<Originally posted at HRF-Online May 2017>
Last 27 editions of the Belmont Stakes:
17 winners between 2.10 to 3.00 index. (All but one was won a Normal Track) 5 winners under 2.00. (Two of those wins came on a sloppy track) 5 winners above 3.01. (Three of those wins had troubled races or few entrants)
In the last 27 editions of the Belmont Stakes, only one, American Pharoah, won the race with profile points under twelve. Important to note, in the 76 editions of the Belmont stakes since 1940, only three horses managed a win with Profile Points Total under twelve;
2015 Pharoah had 8. 1959 Sword Dancer had 10. 1943 Count Fleet had 4.
If it rains, a stamina horse (under 2.00) will have a stronger advantage in pursuit of a win. Out of the 5 horses who won the Belmont with an index below 2.00, Four of those editions were cloudy or rainy. Only Drosselmeyer won this race with a 1.75 index on a clear day with a fast track since 1990. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, not one of the five winners since 1990 who won the Belmont with an index over 3.10 was on a sloppy track. All five of those wins came on a good dry track.
Of the 5 horses who won the Belmont with an index over 3.10 since 1990, only 2 of them had run in a fair clean normal race – Pharoah and Thunder Gulch. The other 3 races had bad starts, injuries, low entrants, etc. In other words, three of the five winners with an index of 3.10 had some other forces to aid in their win.
Out of the 17 races won by horses between 2.10 and 3.00, only Ruler on Ice won the race on a sloppy track. All 16 others won the race on a normal track. 14 won the race on a clear day and fast track. For AP Indy, it was hazy. For Union Rags, it was cloudy. (However, the tracks were both listed as good and fast.)
Over the last 12 years, only Drosselmeyer (Clear day) took the trophy with a 1.75 index. This is on the higher end of the stamina spectrum. Birdstone 1.77 (Cloudy) and Empire Maker 1.88 (Sloppy) were also on the higher end of the stamina spectrum. We must go back to 1993, when Colonial Affair won with a very low 1.19 index. He won on a very sloppy track.
Since Sarava in 2002 and Commendable in 2000, only the monster American Pharoah was able to go the distance with a high 4.33 index.
The bottom line based on the last 27 years:
1. Horses with an index between 1.00 and 2.00 have an 18.5% win rate.
2. Horses with an index between 2.10 and 3.00 have a 62.96% win rate.
3. Horses with an index between 3.10 and 4.00 have a 7.41% win rate.
4. Horses with an index between 4.10 and 5.00 have an 11.13% win rate.
5. Horses with an index above 5.10 have a 0% win rate.
6. Over the last 27 years, 66.67% advantage rate goes to a stamina horse (under 2.00) on a sloppy track over a 2.10 to 3.00 “average” horse. 0% advantage to a horse over 3.10.
7. In the Money Horses – 2nd, 3rd and 4th have a greater chance of being filled with 2.10 to 3.00 horses just as their win rates depict. Stamina and Speed horses are split evenly just as their win percentages are.
Over the last 12 years: A stamina horse (under 2.00) has an 8.33% win rate. A speed horse (over 3.10) has an 8.33% win rate. An “average” horse (2.10 – 3.00) has an 83.33% win rate.
1990 to 2016 Belmont Stakes Winners: Year – Index – Horse – Points – Conditions – Info for Exception Years
1990 2.71 GO AND GO (26) (Clear Fast) 1991 2.29 HANSEL (28) (Clear Fast ) 1992 2.45 A. P. INDY (38) (Hazy Fast) 1993 1.19 COLONIAL AFFAIR (34) (Rainy Sloppy) (Two were eased, broke down) 1994 3.57 TABASCO CAT (16) (Cloudy Fast) (Only 6 Entrants) 1995 4.00 THUNDER GULCH (20) (Cloudy Fast) (Good Clean race) 1996 2.29 EDITOR'S NOTE (28) (Clear Fast) 1997 1.82 TOUCH GOLD (24) (Cloudy Fast) (Good Clean Race) 1998 3.00 VICTORY GALLOP (22) (Clear Fast) 1999 2.62 LEMON DROP KID (38) (Clear Fast) 2000 5.00 COMMENDABLE (42) (Clear Fast) (Four entrants checked, bobbled or eased) 2001 3.00 POINT GIVEN (16) (Clear Fast) 2002 4.50 SARAVA (22) (Clear Fast) (Seven entrants either stumbled, steadied, or vanned off) 2003 1.88 EMPIRE MAKER (36) (Rainy, Sloppy) (Only 6 Entrants) 2004 1.77 BIRDSTONE (18) (Cloudy Fast) (Good Clean Race) 2005 2.11 AFLEET ALEX (14) (Cloudy Fast) 2006 3.00 JAZIL (28) (Clear Fast) 2007 3.00 RAGS TO RICHES (22) (Clear Fast) 2008 2.43 DA' TARA (12) (Clear Fast) 2009 2.56 SUMMER BIRD (16) (Clear Fast) 2010 1.75 DROSSLEMEYER (22) (Clear Fast) (Good Clean Race) 2011 2.56 RULER ON ICE (16) (Cloudy Sloppy) 2012 2.14 UNION RAGS (22) (Cloudy Good) 2013 2.64 PALACE MALICE (Pts: 20) (Clear Fast) 2014 2.78 TONALIST (34) (Clear Fast) 2015 4.33 AMERICAN PHAROAH (8) (Clear Fast) (Good Clean Race) 2016 3.00 CREATOR (26) (Clear Fast)
All of these statistics come down to ADVANTAGES, not who will win and who won't. As each year shows, different conditions will impact any horse with an advantage and each year can and will produce a winner that did not have that advantage.
These numbers only confirm that a balanced inheritance, as opposed to those who inherited an overabundance of either speed or stamina, has an advantage going 12f at the Belmont Track. Conditions and bias will impact these outcomes.