Yes I thought he does.
Small correction: you have only two geldings having won the Derby, you forgot Exterminator 1918, Paul Jones 1920, Old Rosebud 1914, Macbeth 1888, Apollo 1882, Vagrant 1876
Some TC winners were not good studs. Assault was sterile at stud ( though supposedly he pastured bred two quarter horse mares), Omaha was a poor sire as was Sir Barton who ended up in the Army Remount program. His best runner was the filly, Easter Stockings. Whirlaway and Citation were not considered top notch either. Whirlaway's best contribution was the dam of Lady Pitt and Citation's best were Silver Spoon, Fabius and Guadalcanal. So there are no guarantees with TC winners in the breeding shed.
Probably Whirlaway had one of the most rigorous schedules: he had 16 races as a two year old. And seven going into the Derby. Interestingly he raced 3 races at six furlongs, one at seven furlongs, one at five and half furlongs, the Bluegrass at 1 1/8 miles and the Derby Trial at a mile. The Bluegrass since its inception at Keeneland ( I'm ignoring the race that was at the Lexington Association) was always 1 1/8 miles.
As to tracks being two turns at a mile, true but you would have to go back and take a look at changes made in the track itself through the years at a particular track to compare. For instance Keeneland went through changes as to where the start was depending on the construction of tote boards, grandstands etc. Also many races were moved around during the war years, for instance much of the CA tracks were closed, Saratoga races were run at Belmont etc. also where these preps races were run because it changed over the years.
For instance the Wood was run not at Aqueduct or Belmont, but at Jamaica for a number of years ( definitely through Native Dancer's time). Also many horses, like Citation used preps at Havre de Grace too. Also Empire City held TB racing until it was turned into a harness track and Count Fleet and others raced there as well as Jamaica.
Actually probably the latest to use sprint route would have been Assault in 1946. He ran nine races as a two year old: three at fourth and half furlongs, two at five and half furlongs the rest at six or six and half. He also took the sprint six furlong race then to the Wood at 1 1/16 and then Derby Trial.
You also need to remember there wasn't year round racing. Many horses finished their fall two yr old season and went to the farm and came out in March. Hialeah and Santa Anita didn't begin until the 1930's. As to Bimelech, he was considered so dominant that Bradley proposed a match race for him as a two yr old with older horses and no takers. When he won his first two starts as a three yr old, Pimilico was looking at a possible walkover for the Preakness.
Exterminator. First race of 1918 was the Kentucky Derby on May 11. Last time he raced before the Derby was on July 26, 1917 and the race was a five and half furlong allowance up in Canada at Kenilworth
Needless to say I was a big Buckpasser fan. Saw many of his races including his come from behind heart stopping Suburban. He and Graustark would have made an incredible rivalry as good as Kelso and Gun Bow or Dr. Fager and Damascus. I remember Buckpasser was scheduled to meet Damascus in the Aqueduct Handicap but developed heat in his foot and was scratched. Always felt he was really hurting by the the Famous Woodward that year of 1967
You're right about Kaui King wouldn't have won two thirds of the TC with either Graustark or Buckpasser in the mix. And the Phipps family would certainly have sent out a rabbit to help Buckpasser's chances too.
Great. If you are at all interested in Exterminator and racing in the 1920's this is a new book that just came out: Here Comes Exterminator: A Longshot Horse, The Great War and the Making of an American Hero by Eliza McGraw.
Bimelech was 8 for 8 going into the 1940 Derby. Native Dancer was 11 for 11 withe Derby as his 12th start.
With the discussion of slow times, one should note that one of the fastest times for 1 1/4 miles was 2:00 4/5 set by Sarazen at Latonia in 1924 in the International against a top field including Epinard, Princess Doreen, Mad Play and others. A lot of the slower times for races do have much to do with track composition. For instance War Admiral posted a nice number at the Preakness even though the track had seen a great deal rain. The Turf and Sport Digest July 1937 spoke of the track being composed of heavy clay not sand underlaid by gravel through which water moves quickly. The better time for the son of MOW was laid at the door of greatly improved drainage and the liberal use of the harrows for six to seven hours prior to the opening of racing that day.
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