As the 2014 Kentucky Derby prep races continue to heat up, here's a look at the top TimeformUS speed figures turned in by this year's three-year-old crop.
A few things to keep in mind about TimeformUS speed figures:
• We combine a horse’s final-time figure, pace figures, and running style into one number, forming a state-of-the-art single-number measure of all-around performance.
• Since pace is factored into these numbers, you'll sometimes see a winning horse get a lower speed figure than a horse he beat (often in situations where the winner enjoyed a favorable pace scenario).
• For some perspective, here are the speed figures earned by each of the last five Kentucky Derby winners:
Orb - 111 (Kentucky Derby). Prior three races: 104, 106, 91
I'll Have Another - 116, 112, 112, 58
Animal Kingdom - 117, 107, 99, 101
Super Saver - 112, 116, 110, 109
Mine that Bird - 117, 103, 97, 92
UPDATE: A commenter below asked to see what horses had been running heading into the last few editions of the Kentucky Derby. The chart below displays all Derby starters, and what their speed figures looked like heading into the first Saturday in May. Use the tabs at the bottom to see previous years.