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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

What We Can Learn from Kentucky Derby 2013

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 2013.
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 2014.


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Older Comments about What We Can Learn from Kentucky Derby 2013...

Spot on!
One of my favorite angles in the Derby remains ... there will be more pace than it appears on paper.

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.


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