What typically happens when everyone seems to agree in advance on the outcome of a full-field, Graded Stakes race? More often than not, anything but the expected…which makes horse racing the great sport it is.
This is particularly true for the Kentucky Derby. A race in which the contestants are being asked to do something they will never have to do again in their lifetimes…run 1 ¼ miles for the first time against 19 other rivals under grueling pace conditions. No wonder the post time favorite is so often left out of the winner’s circle photograph.
Without question, the field that is assembling for the 2012 Kentucky Derby is the deepest in years. The consensus of the media is that eight horses make up this year’s Derby win contenders…and the same eight horses seem to appear on everyone’s list. They are as follows:
· Union Rags
· Creative Cause
· I’ll Have Another
The 2012 Super Screener doesn’t disagree that many of these horses are strong candidates to hit the board. However, only 4 horses actually pass all the Super Screener win criteria and 2 of those strong win contenders don’t even appear on the list above…and will go off at 20-1 or higher at post time…any guesses? We are going reveal one of these top-scoring win contenders right now…his name is Went The Day Well.
He’s being dismissed by so many due to the following:
1. Broke his maiden just two back
2. Beat nobody in the Spiral Stakes run 6 weeks ago
3. The top 8 above are far superior win choices (really?)
How then, can the Super Screener end up rating this one as a top 4 win contender? Here are three of the six reasons the Super Screener says include in the win spot:
1. Did his best running into the swift second call Spiral Stakes pace (BRIS 98)
2. Has paired triple-digit late pace and final figures in the Spiral Stakes
3. Has not only paired but has produced triple-digit pace figures in each of his last three races
BONUS I: Consider this…his two Maiden races were two of the slowest paced races run all meet long on the speedy Gulfstream Park surface, so those final Speed Ratings are artificially low and yet each is better than the previous.
BONUS II: Same connections as Animal Kingdom, last year’s Kentucky Derby winner. Exiting the same prep race with eerily similar outcomes (watch the replays of the 2011 and 2012 Spiral Stakes). However, Went The Day Well is proven on dirt unlike his stable mate who made his dirt debut in the Derby. Yes, this one is greener but he did post a 103 BRIS Speed Rating (fourth best in the 2012 Derby field), which was 6 points faster than what Animal Kingdom produced in the Spiral Stakes!