Govenor Charlie is more of a contender that Departing IMO. Departing was well beaten in the LA Derby and beat a field of also rans in a slow pace and slow closing furlong in IL. GC's pedigree is more stamina oriented as well, with stom cat as damsire and the power of just Midnight Lute's stamina influence shown in Mylute.. GC will also get first run at the wire based on his pressing style of running and the closers may be laying back further than they should, a la AK in 2011.. I'm looking for the upset.
Did I just read Goldencents in the same sentence as Point Given and Hansel? Wow. I don't see the Mr. Prospector influence anywhere is Goldecents' pedigree. Expect him to finish near last again. One horse you didn't mention is Red Bullet. Govenor Charlie may be this year's Red Bullet. Departing looked good against grade 3 competition so it's hard to judge him.
Unless a horse is in first at all calls final race time is very overrated. In this case, Overanalyze can't control how weak or strong the pace horses are, and is content to site behind a soft pace until time to draw off and, as Bejarano said, save some for the next race.
Route experience matters in the Derby, and Java’s War has run 4 consecutive races at 8.5 furlongs or more (on the board in 3) and Overanalyze has won 2 9 furlong races. In a field of lightly raced horses (average of 3 8.5 furlong or longer races) I’ll take these two to finish in the top 5 no matter what the odds are.
War Pass faced Pyro in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (8.5 furlongs) and beat him but they never raced against each other again. Tale of Ekati won the Wood (9 furlongs) in 2008 and War Pass finished second. War Pass's dam is a grade 1 winning 10 furlong mare so the stamina is probably coming from there.
Oxbow has yet to run like Awesome Again, Awesome Gem, Game on Dude, Paynter etc. so there's more to consider than just pedigree.
Mr. Lukas hasn't put a horse on the board in the Derby in 13 years. I think the game has passed him by and his handling of Oxbow and Will Take Charge is more proof, if how he handled Optimizer last year wasn't enough. I like Oxbow's pedigree and for some odd reason, even though his only 2 wins have come on the lead, his jockeys seem to be ok with trying to get him to run behind horses. He should be hustled to the lead at all costs in the AR Derby and whatever happens happens. He’s got the points so let’s see if he’s got a shot in the Derby. Maybe we’ll see a War Emblem in the IL Derby type performance. I think his only shot to finish on the board in the Derby is on the pace.
There is still too much bias involved in the process of creating speed figures for them to be relevant for handicapping purposes, especially Beyer Speed Figures. For example, , Giacomo winning the derby with only mid 90s Beyeres could have been thought of as a fluke or noise but then came along Mine That Bird, a horse that had never run over an 80 Beyer. Since then not 1 Derby has run a 100 Beyer prior to the Derby. There used to be an old derby rule about scratching through horses without a 100 Beyer. If the Beyer team doesn’t like the horse you can forget about a high figure, but even in slow races a favored horse can get a high figure. This week’s example is Goldcents running a 105 Beyer while Verrazano ran a 95, about the same as what I’ll Have Another ran in the same race last year. Since Flashback was the wise guy horse I guess you get a high Beyer for beating him.
I’ll assume you meant a Beyer Speed Figure, but in short he uses more than just race fractions and final times to calculate his figures. There is a great deal of judgement and opinion built into his numbers, and as a result as a beginning handicapper they can be useful but with experience you’ll probably find little value in them. In short, even though the Sunland Derby will probably be the fastest 9 furlong prep race on dirt for any Kentucky Derby contender, because Andy et al don’t believe the participants in the race were that great and that the track was sped up artificially he gets a 99, instead of 100+.
If he doesn't make the Derby then Todd is to blame. There are other races he could have run in (Sam F. Davis, Sunland Derby, Rebel, etc.) that would have given him easier competition and more points. Todd has a lot of horses and trying to avoid running them against each other could end up costing SB.
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