The recent trends might "feel" like late bloomers have dominated the
Kentucky Derby, but don't be fooled. The top four finishers of the last
five Derbies averaged 3.7 starts as 2-year-olds and owned a combined
mark of 34-for-79 as juveniles, a smashing 43 percent win rate. Almost
half (10) of those 21 horses were stakes winners during their
2-year-old campaigns. Only 3 of those 21 raced less than twice at age 2
(Curlin, Big Brown and Denis of Cork).