top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Reading Dosage Numbers

This is the first condensed article geared towards understanding DOSAGE. These numbers are imperative for reading distance capabilities of any colt. This is the first step that is necessary in order to understand the ultimate package; combining the chefs numbers with the mares numbers to get the complete picture.

Dosage has a very bad wrap in recent years. But what if the amazing work of men like Leon Rasmussen, Franco Varola, and of course, Steven Roman, only presented half the picture? What if the missing puzzle piece was staring us right in the face all of these decades and no one cared to look? Well, I looked.

I spent years looking and what has taken years to discover and put to the test has culminated to this point, right here at The Dirty Horse Club. To put it in the simplest terms... this is how I read the numbers. It is how I combine, read and analyze them to come up with a fairly accurate picture of a colt's optimum distance, limitations, advantages and potential.

This information is imperative if one is to have any success at the windows. It is essential for cashing in on maiden races and all the way up through to the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont, Breeders Races, and all of the preps in between. It allows the ability to place futures bets with confidence. One must know the distance limitations of the potential contenders early in the game.

This post is meant as a reference for how CHEF dosage numbers are configured for the chefs. This is the first half of the puzzle.

A thoroughbred is made up from 30 sires and mares in the first four generations of his chart. Contrary to popular beliefs, the colt will not just take on the traits and optimum distances of the colt's immediate sire or grand-sires. This is not a statement that is meant to cause ire with some "pedigree gurus" out there. My goal is not to "indoctrinate" anyone. My goal is to deliver facts. The facts which history verifies.

Within these 30 sires and mares, there are listed Chefs and listed Reines (prominent mares) dotted throughout. These are the chosen ones due to their successful past offspring and the specific distances with which they excelled on the track. These consistent successes are undeniable and documented. It is the reason why they are listed Chefs, Masters of the Breed, in the first place.

These are the specific sires who pass down specific champion qualities at certain specific distances - CONSISTENTLY. The colt's dosage numbers including his profile, his index and his center of distribution is readily available for every colt at Pedigreequery. The mare's numbers are a bit harder but we'll deal with that later.

Everything you need to know about that colt is found in BOTH SETS OF NUMBERS. Not just the sires. They must be combined with the mares. Only then does full story emerge.

In an attempt to not overload with too much info in one post, we will address the Chefs only today.

How the numbers are read:

Chef-de-Race numbers are listed at the top of a pedigree chart. These sets of numbers ONLY depict the chefs (sires) within the chart.

An example:

SHARED BELIEF: DP = 2-2-6-2-0 (12) DI = 1.40 CD = 0.33

Reading across - DP = Shared Belief's CHEF's dosage profile. The 5 digit number read as follows:

​​Points are assigned in each category as designated for a listed chef as he appears in the chart up to the 4th generation. Each generation applies these points in descending order as follows:

  • 1st Generation: 16 points

  • 2nd Generation: 8 points

  • 3rd Generation: 4 points

  • 4th Generation: 2 points

Points are split when a chef contributes to more than one category. The list of Shared Belief's Chefs and their placement within the profile:

​Now you can see clearly why Shared Belief has a 2 in his first slot (Brilliant) of his dosage profile. Both Blushing Groom and Northern Dancer contribute only one point each to his short early speed category because they also both contribute to his longer classic category, therefore their points from the fourth generation (2) get split between each. The most important thing to understand is that even though Shared Belief only had chefs in his fourth generation and his overall points total is low, this does not take anything away from the contribution of these listed and tested sires. This is what they passed down. Having more chefs or higher points does not change the configuration of his speed/stamina balance from these specific sires. However, this is only one side of the picture. The listed Reines (mares) have not been factored in yet.

The total points of any given profile will be designated in parenthesis. For Shared Belief, he has (12).

Next is the D.I. or Dosage Index. Shared Belief has a 1.40 index. Much could be written about the dosage index, but for simplicity and general overview, this number tells you how much speed vs. stamina the colt has received from his chefs. In Shared Belief's case, he gained only 1.4 times more speed than stamina from his chefs. All stamina. Again, no mares are taken into consideration - yet. When reading a colt's index, an easy way to get a general idea of where he falls on the speed/stamina spectrum - only from his chefs - consider it in these terms:

Lastly, the CD or Center of Distribution. Picture a seesaw with the points placed on either side as weights. The center being 0.00. Everything needs to come back to balance. The importance of viewing the Index with the CD is paramount. The lower the CD, the further the colt has the potential to go. When comparing competitors and handicapping a race, note if a CD is unusually high or unusually low pitted against similar indexed runners.

For instance, if you have two colts in a 10f race with the same 3.00 index and one has a CD of 1.00 and one has a CD of .72, chances are that just from the chefs alone, the colt with the .72 lower CD will have an easier time going a longer distance. The colt who has the 1.00 CD has the potential to be faster at shorter distances. The point here is that the Profile, the Index and the CD must all be read together and not separated.

This is a very abbreviated explanation of Chefs dosage numbers for use as a reference to understanding the content of this site going forward with reference to analyzing potential in specific Graded Stakes races. This portion only deals with one side. Stayed tuned for the next installment where we dive into the configurations of the Mares (Reines) numbers and how when combined together the full picture of the colts potential emerges. This is so important, especially along the Derby trail as the main goal is to continue to cash along the way to that 10f distance.


bottom of page