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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Triple Crown Review & Updates

What a great Triple Crown Season! It had everything you could possibly want and then some. Even if things didn't fully pan out at the betting windows, there is no mistaking that our "system" was right on target this year from the very beginning. That is something I am very proud of. We learned alot this year and that is what keeps us going and growing in our handicapping skills for the 2023 season.

Besides our incredible and perfect numbers, pace and balance played a huge part in the race results all the way through from the early maidens, through the preps and throughout each Triple Crown race. In addition, gaining that insight on how trainers work their horses both on and off the track in anticipation of the big races has given us an even bigger advantage as we move forward. I can honestly say that it has been many years since I have actually added to my handicapping skills, this being one of the biggest in all the years I have worked on these races. Between the pedigrees and configurations, the pace structure and the training biases along the way, I grew leaps and bounds this year.

Starting with the two year old season that pointed out the top notch players including Epicenter and Simplification to knowing and understanding the over-hyped prep winners like Taiba, Classic Causeway and Tiz the Bomb, we ran the entire scope this season. Even in defeat, for me, this was the best handicapping season I can remember. The Derby Prep analysis for the 2021 to 2022 season was spot on this year. The dosage configurations were spot on and the scales and balance were also right on target. It was one of my favorite seasons ever, and it has only just begun. Sensational opportunities coming our way, leading up to the Breeders Cup finale at Keeneland.

The Kentucky Derby

Even with Summer is Tomorrow destroying the pace in our first Triple Crown race, the configurations and the insight were still perfect. The 2022 race served to finally grasp that missing piece - making sure to configure two separate tickets for the two separate pace scenarios. The numbers still remain the same but there are two different scenarios that will occur besides a clean track and a sloppy track. A fast and suicidal pace up front will cater one way and a moderate pace will cater another, but the "rules" remain exactly the same. This is my biggest takeaway this season. It is one I will never forget and it is one that I will always insert for the 20 horse race every season going forward. Mark Michelle aside, most all of us missed by one again, - the winner. It was the pace. The numbers for the tote board were still correct.

Rich Strike

DP = 5-8-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 7-1-6-9-7 Speed = 8 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.72 Triads = 14-16-22

The 80-1 longshot was configured properly and he was advantaged with these numbers, including his style, with the blazing pace up front. That pace flipped everything on its side, but still, the numbers read correctly. We understood this going into the Belmont Stakes, where these configurations find no favor except for possibly the bottom of a super. He couldn't even manage that which solidifies the obvious advantage he gained by watching all of the speedy horses up front disintegrate due to the opening call times. That was an easy one to spot even before he took his photo in the Derby Winner's Circle.

The Preakness

Rare to even venture into this race, as the numbers and configurations find no historical value. With Epicenter in the race, there was no way to sit it out. Even with no specific advantages or disadvantages based on the history of the race, the top players still rose to the occasion; Epicenter, Creative Minister and Secret Oath underneath a well rested Early Voting. Again, missing by one with the single of Epicenter on top. No one could have foreseen him in 8th position on a 9 horse field on a speed favoring track, up against his winning ways. But such is horse racing.

The Belmont Stakes

The best race of the season. What a fantastic race it was. The numbers were spot on, the insight was correct and the tote board said it all. I attempted to beat the odds with my configurations but it turns out that super actually paid surprisingly well in the end. There is no lesson to learn here, for me anyway, I tried something at the windows because I felt like it. The analysis and the insight on the group was just as it should have been for what transpired. The two favorites, We the People and Rich Strike did not have the right combinations for a win or even for the top of the board spots. Mo Donegal, Nest and Skippy did. They lit the top of that Tote Board up, leaving 4th place as a crapshoot, as it normally is. The top three with the very best Belmont configurations of the bunch including lead speed that held on for his piece underneath.

Mo Donegal

DP = 2-6-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.63

Mares: 9-0-6-8-6 Speed = 9 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-14-20

Even and balanced on the scale. No changes to his style. Perfectly configured as history dictates.


DP = 6-10-16-0-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69

Mares: 4-3-0-7-12 Speed = 7 Stamina = 19 Index = 0.35 Triads = 7-10-19

Perfectly configured Belmont numbers. The big tilt to stamina left her a bit unbalanced leaving the door open for Mo Donegal.


DP = 3-5-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69

Mare Profile = 8-2-3-11-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.88 Triads = 13-16-19

The most evenly paced horse on the field who was sporting killer Belmont configurations.

We the People

DP = 1-4-3-0-0 (8) DI = 4.33 CD = 0.75

Mares: 7-6-3-7-3 Speed = 13 Stamina = 10 Index = 1.44 Triads = 16-16-13

Second generation Tapit on the lead holds for 4th. The very bottom of the superfecta, every year, will consist of either a speedy colt or a stamina colt. Fourth place is always a coin toss in the Belmont. This year, We the People grabbed that spot, 12 lengths behind the winner. Could have easily been any one of them.

I am very proud and pleased with this entire season here at our Club. The knowledge gained this year is invaluable going forward.

The first most essential point is coming to the realization of why trainers choose the prep races that they do. Instead of cursing them for placing a speed type on a hard bias or a stamina boy who is screaming for distance on a speedy bias, I now grasp the preconditioning aspects. I understand that everything revolves around the necessity of having the horse "hard trained" for what he appears to lack in order to win the biggest race of the year, the Kentucky Derby. That flash bulb being turned on is invaluable going forward.

The second major aspect gained this year is in the realization that one cannot assume the lead or the state of that pace in the early stages of the Kentucky Derby. There are two possible scenarios every year which means there will be two separate sets of advantages. This was the biggest missing piece along the way, as every handicapper will choose their top four and work around it for the super. That covers only one pace scenario, or even worse, two scenarios within one ticket. That will never happen again. As a matter of fact, I will be taking it a step further next year - TWO SEPERATE ANALYSIS FOR TWO SEPERATE PACE SCENARIOS. If you think we left "no stone unturned" this year, well, fasten your seatbelts for next year!!


With the summer months ahead of us now, we will be technically on hiatus. I will still post important Graded Stakes Free PP's and possibly post an article or two along the way. I will send out an email notice when I do. Over the next month or so, I will be revamping the website to make it more user friendly with many additions coming out. I'm not sure if it will be rolled out slowly and gradually or all at once. I have to see how it works with the web editor but I do know, there will be many extra safeguards in place along with many new handicapping features.

With the 8 week Saratoga season running from July 14th to September 5th, there will be a couple of analysis' posted over the summer months. The biggest change here at the Dirty Horse Club will be the timing that I post it. I will no longer give other writers a head start any more. That gravy boat has ended. Unfortunately, this affects our discussion time and that is what I love the most. But I came up with a plan to combat that as well. So, going forward, the full analysis for any race that I decide to work on, will be posted either the night before or the day of the race itself. I have cracked the code on a couple of races between now and the Breeders Cup weekend and I can't wait to unveil it all to you. I spent a few years on them and I think its time.

In addition, those of you who have been die-hard Dirty Horse Club "CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS" and friends over the years will always have free reign at this site. Others will see the second big purge coming before the first Derby Prep race of the coming season. New memberships will no longer be free. It will be minimal, but it won't be free. You can thank the vultures for that. It's time for that to end.

Have a great summer, stay healthy and safe. If anything gets posted, I will notify you. Our site will have some major new additions that revolve around the Derby Prep races, with much more detail prior to each of the races and much more insight into ALL of the players after the race. Because of Rich Strike, every contender in every prep race will be dissected as they pertain to their ability for the Derby itself. Big changes and massive amounts of insight. Im looking forward to it.


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