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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Classic Empire's Boy


Coolmore's Classic Empire

As discussed in a previous article, the mild weather patterns throughout the winter took its toll on the Derby Trail this year. Biases were flipped along the line, producing winners that went against history. After reviewing these prep races and aligning them with what had always been advantaged historically, one colt continually stood out.


This was an article that I was going to wait on, but there is no reason to wait. Once the PP's come out, I'll make adjustments if need be, but at this moment in time, one horse has overtaken the other three - by alot. Why wait? Everyone knew for months that I was backing Epicenter for the win last year. It took longer this year, but I'm pretty set with this guy. It would take an earthquake to shake me from him.


I imagine most saw that I had been extremely impressed with Two Phil's and Kingsbarns, and much more confident with Tapit Trice after his last prep. I still like them very much, but there are reasons against each for the win.


Quick and to the point:


Two Phil's - Hard to back a 2.64 index for the win in the Kentucky Derby. Doesn't mean I wouldn't attempt it, but historically, it is certainly a stretch.


Kingsbarns - Unraced as a 2 year old. I'm not falling for that "if Justify can do it" argument. I am 100% confident that Kingsbarns won't have the aura of drug use permeating his stall from his last prep. Lightly raced is hard to back as well, no matter how good. I have Charge It in the back of my mind.


Tapit Trice - Not a confident "Tapit factor" kind of girl for a win in the Kentucky Derby. Belmont preference always prevails. The 3.92 index keeps him on board and spread.


Again, there is no chance of not using those three, but the emphasis is on a win right now.


When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, the fascination with how this race is won historically and with what exact advantaged configurations, there really isn't any reason to continue the agony. My search ends now.


Regardless of how the track surfaces played out this year, everything that Angel of Empire has displayed throughout his 2 year old campaign, all the way through to his win in the Arkansas Derby, showed something very note-worthy as it pertains to the Derby.


The mild winter weather this season will have a powerful affect on Churchill's surface this year. A "clean" track in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May is on course to be an easier and much faster surface. The type of track that Baffert's crew would have relished. The type of track that gives favor to those with powerful inbred speed. The type that historically dominates the Kentucky Derby - the Speed Category.


With that in mind, this type of track also works completely against the speed category as well, which we saw last year. Some of them will run faster early, leading them to disintegrate much sooner. Usually at the final turn. Only one on the field has both sides tipped in his favor. Configurations-wise and style-wise.

ANGEL OF EMPIRE


Angel of Empire has just about every piece of advantaged criteria for the Derby covered and he is hitting it on all four cylinders. Rain or shine or deep mud or mist. Doesn't matter with his breeding and his style.


HISTORIC ADVANTAGE:

Speed wins races. Inbred and displayed. This statement is an absolute when it comes to the Derby. The speed category, 3.10 and over, represent the highest percentage of success because they thrive on a fast clean track and also on a wet track. When the horse is sitting in this category, the easy tell-tale sign that he is not the average sprinter will unfold in his mare's configurations.


Overabundance of inbred chef speed coupled with a scale that balances the mare stamina in proportion has always and will always be the most advantaged on the Derby field. Angel of Empire is sitting with the highest amount of inbred speed on the field - by over double with the next who sits under him.


BIAS ADVANTAGE:

When the track is a sloppy, deep and tiring surface, those same colts who are dominant in speed from their chefs are usually the ones who bolt for that lead, tiring at the 3/4 pole, and the rear running stamina guys take advantage of retreating horse. That dominant speed hurts them on that exact surface. Angel of Empire does not bolt for the lead and will not be in a position to allow for his configurations to sweep him away with his speedy peers. He runs counter to his breeding. He's running with the stamina guys, but holding 9 times the amount of late speed. His speed gives him advantage on a clean or wet track. His late running speed gives him advantage in deep mud. It's all covered.


STYLE and DISPLAYED ATTRIBUTES:

It is a falsehood to believe that the Kentucky Derby caters to the lead. Because of the never-ending headlines that surround Baffert's lead speedsters as they pertain to the Derby, one might easily believe that the lead is the place to be. Considering the fact that in recent years, Maximum Security, Justify, Authentic, and the unfortunate Medina Spirit were all cited with drug use, one must push aside those editions and look at true data. An un-altered horse with lead speed who is not carrying the proper mare credentials will give in time and time again. The speed dominant Angel of Empire does not burn himself out on the lead.


THE BREEDING and the DISTANCE:

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

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


The first four generations of Angel's chart consist of only four chefs.


Carson City (Brilliant, Intermediate)

Unbridled (Brilliant, Intermediate)

A.P. Indy (Intermediate, Classic)

Mr. Prospector (Brilliant, Classic)


It is easy to see why Angel has inherited 9 times the amount of speed over stamina from those few chefs. Straight down the line, it is all Brilliant and Intermediate with a slight helping hand in the Classic category from A.P. Indy and Mr. Prospector. A 9.00 index and a very high 1.20 chef CD translates to only 7f. Sprinter numbers.


Combined at 50/50 with his mares, he upgrades to 9.25f. Still scary for the Derby, isn't it?


When adding in his prominent non-chef, Storm Cat (Intermediate) even more inbred speed can be dumped in. This final figure heightens even further with an ANZ index of 11.00. This is eleven times more inherited speed over stamina from his chefs. This depicts the highest speed capacity on the entire Derby Probables Field. None come close.


So why doesn't Angel of Empire run like a typical sprinter, fast out of the gate with fading late energy?


Based on the 10 points found in his chefs profile total, history tells us that his mares contribution will be greater percentage-wise.

Based on Angel of Empire's past performances, that history aligns with the evidence that he has already provided in numerous ways. It will not be a 50/50 split. I'm more apt to give it closer to 30/70 for certain concrete reasons.


His mares have passed down 11.2f capability. But that is not the end of the story as far as additional confirmation. Angel of Empire has quite a fascinating chart to say the least. There is no doubt that the "major speed" inheritance is easily identified in his configurations considering the 11.00 chef and non-chef total and that being unmatched on the field. It is everything that folds into his massive ingredients that makes him wildly unique among the field. Ingredients that are historically superior for the Kentucky Derby, along with proven evidence that he is capturing the bulk of it, mainly through his style.

  1. Not only does Angel of Empire boast the favorable Derby signal of Ribot, but he is listed in his chart three separate times. Once through Tom Rolfe, once through Con Brio and the most favorable of them all, through Graustark. This gives a straight line to both Ribot and Flower Bowl. The heavy-hitting Derby Combo. Three shots of Ribot. Spectacular.

  2. On the very top of his line breeding is Mr. Prospector. The listed brilliant/classic chef that puts Teddy on top through the lines, with St. Simon a very close second. But there is one other who inserts himself just after Mr. Prospector. That is Miswaki, which we'll get to next. Below Miswaki, is the typical line-up of characters that draw the line to St. Simon.

The Significance of Miswaki:


There are certain sires, be they chefs or not, that when presented within a chart, will point to certain traits and factors. This is similar to the Tapit factor, Giant's Causeway, Into Mischief, even Justify and Good Magic of today.


Miswaki was a very fast turf runner who competed in France, Great Britain and the USA in 1980 and 1981.

Galileo

Sprinting turf races. With a race record of 13-6-4-1.

It is not his races, his style, nor his track preference that makes him note-worthy or significant in the chart.


He was the leading broodmare sire in Great Britain and Ireland in both 1999 and 2001. His most famous offspring was the 1991 Horse of the Year, Black Tie Affair.


He also sired Urban Sea, who won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1993. Urban Sea is the dam of Sea of Stars and the magnificent Galileo.


But there is more to it than just Black Tie Affair, Urban Sea, and Galileo. It was what he had in his chart and what he was capable of passing through. A sought after sire is an understatement, with over 1000 offspring notched on his bed-post.


There are 15 sires in the first 4 generations of a chart. In Miswaki's case, 13 out of his 15 sires were listed Chefs - Masters of the Breed.


Mr. Prospector, Raise a Native, Buckpasser, Native Dancer, Nashua, Tom Fool, Princequillo, Polynesian, Nasrullah (2x), Count Fleet, War Admiral, Prince Rose.


The royal blood that dates back to as early as 1934, coming from a sire who passed away in only 2004, assures a perfect conduit to the best stamina blood you can procure. All within the first 4 generations, which is very powerful. To reiterate just how powerful, here is Miswaki's chefs dosage line:


Chef's Dosage Profile = 20-10-28-2-0 (60) Index = 2.75 CD = 0.80


The profile itself is stunning, but the fact that it is perfectly balanced with a 2.75 index, makes any influence from his mares insignificant. His set-up was so weighted that it pulled him in two opposing directions, to the ultimate extreme with his inheritance.


So much inbred elite speed, he became a sprinter.

So much inbred elite stamina, he thrived on turf.


Talk about a perfectly balanced scale! Massive inbred speed with massive inbred stamina that it completely tore him to the two extreme sides of the spectrum. But again, what he did with his inheritance has no bearing on what passes through in the breeding shed. All of that royal blood so close up on a new chart puts the recipient in a different stratosphere.


How this relates to Angel of Empire:


This is the moment when the sun rises up and the wind pushes those clouds further and further apart. Birds flutter and sing on the breeze while butterflies blast their beautiful colors. There's a peacock in the distance, prancing his splayed beauty and the canopy of leaves shimmer high up above.


Don't you just love when that happens! Top linebreeding directly to Miswaki under Mr. Prospector and he is revealing it.


Miswaki sits on the top of Angel's chart, through the mare, In Her Glory, in the 4th generation. We are not going back tons of generations with this line-breeding. Fourth generation affects the recipient. Most importantly, we have seen the evidence of the affect.


Angel of Empire has given us every single bit of evidence that he is built perfectly for the Kentucky Derby. Barring a bad ride or a bad post, this horse is set to explode.


Maiden race. 8f. Sloppy Track. Seven horses on the field. Content at mid-pack. Made his move at the 3/4 pole and came home to win with a late pace figure of 98. He was not responsible for the ending low beyer figure, he was a product of it as dictated by the lead. Maiden winner. 8f. Sloppy track. Mowed them down with that 98. His high-end speed inheritance, even though he prefers to show it late (against the grain) is exactly the type of bias that his top side would gravitate to.


Second Race. Dropped down to 6.5f and installed into a TURF gate. He wanted no part of it, luckily for everyone!


Third race. Back on his preferred dirt surface at 8f. Demolished them by 6-1/4 lengths (major speed) coming from the rear (major stamina).


Fourth race. The Smarty Jones. 8f. Came in 2nd place behind Victory Formation at Oaklawn - a track bias that does not suit his "outward speedy" breeding. Victory had Tapit to rely on and 3rd place finisher, Dennington, highly lopsided to the stamina side.


With that performance, it could either be one of two things. Either Angel of Empire completely forgot the fact that he is a 9.00 (11.00) index colt with both his running style and that difficult harder bias - or his elite mares, coupled with Ribot, Flower Bowl, Graustark, and Miswaki, have much more to say than meets the eye. There is no guesswork here, that is exactly what is happening. Remember, Angel of Empire only has 10 points in his profile. That upper side is not the DOMINANT force - it is the bottom side and everything else that surrounds it.


Based on his successful late run on that bias, with his style and late use of his inbred speed, it is apparent that Angel of Empire is taking a very strong hold of those elements that sit outside of his chefs numbers.


But he kicked ass in his sloppy maiden - oh yes he did. Both sides of the scale, up, down, backwards and sideways. He has displayed that entire chart, his chefs influence, his dominant mare influence, and all of the extra special charms within his chart.


Fifth Race. The Risen Star. 9f. The extra furlong gave him even more power to prevail over a group of serious competitors. But this race shows exactly what this horse is built on more than even his last prep in Arkansas. This race is of major significance. Due to the "off bias" in the Risen star, all the speedy types in this 9f test fell to the bottom, regardless of the position they held while racing. Stamina horses held the advantage on that tote board.


So for this race, Angel of Empire reverts back to his stamina side and speeds across that finish line first. His early pace figures, remaining in the 9th position no less, were phenomenal. 100/108 for those calls. He ended with a 97 beyer coming from off the pace. Magnificent performance showing his adeptness on both sides.


Sixth Race. The Arkansas Derby. 9f. Now at Oaklawn Park, this horse makes a 5 wide move circling horses in the blink of an eye. This was not a race against a group of amateurs like Forte had in his final prep. His figures heightened. His speed heightened. And it will continue to heighten the further he goes.


OUTLOOK:


We have talked about this alot. When you have a young "stamina-dominant" colt who runs on the lead (like Extra Anejo, Epicenter, Flightline, etc) you have to sit up and take notice. It goes against the grain of his stated configurations.


When you have a "speed-dominant" colt who has a running style that is counter to the look of "sprinter numbers" you must take notice as well. This is the type that captures everything in that chart that screams stamina and reserves the sprinting until late. He's running against the grain which means he is capturing it all. He is grabbing both sides.


In line with Always Dreaming, Nyquist, Strike the Gold, Charismatic, and Fusaichi Pegasus.


His jockey is making decisions much easier as well. It's not Leparoux! Flavien Prat chose Angel of Empire for a reason.


As we say at the poker table, "I'm all in."

And I'll raise you a set of Triads at 16-21-20.

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