The top three finishers in the Derby all received the top 3 figures of the field in their last race. While my speed figures may have been flawed, they worked better than anyone could have expected.
2- Firing Line
3- American Pharoah
That is not what PED means. PEDs are used to improve performance. PEDs do not give anyone the ability to do something, just improve upon it. A person using PEDs who never played baseball before won't automatically gain the ability to hit home runs. It is the same thing in horse racing. Lasix does not (at least scientifically) make a horse automatically run better. Some horses do better on Lasix, that is true, but not all horses will run better with Lasix. Saying Lasix is a PED is completely false.
Lasix has long been believed to be a PED, to the point that the best trainer in the world, Aiden O'Brien, has sent many of his horses to the States and raced them on Lasix (not all, but some, even if they aren't bleeders, just to avoid any disadvatage he may have for not using Lasix). However, there is no science that points to them being PEDs. Mike de Kock is making a smart move on letting Mubtaahij run without Lasix. If he isn't bleeding, then he doesn't need it. Lasix should be used against bleeding, not just to satisfy a norm. US trainers just seem to not understand the point of medications. It is like giving a person Advil every time they run so that they don't get a headache, even though they might not get a headache to start. Good move by Mubtaahij's connections. He is a spectacular horse and while everyone is worried that he doesn't change leads, that isn't something that is cared about in the international community... I'm not worried. He is not only my Derby pick, but also my Triple Crown pick.
I am not trying to make these the end all be all stat for handicapping. There is not one handicapping tool that will always work (if there was, that would be the only one anyone would use). Also, these are still in development. As I get more data, I may separate them down by track, taking just Santa Anita into consideration for Santa Anita races, just Gulfstream Park for GP races, etc. These are just beginning. I've read a lot from Andy Beyer and see his methodology. I don't discount how a horse runs throughout a race. This isn't supposed to be a replacement, but rather a supplement. I still watch the full race, analyze the whole race, and analyze how a horse ran. I don't think the finish is everything. I understand that Santa Anita is fast and Sunland Park times are inflated due to the wind that goes down the stretch. This is still a work in progress. I don't have enough data to make perfect speed figures. These are far from perfect. This is just a beginning. I also am really glad that you all commented because one of the reasons I wanted to get these out there are in order to get advice on how to improve them. I am just one person. I don't have a team of people behind me nor am I going to be at every race. I use Equibase to get my times and race information. There is a lot more to be taken into consideration in making these speed figures. These will take years of work to get even close to being of good quality. However, this is a start. I'm young and in college. I don't have the experience of many handicappers and figure makers. I don't have the time that they have to analyze every part of a race. But I do what I can. In the future, I may break them down by call, separating them even more. Thank you for your advice.
Been working on my own speed figures for the past few months. First public release of my speed figures are out now on my blog. Follow this link for the figures: https://horseracingstation.wordpress.com/hrs-speed-figures/
Mubtaahij wants to go longer. Yes his fps numbers aren't that good, but they are very close (just a under a thousandth difference) to the fps numbers of last years Kentucky Derby (and to the Belmont Stakes too). Orb, Animal Kingdom, Tapiture, and Vicar's in Trouble all had similar fps. He has been improving and has run wide in most of his races (and running wide seems to happen quite often in the Derby). He also has run (and won) farther than any other horse in this field, and where many of the horses that won at a mile and an eighth seemed to be tiring, Mubtaahij had energy to go. Also, while the UAE Derby really opened my eyes on him, I liked how he ran his previous few races. Watch his other races on dirt. While most weren't runaways like the UAE Derby (where he opened up in less than 100m), they were all great tests of his will. While he lost the UAE 2,000 Guineas, it was more of his positioning early that cost him, not how he ran. Maftool just had better position throughout. Mubtaahij kept improving in his dirt runs. Also, I wouldn't take to much into his slow fps in Dubai; Meydan had been running very slow times compared to what they should be.
I decided to delve into the whole Furlongs/Second versus National Average at that Distance for all the major preps (current 100pt and 50pt preps) from the last 10 years. Here is a listing of the horse with the best figure from the horses that ran in the derby: (so just cause a horse had the best figure in the race doesn't mean it was the best out of the 3yo preps).
2014- California Chrome (won)
2013- Orb (won)
2012- I'll Have Another (won)
2011- Midnight Interlude (16th) [Animal Kingdom actually had worst figure]
2010- Stately Victor (8th) [Super Saver did not win a 3yo prep race, ran behind a poor Arkansas Derby winner]
2009- Papa Clem (4th) [Mine That Bird did not win a 3yo prep race, ran behind a poor Sunland Derby winner]
2008- Big Brown (won)
2007- Scat Daddy (18th) [Street Sense had 3rd best figure]
2006- Brother Derek (4th) [Big Brown had 4th best figure]
2005- Afleet Alex (3rd) [Giacomo did not win a 3yo prep race, ran second to Consolidator, that had the best figure of the 3yo prep race winners but did not go to the Derby]
While the data doesn't show that the horse with the fastest furlong/second speed above national average for that distance (really need to come up with a shorter name), it does show that it is a factor in the past, especially in the last three runnings. Just something to look for in this race.
Very informative. One thing that I would look into would be speed vs the national average (under graded stakes conditions) for that distance. Currently I am developing my own speed figures based on that condition and I know last year California Chrome had the best prep (in furlongs/second versus the national average at that distance). Right now, Firing Line would have that for his Sunland Derby win. I am still working on them so I haven't gone farther back than last year, but it would be interesting to see if this becomes a trend. I'll keep you posted. Also, no horse since War Admiral has won that Derby as a direct sire line descendant of Godolphin Arabian. I know that most of the field descends of Darley Arabian (the only horses that were Godolphin Arabian were Tiz Shea D and Calculator). I haven't looked at every horse yet so I don't know if there are others. I do agree that D.I. does mean something and do consider it in much of my handicap. While it isn't the most important thing, it does help to narrow down the field. That, a long with the last few amazing races has put Mubtaahij on top for me, followed by Firing Line. Of course that could change in the next two weeks. Also, just want to put that out there, if Mubtaahij wins the Derby, I believe that he will win the Triple Crown. Not guaranteeing that it will happen, but I think he is the horse to do it. The Derby will be his greatest test of the three races, and I think the Preakness would be the easiest (two wins at that distance already) and the Belmont should be helping towards him as he seems to want to run longer.
Calculator is also trying to be the first direct sire line descendent from the Godolphin Arabian to win the Kentucky Derby since War Admiral. Godolphin Arabian descendants are historically better at longer distances than the 2000m (having more wins in the Belmont Stakes then in the Derby or Preakness). History could be made the first Saturday in May and break the chokehold that the Darley Arabian descendants have had on the Run for the Roses.
Copyright © 2010 -
other passionate horse racing fans!