top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

The Big Payout

As the new year begins, most people will set new goals and resolutions for the coming year. As the saying goes, “Manifest Your Destiny” and things will happen. If you see it, believe in it and act like it’s going to happen, then it will eventually come to pass. Most will conjure visions of a new job or more traveling but the majority is most likely dreaming of accumulating wealth. It is easy to sit back and wish it into existence, but there is something to be said about doing something about it on your own and behind the scenes. The likelihood of manifesting a particular desire simply with your mind sounds great on paper, but the probability takes a giant leap if you actively pursue something that is in fact highly attainable in the first place. In that pursuit, if it is attainable, then the steps you take to get it makes it much more likely that you can fulfil that dream.

If you look at every aspect of your life at this very moment, what pieces are you carrying, right now, that could possibly see you attaining wealth? Most likely, you have a job. If you scrimp and save a portion every month, possibly invest it wisely, maybe in 40 years you might have enough to retire. What a bleak proposition. By then, you’ll be too old and too tired to even enjoy it. If you have old wealth within your family, you could eventually inherit a nice sum, but that is way too morbid. You could scratch some lottery tickets and hope for a tsunami of luck to hit you face when you leave the store.

Odds of hitting a big payout on a lottery ticket – roughly 1 in 292 million.

There is one aspect in each and every person who frequents the Dirty Horse Club that has an upper-hand in manifesting that wealth goal. We have control over something that actually can offer a path to attaining it. You can sit back and try with all of your might to conjure up images of a huge savings account, a fancy car and that house with a pool or you can use your passion coupled with some discipline and do something about it. But is the race track a place that can really get you there?

It sure is. Work. Determination. Discipline. Common Sense. The Kentucky Derby.

Pari-mutuel works by pooling all bets in a given result, then dividing the pool by the total number of betting units held in wagers that match the winning result.

The bigger the pool, the bigger risks added with longshots and the discipline to recognize certain players outside of the mainstream will place you smack dab in the middle of a larger pool with less occupants. As a handicapper, you have the ability to place yourself in any pool size that you want and because you have the tools to understand your advantages, that pari-mutual can be as big or as little as you want. If you want to attain wealth, use your resources and take it because most years, it is there for the taking.

The Kentucky Derby offers one of the highest pari-mutual pools of the year. Bets are pouring in from all over the world and you have the opportunity to place yourself in any pool that you wish. Common sense dictates that the pool in which “the favorites” sit in will be split among thousands of people, so if you place yourself within a pool using your knowledge of the game, then you will take a bigger piece of that pool. This idea is highly attainable when it comes to the Kentucky Derby and it is the reason for spending the long months leading up to it by handicapping this single race every single day.

I was not on the internet posting Kentucky Derby Analysis' in the early 2000's. I was not even aware of the Mares Configurations and I was strictly using the Chef's numbers. I would work up the analysis exactly the same as I do today for myself but without the mares. I found my old notebook and the binder of all the work put in throughout the 2004/2005 Derby prep season and the analysis. As my usual record, I missed by one that year even without the mares numbers. That 2.00 to 2.90 dreaded category was all I saw and 3 of the 4 favorites all fell into that category. I completely tossed a different mid-range horse even though I liked him and got burnt but that race has always remained as both my best handicapping ever and also my biggest loss and regret. Back then all I saw was the chef index and the profile coupled with the past performances and projected pace. I also relied heavily on the projection sheets from Dr. Roman's Chef-de-race website. Incredible accuracy.

Using most of my notes from that 2005 notebook, I have added the mares contributions to each of the horses for this article to display how the numbers always dictate the order of finish. I hope that this serves as an impetus that good handicapping skills in the Derby can prove to be highly lucrative if there is discipline, common sense and the ego to step out of the box and away from the crowd. This race still haunts me to this day.

The 131st Kentucky Derby

On May 7, 2005, the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby was broadcast with Bellamy Road being set off as the 2.6 to 1 favorite. He won the Wood Memorial leading up to the Derby with an extremely flashy performance, beating the field by 17.5 lengths. It was a clear fast track that day and the 9f romp was visually astonishing with Victor Espinoza aboard. This powerful win set in motion a large influx of bettors throwing their hat into Bellamy Road’s pool. The race call by the announcer and the visuals of the Wood Memorial stretch run were the impetus to Bellamy Road’s favoritism in the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

The second choice in the betting pool was Afleet Alex who went off at 4.5 to 1 odds. Afleet Alex won the Arkansas Derby leading up to the Kentucky Derby by a visually impressive 8 lengths to Flower Alley. Run on a clear fast track at 9f, Afleet Alex charged 5 wide and demolished a full field with the track announcer proclaiming one the most impressive performances ever seen in this Derby prep. It is no wonder that both Bellamy Road and Afleet Alex entered the Kentucky Derby starting gate as the bettor's top two choices.

The performances of these two horses, regardless of distance or bias especially for a casual bettor or once a year gambler would seem to be the best bang for your buck if you are going to jump into that pool for the two minute thrill.

As expected, a colt named Spanish Chestnut lead the pack at the opening in the Kentucky Derby. This speedy colt always ran on the lead and the furthest distance he ever won was in an allowance race traveling 8.5f. He posted two 6th place performances leading up to the Derby in the Lane's End Stakes and Toyota Bluegrass Stakes losing by a combined 31.75 lengths. There was never a better gift to handicappers than Spanish Chestnut on the lead in the Kentucky Derby. He was going to take that lead, he was going to set fast early fractions, taking the stalkers with him and he was going to vanish at the 9f mark. The early running of this race was one of the easiest projected pace ever offered. For the 10f race, a seasoned handicapper must understand that the lead and pace will dictate how the pieces fall and if those pieces give advantage to the favorites or does it open the door to risking a play on others. If you were looking for the big payout, there was no better shot than with Spanish Chestnut dictating the entire show.

There were two other colts installed at single digit odds with Bellamy Road and Afleet Alex. High Fly with Jerry Bailey aboard and Bandini with Johnny Velazquez. These four colts are the dictators of the pari-mutual pool and it's potential payout schedule. As a handicapper who wants to "manifest" a big payout, you must see where these 4 colts fit within the confines of the 10f race and it will tell you whether you should lump yourself in with the over-extended casual bettors, potentially yielding a smaller piece of the pie or is there an opportunity to grab a big payout within a riskier pool. With Spanish Chestnut at the helm this year, there was no better time.

The 10f Kentucky Derby does not care how visually impressive a horse was in a 9f prep. It does not care how excited the track announcer reacted as that horse traveled down his prep stretch. It makes no promises to favorites. The Kentucky Derby attaches itself to the 10f runner with bias on its side. It takes the pace of the lead runner and it hands advantages to those who align with the projected pace and his inheritance. It takes a strong handicapper to brush the noise aside and concentrate on one thing - what does the puzzle present and how can I capitalize on it.

Bellamy Road - 2.6 to 1

DP = 5-9-8-4-0 (26) DI = 2.25 CD = 0.58

Mare Profile = 8-5-2-10-3 Speed = 13 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.28 Triads = 15-17-15

This horse had an optimum distance of 9.2f based on his combined numbers. He was extremely talented and very fast and he liked that lead spot just as much as Spanish Chestnut. He had the dreaded 2.25 index. He was going to be tied with the pace setters based on the 5 previous races that he was entered in. He was going to keep a fast pace in this race and based on his reliance as an immature 3 year old, he was going to succumb to that 1.28 mare index that he favored with his style. His triads completely against a win in the Derby. Bellamy Road was an easy toss for the Kentucky Derby based on his inheritance and the projected pace. His 2.6 to 1 odds, his Wood Memorial impressive win and his favoritism among the crowd meant absolutely nothing for this race. As with any favorite or visually impressive colt, talent does go a long way. He would be the type to give a slight nod to the bottom spots of a superfecta just in case the favorite had it within himself to charge through the numbers. He would NOT be considered a player for the win, but possibly board-hit material based on his past performances. If you want to be a successful handicapper, you must be humble and understand that the betting public may actually know something more than you do. If you see that the favored colt is truly not built for the specific race, it would be detrimental to simply toss him out of contention based on the betting pool. You cannot toss him from bottom spot consideration just in case. Back in 2005, the 2.25 index coupled with the slope of his profile said that this was not his race. Bellamy Road came in 7th place in the Kentucky Derby.

Afleet Alex - 4.5 to 1

DP = 5-0-9-0-0 (14) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 8-4-2-9-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.96 Triads = 14-15-17

Afleet Alex is the perfect example of horse being built for a particular race and disadvantaged in another. Arguably the most talented of the entire field, the configurations of this horse left him unbalanced for a win in this race, historically speaking. This type of breeding does not win the Kentucky Derby. His triads were below par. His chef index centered, leaving him in the dreaded 2.00 category. Too much balance and not enough overblown attributes on either side of the spectrum. He would be favorable in his style and his impressive resume and outward talent would still come into play. An outright win, even with the favorable qualities, would be impossible based on those very same facts. He did not have the proper set-up in his inheritance for this particular race. He would also be affected by the potential misgivings of Spanish Chestnut, therefore making him a potential victim of the pace. Just like with Bellamy Road, he must still be considered for board-hit material based on his past performances and the betting pool. Again, as a handicapper, you must be humble and stop short of tossing a favorite just in case the talent blows through this early 10f match. Based on the 2.11 chef index, the 9.75f optimum and the sub-par triads, this favorite has the strong potential of missing that win trophy and handing it to any other player on the field. You cannot toss early talent but you can look at everything as whole and get a sense that the favorite is extremely vulnerable for that top spot. A huge payout could be on the horizon and this is when you take that risk and look elsewhere for double digit players. You do not toss a favorite, ever, but you spread that horse accordingly. Afleet Alex did not have Winning Derby numbers no matter how you slice it, which means that as a handicapper, the outlook of taking a bigger risk in a different pool setting with a different Win Contender at the helm is looking better and better. Back in 2005, the 2.11 index said he was vulnerable for the win. Afleet Alex came in 3rd place in the Kentucky Derby and went on to win the Belmont Stakes with his perfectly balanced inheritance.

High Fly - 7 to 1

DP = 6-4-20-0-0 (30) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.53

Mare Profile = 2-8-5-5-7 Speed = 10 Stamina = 12 Index = 0.71 Triads = 15-18-17

Another with a set-up that does not depict winning Kentucky Derby Configurations. The only stand-out portion would be the 30 points shown in his chef's profile. Highly advantaged for a sloppy track but this Derby Edition was a clean and clear track. The triads are lacking. The 2.00 chef index is usually doomed. The reason why he was installed at 7 to 1 is because he won the 9f Florida Derby stalking the lead. Two separate track bias' and two separate distances. Emphasis on these late prep wins is all too common and does not ever dictate success in the Kentucky Derby. Inheritance to sustain wicked speed wins the Derby. Another who always ran up with the pace and who would also track the high-flying projected pace of Spanish Chestnut. Another without the proper Winning configurations and another opportunity for the handicapper to look elsewhere. Again, keeping humble, you use this colt underneath based on his final winning performance, his favoritism with the public and his style of running as BOARD-HIT material. This is not a colt with winning attributes for this race. High Fly came in 10th place in the Kentucky Derby.

Bandini - 7 to 1

DP = 14-4-14-0-0 (32) DI = 3.57 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 5-7-2-8-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.73 Triads = 14-17-18

This horse had an optimum of exactly 10f. He had a high 32 points total in his chefs profile, however it is the profile itself which tells the easy fate of this horse. 14-4-14-0-0. The kiss of death. Way too much inherited 4f to 6f brilliant speed which will absolutely water down anything he gained in the Classic distance from his chefs. There would have been no need to be humble here even though his combined inheritance said 10f. Bandini won the Bluegrass Stakes in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby by stalking the pace set by (of all colts) Spanish Chestnut. At 9f, Bandini capitalized off of that colt by being at the right place at the right time. With the chef profile that Bandini had, split between Brilliant and Classic, leaving it centered in the Intermediate slot, no amount of mare stamina would allow him to continue the 10f at such a pace. Humility or not, this was one favorite that was not necessary to even consider as board-hit material. The numbers never lie. He was a simple toss. Bandini came in 19th place in the Kentucky Derby.

Now with the single-digit odds players analyzed without even one perfect stand-out for this particular race, leaves the seasoned handicapper with a reason to take the risk and jump into a completely separate pool and go for the pay-out. With the 4 favorite players all sporting major negatives for the win, this would be the race that you crank up your bankroll and go for the payout. If any one of those 4 favorites was built for the race then the bankroll must remain low. The betting pool would have been split among too many but this particular race with these particular "favorable players" is the golden opportunity to stake claim and try your luck looking deep into the field.

Seeing that 3 of the main favorites do not have the proper inheritance for the race coupled with the victimization from the lead, Spanish Chestnut, offers the bettor his once a year shot to go for that Big payout. This race was also a bettor's paradise in that only 6 colts were installed at 15-1 or lower, which left 14 highly capable horses at 21 to 1 and over, after all, they all secured their gate in the prestigious Kentucky Derby. As a handicapper looking to make profit, there was none better than the 2005 Kentucky Derby. This race gave every imaginable sign to up your normal betting budget based on all 4 of the favorites with unfit winning Derby configurations and the remaining odds of the field. You must analyze the budget and potential payout vs the risk in any race that you bet so that the profit becomes the goal, not simply the ability to spot players. Profit is the end game.

This edition of the Kentucky Derby revealed a cast of incredibly built colts up against 4 favorites who lacked in the proper inheritance for the race. Spanish Chestnut took half of these players down with him. Understanding what the lead horse is capable of and what his strong influence will be on the outcome of a race is paramount when handicapping the Derby.


As the history of the Kentucky Derby reveals year after year, the SPEED CATEGORY coupled with ample mare stamina will always dominate this race. The projected pace (slow or fast) as it pertains to the limitations of the Lead Player will tell you whether or not that lead will continue to roll down that stretch or give in at the final turn while taking the rest of them down with him.

SPEED 3.00 and Over

This is the most advantaged group on the field and in some cases, the least advantaged. Every year. The colt must have over the top speed inheritance with over the stamina inheritance BUT neither side can water down the other. Because of Spanish Chestnut, any colt with the proper configurations that would NOT be adversely affected up on the quick pace with him was a major player. Those closer to the pace with Spanish Chestnut who also had the stamina would be underneath players. The winner would most likely come from this group, as is the case year after year.

21-1 Wilko

DP = 4-16-12-0-0 (32) DI = 4.33 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 4-6-3-11-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.71 Triads = 13-20-19

Excellent set of configurations with ample speed and more than enough stated stamina in those mare's numbers. Beautiful triads, however, lacking a bit in the first slot (the speed wing). A definite player for the Derby with an overwhelming set of configurations over the 4 favorites. Wilko was a rear runner as well and with Spanish Chestnut dictating the projected fast pace of a lead colt who could not sustain it, gave this guy a much more heightened advantage. Wilko was also sporting the lowest CD out of all the players in this category. The lower the CD, the greater the stamina attaches itself to the speed. With his 32 points total in his profile, his 4.33 speedy index and that .75 CD, he was a stand-out super player and would have served you well across the board. Now with the added mares numbers, he really stood out as a player but unfortunately he missed that tote board by 1/2 of a length. Wilko came in 6th place.

50-1 Giacomo

DP = 5-5-6-0-0 (16) DI = 4.33 CD = 0.94

Mare Profile = 7-3-7-10-4 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 17-20-21

Wow! Serious Derby configurations. Overloaded in speed inheritance with ample stamina and killer triads. High numbers straight across. A rear runner with severe advantage against the lead speed. With the added mares numbers, he was an easy major player historically and at 50-1, an absolute must use across the board. This horse performed very well in all 4 of his preps and hit the board consistently. He had everything he needed exactly in the right place. Giacomo famously WON the Kentucky Derby and was part of the highest super payout in Derby history.

58-1 Greater Good

DP = 7-5-8-0-0 (20) DI = 4.00 CD = 0.95

Mare Profile = 4-7-2-7-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.74 Triads = 13-16-16

Even though Greater Good is sitting in this highly advantaged category, one look at those triads constitutes an easy toss among this group. And even though he was checked early in the race, the horse had no shot with these configurations. Back in 2005, simply looking at the chefs profile and his style of running, pointed to this horse becoming a victim of the pace. Greater Good came in 13th place in the Derby.

73-1 Closing Argument

DP = 5-3-6-0-0 (14) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.93

Mare Profile = 9-1-7-6-7 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.96 Triads = 17-14-20

Advantaged Category with Excellent numbers. The 14 in the center of the triads is a bit weak but when you see a 20 in the final stamina slot this tells you to take notice. With a nice 3.67 speed index, these numbers constitute recognition as a board player, especially at 73 to 1 against four favorites who don't come near these numbers. Back in 2005, this guy was never worse than 3rd in 6 previous races including stakes races along with a favorable running style for the pace projection, warranted a complete spread across the board on your superfecta. Closing Argument came in 2nd in the Kentucky Derby.

21-1 Greeley's Galaxy

DP = 8-8-12-0-0 (28) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 3-9-4-9-5 Speed = 12 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.83 Triads = 16-22-18

Another with a very nice set of configurations in this category even though he is not as stacked as three of the other speed guys. Also a rear runner with these numbers would have kept him as a player. Unfortunately, Greeley's Galaxy did not feel like running that day which would have cost you at the windows. There is nothing wrong at all with that when it comes to betting though. You must go into it with every best shot on the board and if he fails, well, then he fails. But when you stack across the slots on your super, it is better to have him there than not. If he felt like running you had least had the player on your ticket. Kent Desormeaux didn't help matters either. Greeley's Galaxy came in 11th place.

59-1 Going Wild

DP = 6-7-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.79

Mare Profile = 5-5-0-10-7 Speed = 10 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.63 Triads = 10-15-17

Hell no. Toss. Toss. Toss. Ample balance but those triads are going nowhere in the Derby. Sitting in this category did him no favors at all. Two extremely poor performances in his final two as the races stretched out further below 10f was cause to toss in the first place. This horse aptly came in 18th place in the Derby.

15-1 Sun King

DP = 5-3-5-1-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 5-4-6-4-5 Speed = 9 Stamina = 9 Index = 1.00 Triads = 15-14-15

No. No. No. Toss. Configurations completely wrong for the Derby in the speed category. Being at the lowest point on the speed spectrum among the rest in this group was the main reason for the easy toss and now looking at the mares contributions, told his complete story. Sun King came in 15th place.

AVERAGE 2.00 to 2.90

This is the category where past performances outweigh the configurations. This is the least advantaged every year, however, they do hit the board from time to time so you must handicap these guys a bit stronger than the speed category. They are balanced in the center which means they are not over-loaded on one side or the other which is what gives the advantage in the first place. You can never disregard them outright. This category produces hotshot 7f runners and champion 12f runners. There is a fine line in figuring out which side they prefer so early on but they must have triads that at least incline towards that stamina end and they must have exhibited hidden high speed along the way. Usually the Chef's CD will be low and the mare point spread will lean to stamina with consistent past performances. Back in 2005, I tossed every one of these 2.00 colts even though I liked the resume of one of them very much.

29-1 Don't Get Mad

DP = 5-6-15-0-0 (26) DI = 2.47 CD = 0.62

Mare Profile = 9-4-2-8-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-14-18

Disadvantaged category with an extremely low Chef CD, three point spread leaning to stamina and a nice hefty 18 in the final slot of his triads. Again, numbers in this category are secondary to his past performances and alignment with bias and how that lead runner will affect him. This horse, with his half descent Mid-range numbers, won his final prep by 7 lengths coming from the BACK OF THE PACK traveling only 1 mile. He beat all of the speed in that race which tells you he is a stand-out with this type of un-advantaged configurations. He broke his maiden traveling 6f on a SLOPPY TRACK at CHURCHILL DOWNS against a field of 12 coming from the back of the pack. Won his 2nd race travelling 7f against another field of 12. Posted a 2nd Place and 3rd place in the San Vicente and the San Felipe. That is a 2.47 stand-out if ever there was one. He would not be one to consider for a win because these are not the configurations of Derby Champions, however, he is a must for board-hit consideration with his resume beating speed along the way with his advantage style going into this race. This is the one who had a stand-out resume for Churchill Downs and obvious potential running through that 2.47 chef index but that index didn't jive for me. Don't Get Mad rounded out the superfecta by coming in 4th place.

22-1 High Limit

DP = 3-3-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.64

Mare Profile = 9-3-4-3-5 Speed = 12 Stamina = 8 Index = 1.47 Triads = 16-10-12

The mare's entire line should have told the connections to NEVER enter this horse into the Kentucky Derby. The worst set of numbers on the field. Study them so that you know exactly what never ever works in this race. He has 7f written out in black and white. Between the negative point spread, the 1.47 mare index and those triads that decline at the speed of light, this would be the very first toss of the field. High Limit appropriately came in DEAD LAST in the Derby.

38-1 Coin Silver

DP = 11-7-11-1-2 (32) DI = 2.76 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 8-4-3-7-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.88 Triads = 15-14-18

Triads and past performances depict a quick and easy toss from this category. Coin Silver amazingly managed to beat 8 horses on the field and came in 12th place.

57-1 Andromeda's Hero

DP = 12-4-18-0-0 (34) DI = 2.78 CD = 0.82

Mare Profile = 3-9-4-9-4 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.90 Triads = 16-22-17

High points total from his chef's profile, however, that profile is tilting more to the speed side which waters down the stamina. The mares numbers are good. He came in 3rd in the Arkansas Derby behind Flower Alley and Afleet Alex. Tendency to run mid-pack to stalk but resume leading up to the Derby wasn't half bad. Most likely, a half descent gamble to throw him into the lower slots of a super based on the triads and fairly ample performances against speed along the way. Andromeda's Hero came in 8th place.

72-1 Spanish Chestnut

DP = 8-2-6-2-0 (18) DI = 2.60 CD = 0.89

Mare Profile = 6-5-6-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.96 Triads = 17-19-19

The Chef's CD and the mare index are way too high. His past performances were on par with a 7f to 8f colt. The main player and lead runner of this race was an immediate toss as he told us along the way that he wanted no parts of running any sort of longer distance. Spanish Chestnut came in 16th place in the Derby.

STAMINA - Under 2.00

Historically, only one of these guys will hit that Derby Super and most every time, each one has the stamina to complete the 10f with ease. This category demands that they have either inherited speed or displayed speed along the way. Most likely, they all have or they would not have gained enough points to be here. They all beat speed along the way, below their optimum, in order to get a gate. This makes this category the hardest to handicap every year. Hefty triads in the first slot depicts more speed inheritance and that is favorable to a stamina horse. Conversely, extra stamina, completely overloaded in stamina is also quite favorable. Most Derby Editions will have at least 3 stamina entrants and all three usually have what it takes to make it to that stretch run. Certain attributes will stand out along with certain qualities that they have shown in their past performances and their styles will make them stand out.

41-1 Flower Alley

DP = 10-2-14-2-2 (30) DI = 1.73 CD = 0.53

Mare Profile = 4-7-1-12-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.64 Triads = 12-20-19

A must use in the superfecta ticket. Fantastic performances, major stamina inheritance and killer triads. Lacking a bit inherited speed but has shown prior that he can compete along speed consistently. He also traveled up with the lead which was advantageous with his inbred stamina against Spanish Chestnut. Unfortunately, this guy was steadied hard in the race and that may have cost him dearly. Flower Alley came in 9th place.

62-1 Sort it Out

DP = 5-4-17-1-1 (28) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.39

Mare Profile = 7-1-4-12-5 Speed = 8 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.73 Triads = 12-17-21

Killer stamina top and bottom which, even though he is sitting in the middle of this category, he held the highest amount of inbred stamina on the entire field. This horse had 12 starts prior to the Derby with the bulk of them being maiden attempts and allowance races. He came in 8th place in the Louisiana Derby and managed to rack up some points by luckily grabbing 2nd in the Lexington Stakes. Between the other three in this category, simple and easy toss based on his resume. Sort it Out came in 17th place in the Derby.

46-1 Buzzard's Bay

DP = 2-1-6-0-1 (10) DI = 1.50 CD = 0.30

Mare Profile = 4-5-6-8-6 Speed = 9 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.73 Triads = 15-19-20

Gorgeous numbers. Exceptional Stamina. Came in first place in the Santa Anita Derby out on the lead after the 3/8th pole. Demolished 10 speedy colts with these highly packed stamina configurations. Highly advantaged against Spanish Chestnut going into the Derby and a must use in this category based on his style of running, his past performances and his stamina. Buzzard's Bay just missed hitting the superfecta, he came in 5th place. This horse cost me and haunts me.

12-1 Noble Causeway

DP = 6-2-27-0-1 (36) DI = 1.48 CD = 0.33

Mare Profile = 8-5-5-8-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.04 Triads = 18-18-19

Beautiful numbers as usual for this group but unfortunately the colt's resume was exactly like Sort it Out's in this category. A series of Maiden races and an allowance race before being entered into the Florida Derby. That's it. He grabbed enough points to gain a gate by coming in second behind High Fly. Possible to try your luck using him underneath but the resume left way too much to be desired going into the Derby with the credentials of the other players. With 36 points in that chef's profile, a shot at the board would have probably been in order but it would have lacked excitement. Noble Causeway came in 14th in the Derby.

With adding in the mare's numbers for this article, this high paying race was written out like a script before the bell that year. The numbers were completely on point.

Taken directly from my 2005 Derby Notebook:

The Win Players:

Highly Advantaged Speed Players:

Wilco - Giacomo - Closing Argument

The Underneath Players:

Speed Guys: Greeley's Galaxy

Average Players: Don't Get Mad - Andromeda's Hero

Stamina Players: Flower Alley - Buzzard's Bay - Noble Causeway

The Favorites to keep: Afleet Alex and Bellamy Road - High Fly

My final Superfecta Bet:

1st: Wilco - Giacomo - Closing Argument

2nd: Wilco - Giacomo - Closing Argument - Afleet Alex - High Fly

3rd: Wilco - Giacomo - Closing Argument - Afleet Alex - High Fly - Flower Alley - Buzzard's Bay

4th: Wilco - Giacomo - Closing Argument - Afleet Alex - High Fly - Flower Alley - Buzzard's Bay - Bellamy Road - Noble Causeway


Notice I had Greeley's Galaxy, Don't Get Mad and Andromeda's Hero as a players but I did not use them on my final ticket. That Super ticket cost me $360.00 for a 1.00 wager. If I had just added the 3 remaining "players" to the 4th slot it would have cost me $540.00 for a 1.00 ticket. An additional $180.00 that I was not willing to shell out. Back then, my normal limit was 300 for my Derby Bankroll and I had already exceeded it and I had nothing left to place even an exacta or trifecta side bet as I usually do.

The Race Results and Payouts:

1st - Giacomo

2nd - Closing Argument

3rd - Afleet Alex

4th - Don't Get Mad

5th - Buzzard's Bay

The Superfecta paid $864,253.50 to exactly one person in 2005. He was the only player in that pool and he took it all.

The only way to manifest wealth is to work hard, study hard and take chances. If you see it in your mind, do everything you possibly can to make it a reality. Never second guess yourself and never be afraid to take a chance even if it costs you. You can not succeed without fire and passion to win and never under-estimate what it in your gut. The Kentucky Derby can be cracked with a fair playing field. Over and over again, this race tells the same story every year but you need to believe in yourself and you need to drown out the noise. As this year 2021 comes to a close, put it in your mind that you are going to make it happen.

Have a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Cheers to the 2022 Kentucky Derby!


bottom of page