The Kentucky Derby has been in existence since 1875. It is the longest running sporting event in our country. The documentation of the four generation dosage profiles begins with 1940.
Since 1940, there has been 79 winners to date.
Of those 79 winners;
42 winners were STAMINA horses (Index 2.10 and under) which is 53.16% of the time.
28 winners were SPEED horses (Index 3.00 and over) which is 35.44% of the time.
9 winners were MID-RANGE horses (index 2.10 to 2.90) which is 11.39% of the time.
Since 1940, this boils down to 88.60% of the time a Speed colt or a Stamina colt has won the Kentucky Derby. Only 11% of the time has a mid-range colt been in that winners circle in almost 80 years.
Because of the fact that dosage indexes were much lower prior to the decade of the 70’s, as stamina was bred into these colts at a much higher level due to the prior 4 generation sires, the indexes are very skewed against what is running today. It is not advantageous to go back into history that far.
If we begin at 1980, there were 39 winners of the Kentucky Derby.
Of those 39 winners;
16 winners were STAMINA horses which is 41.02% of the time.
19 winners were SPEED horses which is 48.71% of the time.
4 winners were MID-RANGE horses which is 10.25% of the time.
Since 1980, this boils down to 89.74% of the time a Speed colt or Stamina colt has won the Kentucky Derby. This percentage is basically the same as it was going back to 1940. The change has come from the higher amount of speed colts depicted in that percentage. Mid-range colts still hold basically the same low win ratio.
The highest and best spot to be in for a Derby hopeful is found within the high speed category (over 3.00 index) or the high stamina category (under 2.10 index).
Since 1980, the only mid-range colts to hit the board on top were;
1980 – Genuine Risk – 2.57 (he also had 50 points total in his profile which is a standout)
1989 – Sunday Silence – 2.56 (his past performances made him a standout)
2007 – Street Sense – 2.14 (a complete standout and borderline stamina colt just over 2.10)
2012 – I’ll Have Another – 2.11 (Borderline Stamina colt just over 2.10)
The point again, 90% of the time a high speed colt or a high stamina colt has prevailed in the Derby. Only 10% has fallen into that mid-range category. This means that high speed and/or high stamina has an advantage that is off the charts but since 4 have conquered the disadvantage that means that the quest is not impossible year over year.
The other important aspect is that high speed indexed colts has shifted into the higher percentage win ratio and this is mainly due to weather factors. Any time it rains and the track is wet and sloppy, the dominating speed horses prevail. They have the edge over stamina in that scenario.
The Mare Influence:
Since there is an established history of dominance in the high speed or high stamina category coming from the chefs influence, one must differentiate the caliber of the speed horse as it pertains to his stamina influence. In order for the speed colt to win or hit the board in the Kentucky Derby he must have a few specific things in his back pocket:
1) A chef’s index that is 3.00 and over.
2) Past performances are consistent.
3) Mare stamina to carry that speed the 10f distance.
4) A sloppy track helps his cause as well.
The last 10 speed winners of the Kentucky Derby:
2018 – Justify – Chefs = 3.00 (Sloppy Track)
2017 – Always Dreaming – Chefs = 5.00 (Sloppy Track)
2016 – Nyquist – Chefs = 7.00
2015 – American Pharoah – Chefs = 4.33
2014 – California Chrome – Chefs = 3.40
2013 – Orb – Chefs = 3.21 (Sloppy Track)
2010 – Super Saver – Chefs = 3.00 (Sloppy Track)
2009 – Mine That Bird- Chefs = 5.40 (Sloppy Track)
2005 – Giacomo – Chefs = 4.33
2002- War Emblem – Chefs = 3.40
Since 2002, the Derby has been run 5 times on a sloppy track and all 5 times were won by speed horses. (And hit the board as well) It is important to note that the mare influence of stamina is not as great or is not as big of an issue when the track ends up sloppy. When it is a clear fast track, the mare influence is imperative.
If we isolate the speed winners who won on the clear track, the mare influence is everything.
Nyquist = 15-15-20
Pharoah = 15-17-17
Chrome = 18-11-19
Giacomo = 17-20-21
War Emblem = 17-14-19
The last slot of the triads depicts the highest stamina influence (over 11f) from the mares. In each case, that third slot dominates each set. Only American Pharoah was even in his Classic center and high stamina slot but they still both dominate the speed first slot. This is important because each of them gained enough speed from their chefs and too much from the mares tilts the balance too far from sustaining that speed. The lower a chef index goes, the more loaded the first slot of those triads would need to be. Again, if the track ends up sloppy, the mare numbers become less important mainly because of its major negative impact on the stamina guys themselves. The chefs speed influence more than counters and will always dominate. Only once in decades has a stamina horse even hit the board in the rain in the Kentucky Derby. That was last year with Instilled Regard. A case could be made in this instance that the high speed influence came directly from his mares and aided in his cause.
These statistics hold firm for the top 4 finishers year after year. Speed and stamina will always dominate while the mid-range colts will struggle for a piece. They do make it there every so often so you can never disregard them but they must be holding some type of standout qualities. They will always have the disadvantage for a win and/or a board hit but they do break that barrier so it is important to place a strong amount of time into their consideration. More often than not, their mare influence holds the key but a consistent resume will highlight them first.
As history has shown, the highest and best advantage will always be in favor of a speed demon with proper triad configurations or a stamina horse with loaded triads. Every so often a mid-range guy will steal the show. It is rare but since the threat is always there, they cannot be disregarded at any time.
As the final preps of the year get underway, the field is finally beginning to take its proper shape in line with the past. Most years, the field will spread itself fairly evenly across each category. Once each participant is placed in their appropriate category, it will allow the handicapper to differentiate where the advantage falls and will also highlight those with the proper stamina to carry their speed the 10f distance. Weather bias will of course fall directly onto that speed category but in that regard, the mare’s numbers become somewhat moot. In that case, any longshot who is holding a boatload of chefs in their chart (with profiles totals past the 40 point mark) will also stand out. At this point in the prep season, there are none in contention with that criteria.
With the exception of any colts coming from the Baffert barn, the inheritance and breeding of a horse will dictate the ability to sustain a wicked amount of speed for the 10f distance of the Kentucky Derby. There are many factors that must be considered in order to isolate the top 5 contenders out of a field of 20. Of course, their past performances will be number one. The gate number is very important. The weather is a factor. The breeding leaning to the Classic distance brings it all together.
The analysis for the top 23 or so Derby probables will be posted sometime after the Santa Anita Derby. Any changes will be added after the Arkansas Derby. The analysis will be geared towards highlighting those horses who have proven their determination and speed on the track with the breeding which allows them to replicate that speed going the 10f distance. Factors such as weather and gate assignment will twist the advantaged ones as we get to the final week of preparation. Those who had an advantage in the middle of the month may lose it quickly so we must be able to roll with the punches and keep it fluid. It should only be concrete in your mind as to how the proper Superfecta ticket should be configured just before post parade. The biggest detriment in placing a Superfecta bet in the Kentucky Derby is marrying your picks without adjusting for gate numbers or the weather and this only comes to fruition a few hours prior to the running. This is always the biggest challenge and the main reason why many end up ripping their tickets up after the race.
The goal throughout the year is to watch and observe the ups and downs and upsets of the Derby Trail and to distinguish those superstars who have the raw ability and talent to conquer a field of 20 in the prestigious 10f Kentucky Derby. The number one aspect of this particular race as it pertains to cashing a huge Superfecta payout is to understand which colts have the ability to duplicate their winning performances traveling the extra distance. Everything boils down to that final 1/8th of a mile. It separates the champions from the pretenders and the goal is to isolate them with every factor considered.
The countdown begins!