The kickoff for the Kentucky Derby begins this weekend with Twinspires Pool One. As all die-hard Derby fanatics understand, the standout names from the earliest list are those who exhibited raw speed and talent to win their races under 9f to date.
The trick to the early pools is to dig all the way through in looking to determine which names have two important qualities:
1. Do they have what it takes to secure a Derby gate?
2. Do they have what it takes to run at 10f successfully?
Always remember, what wins at 8.5f is not the same animal that can win at 10f. How they perform leading up to the big day will allow them a gate, so it is important to gauge their speed for the upcoming Derby prep distances. They must have speed, will and determination. To place a bet on any colt who has only performed at minimal distances, projecting that speed up to 10f now, requires that colt has the breeding within himself to sustain that speed the Derby distance.
Pool One is extremely premature, however, you cannot scoff at those odds. There is a very strong possibility that a Derby colt is among that list (Authentic was 50-1 in Pool One last year) and the ability to look past the more known horses at this point could be quite profitable come spring time. The goal of Pool one is to at least gain a few live contenders who at least have the jets to carry their speed 10f.
As year after year consistently shows, there is a certain make-up in the breeding of live contenders for the Derby superfecta. No matter how incredible a horse performs between his maiden and the longest distance of the preps, he must have the inheritance for 10f to even be considered a contender for the Derby. Do not waste your money on the hyped early performers UNLESS they have 10f in their back pocket. It is also important to consider the fact that at this point, no one knows what the weather will bring on the first Saturday in May. Therefore, it is imperative to consider both a sunny clear day and also a rainy muddy track in determining who may have an advantage with that breeding come Derby Day.
What wins on a muddy track is quite the opposite of what wins on a clear fast track, so the colt himself must be looked at from both sides. Neither side should be dismissed in a futures bet so that you at least have an advantage with your contenders no matter what the weather hands us. But keep in mind, it is important to back yourself with both sides in your wagers, with the understanding that come the morning of Derby Day, half of your bets will be advantaged and the other half will be disadvantaged. We are not mind-readers when it comes to the weather, the only thing we can be 100% certain of is the distance capability.
For Pool One, there is not one contender on the Twinspires list with killer exceptional speed numbers combined with mare stamina. Not one, however, there is some potential to be found among the list below that highly advantaged category. Hopefully Pool Two will present us with that upper echelon breeding that wins the Kentucky Derby consistently year after year. Right now, it is not there. There are are few though that still have what it takes to be considered advantaged and if you are one who takes that shot on Futures Bets, there is some value in a handful of hopefuls here.
If you also place Futures bets for the Sire, at this moment, the most advantaged and best bet would be for Into Mischief or Tapit. For a nice longshot sire bet, Declaration of War has some good potential as well.
As with any early Derby analysis on potential contenders, this is geared directly to the 10f distance of that particular race and has no bearing at all for the Derby Preps.
POOL ONE CONTENDERS
Essential Quality (Tapit)
DP = 5-12-14-1-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.66
Mare Profile = 12-3-2-2-12 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.04 Triads = 17-7-16
Tapit colts do not do well in the Derby when they have a 3.00 and under chef index. They do not follow their mare numbers at all and they thrive in the Belmont Stakes. This guy is packing 32 points in his chef profile which provides a bit more substance to those from the past and as of this Thanksgiving weekend, would probably be the best bet against what is presented on this list. That will not be the case as we progress through the season though and the competition becomes broader. A good bet today, yes – a good bet later – no.
Life Is Good (Into Mischief)
DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67
Mare Profile = 8-7-4-8-6 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.13 Triads = 19-19-18
Into Mischief colts generally begin their careers with fireworks and then they tend to wind down as they get closer to the Derby. (Vyjack, Practical Joke, Mischievous Alex, Goldencents, Owendale) But there are some who go all the way (Authentic, Audible) and it has to do with the configurations of their breeding. In Life Is Good’s case, he is much more influenced by the females as opposed to his chefs (only 6 points total) and he is much more lop-sided to speed than stamina. The .67 CD is excellent above the higher mare index and this would be much more in his favor on a sloppy track for the 10f Derby over trying to get that distance on a clean track. He will do incredible below 9.5f but he will need mud to gain the extra lengths in the Derby.
Highly Motivated (Into Mischief)
DP = 1-1-1-1-0 (4) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.50
Mare Profile = 2-8-9-7-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 10 Index = 0.95 Triads = 19-24-19
Polar opposite of his half-brother Life is Good. Again, less influence from the chefs (4 points total) and much more influence from the mares. Will only thrive on a clean track, will throw in the towel on a wet track. The distance is shaky as he is evenly spread on both mare sides of the spectrum and he will eventually gravitate to one side or the other as the distances progress. That .50 CD is in his stamina favor but since the influence is minimal up top, he is at a 50-50 with distances past 9f.
Caddo River (Hard Spun)
DP = 4-6-14-0-0 (24) DI = 2.43 CD = 0.58
Mare Profile = 7-3-4-8-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.88 Triads = 14-15-18
Save your money. No chance in the Derby.
Dr. Schivel (Violence)
DP = 4-5-6-1-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75
Mare Profile = 10-3-5-3-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 9 Index = 1.40 Triads = 18-11-14
Good prospect for the prep distances, but he will never see the finish line at 10f. Never. 101% confident in that.
Fire at Will (Declaration of War)
DP = 4-5-8-1-0 (18) DI = 2.60 CD = 0.67
Mare Profile = 3-9-3-9-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.75 Triads = 15-21-18
Can run the 10f Derby distance with his eyes closed but he is built for the Belmont Stakes. He is a prospect for the Derby only on a fast clean track and only if he continues to show speed in his early races. As of right now, the horse is showing serious competitiveness and he is flying on that track. Excellent prospect for the Triple Crown and a good bet for the Derby because he is outrunning his numbers early on. There is always one in the “Belmont category” who shows signs of being a stand-out. Fire at Will is one such colt and you would not be wasting money here for that shot. Good horse.
Get Her Number (Dialed In)
DP = 3-2-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.80
Mare Profile = 9-4-7-5-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 20-16-20
The numbers are not terrible, they are simply stagnant. He most likely will get the distance but he really needs to pull from the speed side of his mares a bit more. At this stage, it would be wise to pass on a futures bet this early with this particular guy and wait for pool 2 or 3. He must show more speed going forward in order to consider him Derby potential. At the moment, he is running true to his numbers, stagnant.
Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow)
DP = 1-4-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.60
Mare Profile = 11-1-5-11-3 Speed = 12 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.27 Triads = 17-17-19
He has board-hit Derby numbers, not winning Derby numbers. In the same boat as Get Her Number. Advantaged at 9f to 9.5f. Hold off.
Jackie’s Warrior (Maclean’s Music)
DP = 4-10-8-0-0 (22) DI = 4.50 CD = 0.82
Mare Profile = 8-6-2-5-9 Speed = 14 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-13-16
Excellent prospect for Derby Preps. Not a chance in hell at 10f Derby.
DP = 0-2-4-0-0 (6) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.33
Mare Profile = 11-2-2-4-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.18 Triads = 15-8-14
No. No. No.
King Fury (Curlin)
DP = 6-6-12-0-0 (24) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75
Mare Profile = 6-3-3-7-10 Speed = 9 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.60 Triads = 12-13-20
Belmont numbers. Which means he has the distance of the Derby. Must be clean track. Serious stamina from the mares. Extreme potential as the distances go further. Lacks in speed but has a clear advantage with the stamina side if speed falters come Derby day. Not a bad prospect.
Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow)
DP = 4-2-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.71
Mare Profile = 9-3-3-5-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.20 Triads = 15-11-14
The Kentucky Derby is NOT his race. He has no shot at all.
Pickin Time (Stay Thirsty)
DP = 5-2-9-2-0 (18) DI = 1.77 CD = 0.56
Mare Profile = 3-8-5-4-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 11 Index = 0.83 Triads = 16-17-16
Will get better as the distances progress but the numbers are boring. Must be treated like Get Her Number. Too early with this type of breeding to see any stand-out quality against those triads. Put on hold until Pool Two to see if there is any break-out speed as he matures a bit. The distance is there, the speed is questionable at this point. It takes both to win the Derby.
Red Flag (Tamarkuz)
DP = 6-2-7-1-0 (16) DI = 2.56 CD = 0.81
Mare Profile = 9-6-5-2-9 Speed = 15 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.16 Triads = 20-13-16
Not a chance in the Derby. Will pack it before the final turn.
Reinvestment Risk (Upstart)
DP = 2-2-4-0-0 (8) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75
Mare Profile = 11-1-2-4-12 Speed = 12 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.83 Triads = 14-7-18
The mares numbers are horrific for the Derby but he does have the distance. The problem is that the mares are split in two which will affect his speed side.
Rombauer (Twirling Candy)
DP = 2-1-7-0-0 (10) DI = 1.86 CD = 0.50
Mare Profile = 4-3-6-8-8 Speed = 7 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.57 Triads = 13-17-22
At the very least, this horse will get the 10f of the Derby and if he makes a gate, he will be competitive in that regard. If he continues on his upward trajectory with his speed side, he could be a real prospect as the distances weed out the sprinters. Worth a few in an early pool.
Savile Row (Quality Road)
DP = 3-4-9-0-0 (16) DI = 2.56 CD = 0.63
Mare Profile = 12-1-2-4-12 Speed = 13 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.90 Triads = 15-7-18
One race so far at 6f and he demolished the crew. With a 2.56 index, that race shows the potential of an “average category” standout. This can go one of two ways – he continues to show favoritism on the left side of his mare’s inheritance (a huge 12 points in the Brilliant slot) or he displays that he can pull from the mare’s high stamina (a huge 12 points in the Professional category) as he is given the opportunity to perform at further distances. Because of this, he can either go way of speed (similar to a Whitmore) or he can thrive further (similar to a Battle of Midway). This is the type of mid-range horse that is split and there is no way to know which way that split will take him. So far, he has shown that sprinters killer speed. Because he could take that “stand-out” path, he is worth a few dollars this early. He has the potential to at least get there.
Scarred (Into Mischief)
DP = 2-0-2-0-0 (4) DI = 3.00 CD = 1.00
Mare Profile = 7-7-7-9-3 Speed = 14 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.27 Triads = 21-23-19
Extreme Potential against this group. Best set-up on the mare’s side as far as speed. He has board-hit numbers as opposed to winning numbers in the Derby, however, there must be speed guys with the proper stamina to beat him out this early. So far, there is none that fit the bill. (But of course there will be eventually) Out of all of the Into Mischief boys running around right now, this guy is set up to shine early on and could be the one who shines because of his mares. Think Authentic in that regard. This guy is the only one so far on the Derby trail that fits the bill, even though it isn’t perfect. A must in the Pools.
Sittin on Go (Brody’s Cause)
DP = 2-0-16-0-0 (18) DI = 1.25 CD = 0.22
Mare Profile = 6-5-3-4-10 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.74 Triads = 14-12-17
Runs exactly to his numbers. Needs distance. Has the 10f. Will not do well if it is sloppy, it must be a fast clean track. He only hits it if the speed guys falter with their mare numbers among the field. Speed lacks but 10f is in the bag.
Speakers Corner (Street Sense)
DP = 3-4-9-0-0 (16) DI = 2.56 CD = 0.63
Mare Profile = 5-7-1-9-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.82 Triads = 13-17-16
Another “average category” guy who has the 10f easily. As a matter of fact, he has the 12f for the Belmont as well. Showed speed in his 7f win and also displayed some very nice determination to get to that wire first at such a “short” distance for him. Serious potential and worth a pool ticket. Consider him as a Dortmund type who has both the stamina and the displayed speed to compete as a standout in the Derby.
Super Stock (Dialed In)
DP = 3-2-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.80
Mare Profile = 8-4-7-7-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 19-18-20
Half descent numbers here for the Derby. Much better potential above 9f so he should see his stock rise as the months progress. Unfortunately, this guy has already been subjected to 6 races as a two year old and even though he likes to hit that board, he may be well spent by the time the Derby gets around if his connections keep him on this path. He would be one to forego for this pool and wait for the next to see if his rigorous early schedule takes its toll.
Ten for Ten (Frosted)
DP = 2-4-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.57
Mare Profile = 11-5-1-5-9 Speed = 16 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.17 Triads = 17-11-15
Second generation Tapit. Belmont stakes. Just as Frosted stood out in that Average category to be a contender in the Derby, so goes the same here. He is performing exceptionally well against speed demons in his early short races, hitting 2nd and 1st in his 3 races. He must continue along this path to even be considered for the Derby. Hold off from Pool One with this breeding. He must continue to show competitiveness, will and determination up to Pool two. If he does, then pounce!