other on the field, this is the colt that scares me the most. He has the highest amount of pro's and cons on the field which leads to some uncertainty still at the present time. He did not race as a 2-year-old. He is very lightly raced. His workout times are simple. His last race was handed to him because nobody dared confront him. Most importantly, Tapit's boys under 3.00 have zero advantage in the Derby. They lean too far over on the scale causing the "major inbred speed side" to evaporate, which is very against favoritism in the Derby. Kingsbarns is sitting all the way down with a 1.80 index. This is opposite of Rocket Can and Tapit Trice who are situated in the advantaged speed category spot. On the flip side, this guy walked onto the speedy Gulfstream 8f track in his maiden and blew them away with exceptional figures for an unraced newbie. He then followed that up going a bit further, trouncing them by almost 8 lengths at the finish. If that wasn't enough, he then showed another dimension, easily taking the lead in the prestigious LA Derby, giving as much effort as he needed to prevail over a group who failed to engage. Three powerful and impressive performances that align oppositely of that 1.80 index and factoring in Tapit. He has conquered 3 separate biases and has run each one in perfect sync. The cons are shot down based on his performances. This is why he is so lethal. He is unlike any Tapit boy we have encountered in any Derby so far. His numbers, without even considering Tapit in the first place, are historically & perfectly set up for the Kentucky Derby and his mares numbers are spectacular. This dilemma is reminding me of Gray Magician from 2019. The way that horse was set-up and the way he performed in the UAE Derby that year, I had stated in my analysis that he was either going to win that Derby or he was going to come in Dead Last. There was no in between with Gray Magician. Needless to say, Gray Magician fell to the latter side. Dead Last. This is exactly how I feel about Kingsbarns at the moment, therefore, I will need to update his analysis once his post and the final field is set. I think he is a very special horse but I am not set one way or the other at this early moment. There is always one on the field that splits me in two different directions, this year, it's Kingsbarns. The one thing that continues to press strongly is the fact that if Kingsbarns truly wanted to go gate to wire at 10f, he absolutely has the excessive stamina to see that happen. He has also shown his ability to run as fast as he so pleases when pressed. Those two things alone make him a major win contender, but then other factors are dead set against him. Torn in two directions with this guy but leaning towards grabbing ahold and not letting go. Technically, between his 1.80 and adding in the Tapit factor, he may indeed be sitting with the highest amount of stamina on the field which overtakes Continuar's favorable position below.

 

1.67 CONFIDENCE GAME

Sire and Mare: Candy Ride - Eblouissante

2nd gen sires: Ride the Rails - Bernardini

DP = 2-3-10-1-0 (16) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.38

Mare Profile = 2-2-7-4-9 Speed = 4 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.45 Triads = 11-13-20


His energy distribution, whether on the lead or not, has not shown much promise in keeping with his obvious mare dominance in stamina. The horse has 12.7f capability combined but he runs fast early and dies down late. His numbers and his breeding are spectacular and if his trainer really looked deeply into how this horse is built and took the layoff time to train the horse to distribute his energy properly, Confidence Game sure could be a board-hit player. There are several "ifs" associated with this colt but he has displayed very nice speed in contrast to his overt and excessive stamina leanings. One to consider in a superfecta just in case he has learned to spread that speed out while running at a much better distance for his set-up. Can it be done? Yes. Was it done? We have no idea!

 

1.40 MANDARIN HERO

Sire and Mare: Shanghai Bobby - Namura Nadeshiko

2nd gen sires: Harlan's Holiday - Fuji Kiseki

DP = 2-1-1-0-2 (6) DI = 1.40 CD = 0.17

Mare Profile = 3-8-4-11-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.67 Triads = 15-23-21


Well, this spells trouble but it may not have to cause heart palpitations to the extreme. Since Practical Move was also scratched, realistically this horse could be considered as a fine replacement if you were leaning to using Practical Move, which may be the best solution here. This horse has the very best Derby configurations of the entire Japanese Squadron. Killer numbers. Overt mare stamina with the ability to perform successfully on the slick track at Santa Anita. Fought against class easily. His mare stamina does not override and take control. Fantastic triads. Basically, not the normal set-up you find with successful Santa Anita runners. It is contrary to that BUT there is one thing that bothers me. Recall Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby. Amazing run against the grain of his numbers. He was swept faster on it, which could be the case here but it is impossible to know for sure. My solution is to use the horse in place of Practical Move in your tickets. He's a player. His numbers are better than Derma's for this race for the board. Every time the last one draws in with fantastic numbers, they hit hit hit. Not one to look past for sure.

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