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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Diving Into the Breeders Dirt Mile - Cody's Wish vs. Algiers

Now that Saudi Crown is a definite for the Classic, the Dirt Mile has reverted back to being one of the toughest nuts to crack of the weekend. Let's dive in to see what it has taken to win this race and what aligns now with the pre-entries.

When doing your own research for any Breeder's Cup race, you may come across comparisons or past history of the race that encompasses every edition. This is the incorrect position to take. When it comes to the Breeder's Cup, the only past information that should be consulted should come from the EXACT track that the race was run on. The other editions do not correspond.

The Breeders Cup Dirt Mile debuted in 2007 at Monmouth Park. Since then, there have been seven editions run at Santa Anita.

Two of those seven (2008 & 2009) were actually run at Santa Anita Oak Tree, which, realistically, did not even line up with the true name of the race. Those two "Dirt Mile" races were actually run on All Weather Surface.

When looking back on this race, only 5 past performances can be consulted, not all 16.

History can only be used if it is in perfect sync with the exact race at hand. When doing your own research and looking into these "History Articles" on the internet, be very wary when they lump every Breeders race together. The information is useless.

A mile race at Keeneland or Monmouth Park holds no allegiance to the same distance run at Santa Anita.

The next area that needs to be aligned is the weather conditions on the exact race course. If Santa Anita has a clear fast track this year, a sloppy past edition would hold no bearing. Again, everything must be apples for apples if you are to judge how the past corresponds to the present.

With that in mind, let's dive in.

Five Editions of the Dirt Mile, held at Santa Anita, all on a clear fast track:

2019 - Spun to Run - Gate to Wire in the Dirt Mile

The race prior: Won the Appreciation Mile Stakes at PARX on a clean fast track. He was within 1/2 length of the lead at the 1/4 pole and won the 8f race by 6-3/4 lengths. Parx Race Track is in complete alignment with Santa Anita and his style was in perfect sync with an advantaged spot for the Breeders cup race. Spun to Run was an easy stand-out player for the 2019 Dirt Mile race because he demolished the same bias in his prior race and gave proof that his endurance with his style (front tier) would allow his speed to endure the full 8f on the same exact bias.

2016 - Tamarkuz - 7th position at the 1/4 - up to 3rd position between the 1/2 and 3/4 pole in the Dirt Mile

The race prior: The Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park, took 2nd place while stalking in 2nd position. Different track bias, however, that race happened to be run on a sloppy wet track, which turns the bias considerations back to conducive for Santa Anita and therefore his successful performance in the Kelso would him a player with evidence of ability to thrive at Santa Anita.

2014 - Goldencents - Gate to Wire in the Dirt Mile

The race prior: The race prior: The 2014 6f Sprint Championships at Santa Anita, came in second by a nose. Evidence of severe speed ability on the exact track bias with stamina to burn. The 6f race was way too short but his speed ability was obviously up to par in spite of that. High cruising speed, perfect running style, ample endurance for advantaged lead spot.

2013 - Goldencents - Gate to Wire in the Dirt Mile

The race prior: The 2013 6f Sprint Championships at Santa Anita, came in second behind only 1/2 length. Took the same path in the year prior with the exact same results.

2012 - Tapizar - 2nd position, close on heels at the 1/4 - took over lead between the 1/2 and 3/4 pole in the Dirt Mile

The race prior: Cannot realistically use the Kelso race because Tapizar was bumped badly at the break and basically taken out of the race. So, we move one race back to his 8.5f Governor's Stakes at Mountaineer. He won that race, Gate to Wire, by 4.5 lengths. Different bias, moving to faster bias and dropping down in distance with a lead runner showed he would upgrade his advantage on a more conducive track.


Four out of the five past Santa Anita editions were won either in gate to wire fashion or within 1/2 to 1 length off the lead at the 1/4 pole. The outlier is Tamarkuz.

Call times for the Winners:

2019 - 23.05 46.51 1:10.50 1:23.31 1:36.58

2016 - 22.45 45.57 1:10.00 1:22.64 1:35.72

2014 - 22.06 44.80 1:09.27 1:21.92 1:35.16

2013 - 22.12 44.75 1:08.64 1:21.62 1:35.12

2012 - 22.77 46.58 1:10.72 1:22.95 1:35.34

No two races could ever be the same but the past can reveal PARS that essentially needed to be met in order to win the Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in the past. What evidence can we extract that shows a clear advantage to those entering this particular race on this bias?

1. First or Second position or at least lead tier.

2. Prior race in sync with bias - and if not - does he upgrade his speed on a speedier bias.

3. Stamina leaning within his breeding in order to keep proper pace the full course.

4. Has he hit those specific call times and run a mile within the 1:35.00 to 1:36.00 range successfully.

You will be very surprised at first when you see the winning chef dosage figures for the Mile when held at Santa Anita. Don't be. What they reveal is EXACTLY how a horse would need to be built in order to run fast, up front, and keep that same pace with his energy (heightened endurance with evidence of displayed forward speed).

2019 - Spun to Run Chef DI = 2.38 CD = 0.55

2016 - Tamarkuz Chef DI = 2.11 CD = 0.61

2014 - Goldencents Chef DI = 1.67 CD = 0.38

2014 - Goldencents Chef DI = 1.67 CD = 0.38

2012 - Tapizar Chef DI = 3.00 CD = 0.71 - First generation Tapit

The first "advantaged group" is the lead and the lead tier. Since Saudi Crown is running in the Classic, the "need to lead" runner falls onto Zozos. Let's look at his credentials to see how they actually stack up next to previous winners at Santa Anita. For this, we would disregard Tamarkuz because he did not run with the same style so his true times would be different)

ZOZOS - Previous Performances

9/30 - Ack Ack Stakes. 8f on clear fast track. Gate to Wire.

Call Times: 23.69 47.10 1:11.41 1:23.20 1:35.32

Beyers: 78 85 102 94

All of the calls are slower than each of the calls of the previous winners, however, his final time is right on par.

This race was held at Churchill Downs, a fast track but not as fast as Santa Anita.

His early speed will take an upgrade, less expended early energy with strong probability of gliding at a faster pace here.

With faster calls, would his endurance capability match the ACK ACK stakes traveling at a faster pace to win?

Zozos - Chef DI = 4.00 CD = 0.80

Zozos can travel 8f obviously, but his pace will quicken in the early stages which will lessen his late energy to some degree. With a 4.00 index, his early pace figures do not coincide.

A more realistic comp would be his sloppy performance at Ellis Park in the Hanshin Stakes. The sloppy bias allowed for his fastest gate to wire win, which is more aligned with the faster conditions of Santa Anita.

Call Times: 23.11 45.92 1:10.30 1:22.91 1:35.73

Beyers: 97 97 88 93

Notice how the faster bias produced faster early calls and faster early beyers (which WILL occur at Santa Anita) - but produced basically the exact same Final Time. This is not good. This is because his energy distribution downgraded and FULL EVIDENCE that his 4.00 index CAN NOT withstand the same pace is revealed.

His energy will be adversely affected in the Dirt Mile if he attempts a fast lead on that bias. His breeding will not allow even distribution at the faster pace on a faster bias. He may be able to withstand for a small piece, but he is not built correctly for the win with his running style.

The horse to beat is obviously the favorite, Cody's Wish. This brings us to Algiers in trying to figure out where he stands.

Knowing that the probable lead will have faulty late energy, let's look at the last 8f race of Algiers to see if his performance hits par for Santa Anita. We will also look at his last race at Woodbine to see how it correlates.


Jan 6, 2023 - Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 Presented By Zabeel Feed - 8f Meydan Racecourse

Final WINNING TIME for Algiers - 1:35.88 - on par with previous Dirt Mile Winners.

In addition, Algiers was geared down in the stretch - he won by over 6 lengths.

Algiers running style is up close to the front tier. Cody's Wish is a rear runner. This means that Algiers has a start at a much more advantaged location for this particular race. The Meydan racecourse has been extremely kinder to forwardly placed runners over the last two years, much faster and fairly aligned with Santa Anita at this point.

Here's the impressive 8f race, run on a fast track. He smoked that field:

Unfortunately, we do not have the same figures to consult for this particular race, however, based on his running style on the fast track of Meydan, Algiers posted his best Racing Form Figures of his career on that surface and at that distance. Again, that bias definitely coincides with Santa Anita.

Based on the video and using freeze frame, his 3rd call was approx 1:11.3 - he stalked a bit slower pace (which he will have with Zozos) and his energy and speed rose in the late stages. He will have position over Cody's Wish when he begins his prime area of power. How many lengths ahead of Cody cannot be handicapped - that part will remain unknown, of course.

Algiers' last race, held on the AWS at Woodbine was AGAINST THE GRAIN of his build and his "winning ways."

I understand that race now. This was a calculated "training" race which sought to work on his high cruising stamina side in order to glide faster and easier at Santa Anita. His "uninspiring beyers" on the AWS hold ZERO bearing to his other performances on a fast dirt track and also with the Dirt Mile. Consider it a paid workout and toss the figures.

The AWS performance was actually extremely impressive. Think Two Phil's - same type. Better on dirt but has the stamina ability to work the AWS. He was in complete control at the 8f mark in the Dubai World Cup, the spot where his power surged. In addition, his forward spot will be enhanced by the bias.

ALGIERS - Chef DI = 2.11 CD = 0.39

At 8f on the Santa Anita Surface, Algiers has every single point covered.

Advantageous Running Style √

Comparable Bias √

Final 8f Speed √

Ability to sustain equal late energy √

Evidence of ability to sustain excessive late energy √

Dosage on Par √

Cody's Wish

June 10, 2023 - The Metropolitan Handicap - 8f Belmont Park

Was in 8th position during the first call and by the 3/4 pole, Cody was in the lead. Call times begin there for him...

22.76 45.86 1:10.16 1:22.00 1:34.36

The opening first two calls of the Met Mile opened the door for the rear-runner, as all lead speed faltered by the 3/4 pole. Based on Zozos, this will also happen in the Dirt Mile. Based on the displayed capabilities as found in their past performances of both Algiers and Cody's Wish, they meet eye to eye between the 3/4 pole and the top of the stretch.

Either Zozos would have to take a major upgrade in his early pace, or a completely different horse would need to fire out of that gate and take the lead to give Cody's Wish a comparable 22.76 and 45.86 outrageous pace for him to capitalize like he did in the Met. There is no guarantee at all that this would occur with this group.

In the 8f Al Maktoum, Algiers did his best and most powerful running at precisely that spot - between 7.0 and 7.5f. In every one of Cody's Graded Stakes 8f races, he has tapered a bit at that precise spot.

Cody's Wish - Chef DI = 3.89 CD = 0.82

At 8f on the Santa Anita bias, Cody's Wish does not have full advantage.

Advantageous Running Style - no

Comparable Bias √

Final 8f Speed √

Ability to sustain equal late energy - √

Evidence of ability to sustain excessive late energy - no

Dosage on Par - no (but he did crack this point last year)

This race appears to be a match race between Algiers and Cody's Wish. Algiers has the advantage.


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