Lessons learned from the
past runnings of the Kentucky Derby should be treated as the most important lessons.
As a blogger for Horse Racing Nation I feel an
obligation to come up with new and interesting ways to look at racing. In
preparation for the 2013 Derby I did my research and wrote a couple of articles
that ended up being on the mark.
In Is the 2013 Kentucky Derby Winner an N2L?, the premise was that in recent history the Derby winner had
been eligible for a N2L condition on January 1st. Amazingly this
year the top four finishers had only one victory as the calendar turned to
Orb got his second win on Jan. 26. Golden Soul and Normandy Invasion could both
still run in a N2L. Revolutionary got his second win in the Withers on Feb. 2. You can see in the
updated chart that half of the Derby winners since the year 2000, fit the
premise, including the past three in a row.
In What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?, research
showed that only one Derby winner had won in front-running style since 2000,
and that the majority of winners came from far off the pace. Obviously Orb’s
deep closing run from over 20 lengths behind fit that pattern. As a matter of
fact, the top five finishers in this year’s Derby were in 17th, 15th,
18th, 6th, and 16th places at the six-furlong
point of call.
It has become clear that
no matter what the past performances or the speed and pace figures seem to
indicate, the Derby is going to have a significant early pace. The emotion and
energy of the race seems to guarantee that some of the jockeys and horses are
going to put themselves out on the lead.
Finally, an interesting Aqueduct juxtaposition came out of this
year’s Derby. Runners from the Wood Memorial, New York’s major prep race, have not had a top three finish in
many years. However, Orb, Revolutionary, and Normandy Invasion all got their
maiden victory at Aqueduct.
Now we all just need to
remember what we have learned when the Derby fun begins again in January of