top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Summer Break Reflection

Over the summer break, I will be taking a long hard look at the state of affairs with the Dirty Horse System. In the simplest of terms, the dosage configurations were a disaster this year. Not just in the Belmont Stakes, but also in the Kentucky Derby as well.

I don't even think disaster is a strong enough word. It could be said that it's just one Triple Crown edition, a very strange edition, and to just forget about it and move on. In reality though, it's been more than just the Triple Crown lately. It goes further back and although I don't blast about it on the site, it is safe to say that much more work has been going on after many races have been run than before. Re-evaluation of the track bias, watching replays over and over again and studying each contender for the second time to find the hidden clues to understand what was missed.

From last November's Dirt Mile where Cody's Wish broke through the unblemished history to Derma Sotagake thwarting history in the UAE Derby. With Olympiad's performance in the Breeder's Cup Classic all the way through to an 8.60 Grade 3 winner beating out a field of Tapit's in the 12f Belmont Stakes. Something is terribly wrong.

When you have strong and overwhelming percentages that repeat year in and year out and they somehow completely flip with no rational reasoning to be found within the day to day, it truly makes you rethink. Other than the fact that what is being born from the breeding shed over the last several years is in direct contrast to a pure and steady history, that still would not justify their ability to basically forget what they are built with.

That leads us directly to the number combinations. Either they work or they don't. A strong case can be made that we have seen incredible success over the last decade or so. Even as close as last year in the Derby, the top 5 were in perfect sync with history. That still remains inconsequential because the fact remains, this year, 4 out the top 5 who crossed that wire first in the Kentucky Derby were built for the Belmont Stakes and the top two in the Belmont Stakes were better suited for the Derby - based on the NUMBERS.

It would seem reasonable to say that handicapping those two races without the use of our system and concentrating solely on the past performance sheets and figures may have been more productive. At least in Forte's case in the Belmont and Olympiad in the Classic, it certainly would have been.

After spending several hours last night dissecting that revamped analysis, several pieces of insight that were extracted from their numbers, scales and balances, in normal fashion, were spot-on. But they were doomed anyway because of the configurations elsewhere.

Angel of Empire - down-graded his 12f status with emphasis on the additions found within his chart were far more favorable to get him the 10f for the Derby. Check.

Il Miracola - favorable numbers but energy distribution and race placement up to that point were against his breeding. Check.

Tapit Shoes - would disintegrate with a faster pace. Check.

Hit Show - Caught too wide from post 7 for too long, travelling much further than 12f. Check.

Tapit Trice - Quirky and no room for error out of that gate on Belmont Day. Horrible break. Check.

Red Route One - Killer configurations but running style opposite for Belmont favor. Check.

National Treasure - Faster pace destroyed his competing time at the top of the stretch. Mares were off. Check.

I am quite the superstitious person, but the idea that every unfavorable scenario that could have occurred to every competitor on that field, somehow happening simultaneously to each and every one of them, thereby allowing the two worst sets of configurations at 12f to prevail is pure hogwash. Sorry Richie, I don't buy it.

I will also be completely honest and say the amount of research into the chart itself for Arcangelo prior to the Belmont paled in comparison to the 9.00 Angel of Empire's outside elements within his chart prior to the Kentucky Derby. Not even close. But that does not exonerate the numbers themselves. The question posed prior to the race was if the presence of Tapit in the second generation upgraded the distance capability of an 8.60 colt with a readable 9f optimum. The answer was no based on his configurations, just like with Angel of Empire. It is the configurations that I am questioning, the very numbers that this entire website focuses on.

If the numbers need to be trashed with much more emphasis placed on the chart itself then so be it. Maybe we took it too far after Dr. Roman retired but that still does not clarify Forte. After spending time with Arcangelo's chart last night, there were quite a few highlights that were overlooked but honestly, based on the NUMBERS, I would have still come to the same conclusion with him as I did with the restructured Angel of Empire assessment.

With Forte, exactly the same. Historically, 9f PA Derby. After all is said and done, our website is about the combinations of the chefs and reines, prominent non-chefs, scales and balances. Based on Forte's magnificent performance in the 12f Belmont Stakes, he would have demolished the Kentucky Derby, especially because of that wicked pace. Again, the configurations would have then been completely incorrect.

If something doesn't work it must be re-evaluated and that is what I plan to do over our summer break until the Saratoga meet. I still feel very confident in using the configurations for two year olds, early preps, the Travers, the Haskell, the PA Derby, etc. but changes need to occur or even be trashed for the Triple Crown itself.

As is the case every year at this time at the Club, I will post an article from time to time and I will send out email announcements if I do. Looking forward to spotting future stars at Saratoga and hopefully I can figure out where it all went so south. Other than that, please have a safe and happy summer.


bottom of page