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HRN Original Blog:

Super Screener: Derby Contender Upgrades and Downgrades

Super Screener top story

The Kentucky Derby Super Screener is the ultimate guide to crushing the Kentucky Derby. Author Mike Shutty developed a set of specific criteria that last year hit the Trifecta three times! Here is some more insight from Mike on this year's running...


Now Available: 2012 Kentucky Derby Super Screener

Derby Contender Upgrades and Downgrades


The Kentucky Derby and the nine final preps leading up to the Derby couldn't be more different when it comes to field size, pace, trips and distance.  Yet, often we make the mistake of treating the prep races and the Kentucky Derby as somewhat interchangeable when it comes to evaluating contenders.

As is so often the case, prep races can be plagued by short fields run in soft fractions that favor horses with an early pace distribution. Of the nine final preps run, only three races produced extreme pace variations...ironically, the two slowest-paced races were run on the speediest surfaces.

Download Now: 2012 Kentucky Derby Super Screener 

Top 2 Most Extreme Prep Pace Scenarios 

Both the Santa Anita Derby and the Florida Derby were races that were run "very slow early and fast late".  In the Florida Derby, Take Charge Indy and Reveron were one/two from gate to wire.

They crawled early as the lone speedster, Take Charge Indy, controlled the pace throughout.  Union Rags and El Padrino had no shot whatsoever...and they did not need to win that race as they already had plenty of Graded Stakes earnings.

The Santa Anita Derby set up in almost exactly the same way.  I'll Have Another sat just off the super slow early pace getting the first jump on the closer, Creative Cause, and won in a head bob with Creative Cause who was moving forward just after the wire.

The slow pace really favored I'll Have Another and it worked against Creative Cause (as is did in all of his preps this year).  Look for the outcome to be reversed in the Derby. 

Download Now: 
2012 Kentucky Derby Super Screener

Key Downgrades/Upgrades For The Kentucky Derby

So, in summary, when considering the chances of your Derby contenders, you might want to incorporate the following upgrades and downgrades:

Union Rags

Take Charge Indy        (major downgrade)

El Padrino
I'll Have Another         (minor downgrade)
Creative Cause


* Fastest pace of all preps though did so on his own accord.

Now Available: 2012 Kentucky Derby Super Screener


Put it all together for the Kentucky Derby and don't miss out on the chance for the score of a lifetime. Get the entire Super Screener RIGHT NOW...




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Older Comments about Super Screener: Derby Contender Upgrades and Downgrades...

Anyone that uses Super Screener for selections is throwing their money away. Get him to show you how he did for yesterday and today. ROFL, based on how he does I'm going to start my own horse selections site ROFL.
ill have another has beat more horses than any horse in the field at a 1 1/8 and will love the extra and creative cause is a good horse dont let him beat ya myself i like alpha to win if he is eating and working good this week and gem is undefeated so must use 1 and 2nd undefeated horses run great in the derby to win
Looking at todays odds:Cc/6-1,gemologist/8-1,Dullahan,10-1,Hansen,10-1,TCI,15-1,Hansen,10-1,.Is this a great betting Derby, or what.?
Rly good info, sadly it doesn't rly narrow down my list. Still leanin on U Rags!
I totally agree that you can discount TCI and I'll Have Another because of the easy preps they had. In such a tough race like this, that means toss. Need to narrow down somehow! I also really like the way Creative Cause has run this year - and he's never had a pace to run at. If he had the pace that Dullahan did, I think people would be all over the Creative Cause bandwagon.



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About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.