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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Maiden Winner - Echo Again

Gun Runner - Sire of Echo Again

There are only two ways to gauge early flashy maiden winners for their 10f Derby potential :

Who did he beat and how is he built.

Quick speedy immature maidens will burst out of the gate and flash easy speed traveling 6f every weekend. From DelMar to Parx to Saratoga and everywhere in between. It's the season of debuts and only a few will stand out with reference to both the Breeders Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby itself.

When trying to figure out if a maiden winner is "virtual stable-worthy" and one to single on top in his next race, two items are all you need to know when moving forward. This exercise takes minutes and it always pays to take the time. Whether or not you even saw the maiden race live or even placed a bet at the time, these early debut races are so important to analyze when moving forward. A good handicapper will BET THE HORSE, not simply random races. Your 2023 "Derby Virtual Stable" should begin building now and these are the horses who you should bet on and follow from now until Derby day.

On August 20th at Saratoga, Echo Again entered his 6.5f debut race against 7 other competitors. He won the race by almost 7 lengths in 1:15:89. He was awarded a 94 beyer figure for his effort. He had a perfect break and wired that field easily. This in and of itself is impressive but many times quite commonplace for young over-hyped speedsters who SHOULD devour their maiden race in that way. Most of these horses will never make it around the Derby track or even the 8.5f Breeders Juvenile for that matter. Understanding what that colt is holding and to what advantage or disadvantage he had in the maiden will affect your bottom line. Some of the better ones will continue straight to Kentucky and it is in the knowledge that you gain the minute they step into their first Winners Circle.

Who did he beat?

Speed wins 6.5f debut races. They will rely on their breeding and any high indexed speedy horse will walk into that gate with a very strong advantage. The higher the index at this distance the more advantage they have. When looking for a potential standout this early, you want to find the one who ran against his disadvantage and conquered what should have excelled at this distance. For instance, if the bulk of his competitors were sitting in the midrange and stamina categories, then he would have non-existent competition, therefore an easy race and not impressive. His win would have shown to be the best of the unsuitable 6.5f competitors. That would not be showing a standout. How the entrants are built for the distance will show exactly what it took to beat real speed at a very steep disadvantage. The more disadvantage at the short distance, the better!

For this maiden race, Echo Again walked into the gate with the following seven competitors:


DP = 3-3-2-0-0 (8) DI = 7.00 CD = 1.13

Mare Profile = 4-6-3-11-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.65 Triads = 13-20-20

This Practical Joke son is sporting KILLER Kentucky Derby numbers and he too should be one that goes into your Virtual Stable. With early maidens, these young boys will latch on to their chefs contribution, in this case, a 7.00 chef index. Built with 7x the inbred speed over stamina from those chefs with an incredible amount of stamina dumped upon him from his mares. Highly advantaged for the 6.5f short race and should have demolished this crew. With the mares profile that he is holding, these numbers are major for the May race in Kentucky. Complete and total standout as far as how he is built both for the 6.5f debut and moving forward. As great and as highly advantaged as these numbers are, Echo Again beat him by almost 7 lengths. This horse had to settle for second even with the best set of numbers on the field. This horse is still one with importance for the future and the set-up from his mares coupled with his defeat in this race may be saying that he wants and needs the Classic distance.

Expected Value

DP = 8-5-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.88

Mare Profile = 9-3-2-3-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.00 Triads = 14-8-14

Flatter son who is built with all speed top and bottom and very advantaged for the 6.5f race, but would never be a player in Kentucky. He had what he needed for this maiden though and he lugged in 13.5 lengths behind the winner.

Bat Flip

DP = 2-8-4-0-0 (14) DI = 6.00 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 2-8-8-8-4 Speed = 10 Stamina = 12 Index = 0.83 Triads = 18-24-20

Good Magic son with absolutely spectacular Kentucky Derby numbers. That 6.00 index was highly favorable for the debut distance and just like Summonyourcourage, his numbers are standing out like a sore thumb. Echo Again beat this advantaged horse traveling only 6.5f by 15.5 lengths.

Classic Legacy

DP = 2-3-3-0-0 (8) DI = 4.33 CD = 0.88

Mare Profile = 7-7-7-8-3 Speed = 14 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.33 Triads = 21-22-18

Magnificent set of numbers for this Into Mischief son both for the maiden distance and the Kentucky Derby. All speed with those killer triads but absolutely no match for Echo Again. Close to 25 lengths behind the winner.

Game Change

DP = 4-7-16-1-0 (28) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 6-1-6-4-10 Speed = 7 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.63 Triads = 13-11-20

Son of Candy Ride who most likely has that additional killer speed that the sire likes to pass through. Disadvantaged numbers for the 6.5f race against all this speed though and so deserves a pass here. Between these 7 colts listed, Game Change had the second highest disadvantaged setup on the field. Obvious from the results that this guy may need much more distance to be competitive going further but this didnt stop Candy Ride's grandson, Echo Again, the highest disadvantaged on the field - as you soon will see.

Good News Rocket

DP = 6-2-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.88

Mare Profile = 11-4-1-8-6 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.29 Triads = 16-13-15

Son of Runhappy with a 3.00 index and extreme speed inheritance from the mares. Highly advantaged with all the others for the 6.5f test. He came in dead last.

The reason why it is so important to look at who the winner beat in these races as far as how they are built as well is in order to fully understand the disadvantage he overcame with the field at hand. This eliminates any random flashy winners and hones in on a colt who is bred for the 10f distance of the Kentucky Derby and who displayed killer speed against major opponents. The absolute necessity for success on the Trail and in the Derby itself. You always want to find those horses who excel AGAINST THE GRAIN.


Gun Runner - Teardrop (Tapit)

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

Mare Profile = 6-3-6-8-5 Speed = 9 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.88 Triads = 15-17-19

One of the biggest reasons why this colt stands out so much is based directly on that 2.50 midrange index. Not only is a 2.50 index highly disadvantaged for 6.5f task at Saratoga but the only way this type of set-up works in the Kentucky Derby for a chosen few is because they MUST display outstanding performances against that disadvantage. They MUST be able to compete against speed because any mid-range horse already has that evenly balanced scale. They are not relying on their speed inheritance, nor their stamina inheritance which makes them disadvantaged from the start. This idea was displayed through his kin Game Change. This type of breeding does not bolt from the gate, they do not run gate to wire at 6.5f and they don't demolish a full field of highly advantaged speedsters. When they do pull it off, they become a standout from day one. If they continue to do it in subsequent races they become superstars.

Guys like Country House, Maxfield, Mendelssohn, Catholic Boy, Algorithms, I'll Have Another, Street Sense, Sunday Silence, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Bold Forbes, etc. Those who come along every once in awhile and outwit their speed opponents so young. These are the type who must display major skill and talent early on because of that disadvantage. From just this one maiden race, based on how Echo Again is built and the type of competition that he was facing, makes him a "midrange standout" from day one.

The speed he displayed goes against the grain of his configurations. He is evenly balanced on top with more than enough mare stamina to compete at the 10f distance. His point-spread is magnificent. His mare's index is very low and his CD calculates to -0.10, which translates to 11.3f from the mares. In addition to that, he is a second generation Tapit boy which gives him additional endurance as to not become over-bearing and at odds with the 2.50 chef index. He has Gun Runner speed and style, and then the additional speed from Candy Ride, a prominent non-chef.

The triads are just off by one or two points in the Classic slot, however, when it comes to the midrange category, too much ascension to the right would alter the speed, watering it down too much. This horse has 9.75f easily and with the addition of Tapit and Gun Runner - he has the Derby distance, now it is a matter of his early expended energy. He flew out of that gate and wired that field which gives him a running style that goes against the grain of his inheritance. This is wonderful in one regard but energy distribution will be a factor when he hits his 9f prep races. This would be the moment when you lay off of the betting and simply watch and analyze those pace figures throughout each call, whether he wins the race or not. Because of the triads being slightly off for the Derby, those 9f pace calls will be imperative to read. When it comes to the mid-range category, they need to demonstrate perfection at a much higher degree than the advantaged speed and stamina categories. But when you find one, it is nothing short of magical.


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