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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

The Derby Profile - Part One

The 2022 Breeders Cup festivities are over, and now begins the disjointed over-hype of two year old players from this past weekend. Las Vegas odds have plummeted on several of Bob Baffert's boys, in the usual and predictable manner. Arabian Knight is now the little darling of "horse pundits" on the internet. The horse won a 7f maiden race in high style, beating Determinedly by 7.25 lengths. This, of course, constitutes a major Derby Player for them. Speedsters usually do from that barn.

Both Cave Rock and National Treasure lost their races in Kentucky, but fell on the betting sheets in Vegas. They will undoubtedly turn around and win when they return to the California circuit. This will heighten the hype even further. That 9f distance at Santa Anita is theirs for the taking, but where are they going at 10f at Churchill Downs?

That might be something they should try to figure out first, don't you think?

Bob Baffert's colt, Arabian Lion, was dropped to lower odds than Giant Mischief, the actual colt that he lost to over the past weekend. A 7f race, in defeat, and his current Derby odds are lower than the actual winner of the race. Irrationality at its finest.

The hype is flying in all directions. Meanwhile, the killer chart of Giant Mischief is lost in a sea of white hair and arrogance with these writers. Dreamy ideas that these horses are actually Justify or Pharoah in disguise. Doesn't matter how the horse is built, that is of no concern in their minds. These writers out there just gobble it up, following the pack, and then they will eventually delete the nonsense when something faster comes along. Same folly, different year.

At 10f on the first Saturday in May, Giant Mischief is built to beat him again, but that little tidbit of info makes no difference to odds-makers and predictable sports-writers who have no clue how to read a chart for distance capability.

Actually, I should have said, Giant Mischief is built to beat an un-altered Arabian Lion again at 10f at Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Derby demands a tsunami of extravagant speed with pure endurance. That speed ability should be present now if coming from the "Speed Category" (over 3.00) or it must be heavily displayed if coming from the mid-range or stamina categories. If the colt is sporting a 7.00 index, he should easily display that speed early on, especially at the distances he is tasked to run at this early stage. But that does not mean he is automatically able to sustain it for 10f. He will only do that if he is bred for it and if he accepts the bias of the surface or the track that he is performing at. There is a way to know this information well in advance.

If that same 7.00 colt is running at Santa Anita or DelMar, he will appear even faster, and this could alter perceptions of his true ability in the Kentucky Derby. Is there a stamina colt that can compete with that type of distinct speed? Where are they displaying this speed and could it actually be enhanced even more at Churchill Downs?

This information can be ascertained way before the big 100 point preps even come into play.

Every colt has a different chart, therefore they will each have a different profile. A different index. A different balance. Each one will have different advantages, different styles, and different distance capabilities based on his inheritance. Each one will present, at some point, what appears to be the weakness or he will present total domination with both sides. He must overcome the other side to prove the evidence of a perfect balance for the Derby. High speed plus Major endurance on a bias that he accepts.

It's that simple. Some of them will go on to become champion milers. Some of them, classic superstars. It's is already written in their charts.

Look at Rich Strike. A nameless and faceless horse along the trail with preps at Fairgrounds and Turfway. His only prior win was at 8f at Churchill Downs. Could not connect on the bias of those tracks but came back to win at Churchill with his 10f breeding. Bias and breeding - it must be established prior.

If a 7.00 colt wins an 8.5f or 9f Derby Prep at Santa Anita or DelMar, he is giving evidence that he is grabbing ahold of his chefs speedy inheritance. On that slick bias, he will appear flashy and unbeatable. What are his mares contributing?

Take that same colt and put him to task at the same distance at Tampa Bay or Fairgrounds or even the AWS at Turfway Park and see where that speed takes him at the same distance. He'll probably be pedaling backwards before the final turn, with or without the influence of mare stamina.

On the flip side, if a 1.67 stamina colt displays ability to project speed, either by defeating speedsters going short, or winning on speedy biases, or running quick out of the gate and on the lead, or even posting bullet workouts at 4f to 6f on the proper track, his inbred stamina is then counter balanced with his speed. High amount on both sides. He has the endurance written in his numbers, now you must see the speed for evidence of balance.

This type will have greater ease at the tracks that are opposite of what the disadvantaged speedsters will see. They need to show prowess on the faster and slicker tracks along the way. Both categories need to conquer both sides.

Gathering evidence to fulfill BOTH SIDES of the equation will point out a Derby player. If one side is missing, they need to be tossed for the Derby.

"But, he posted a 108 beyer" has no place on a Derby bet unless he has the distance.

Many of the better trainers will deliberately place their colt in a "tougher spot" to draw out that which may seem lacking or even to give that trainer the evidence he needs in order to see if the Derby trail is an option to pursue. This is a gift to us. Some do not, like Baffert, and he will train his lead speedsters to demolish 9f rivals on that advantaged track. He probably relies on a great deal more behind closed doors as well. Hidden endurance doesn't simply appear on a whim and a prayer at 10 and 12f.

It is also very important to consider the home base of the horse. What track/bias is he gaining his training. Does that bias enhance his stop watch times or is he running against the grain day in a day out. Everything feeds off of the other. How he is bred and the surface he is training on will explain how it translates to the next race. We want to see if he can be successful AGAINST THE BIAS and AGAINST his apparent breeding. We need to know if he is ready to explode on a track when he finally gets the opportunity to run on it.

To figure out where the young colt stands and what he needs to present as far as what is readily apparent and what needs to be revealed along the way, you must grasp exactly how the horse is built. There are three pieces to that puzzle.

  1. The colt's chart

  2. His balance/optimum/scale using his dosage configurations.

  3. All evidence that he has presented to date through his performances/style/works and on what surface they occurred.

Not every colt will run directly in line with his chart or his numbers. There are many factors that could affect them, negatively or positively, but 85%+ of the time, they are right on target. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of reading them properly in the first place as well. That part is not infallible either. There are always exceptions to the rules. Always. Look at Cody's Wish, the first horse to crack the dosage cap since its inception in the Dirt Mile on Saturday. Exceptions do happen on rare (and special) occasions.

The Derby may seem far away, but realistically, we only have 6 short months to isolate 4 spectacularly built horses out of 100's upon 100's. Not much time at all to dissect all of those two year olds with precision. The task is enormous but highly necessary in order to go into the Derby race with a handful of real players.

Go to posted article: Derby Profile - Part Two


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