Kentucky Derby...Think Twice about Favored Pace Types

Kentucky Derby...Think Twice about Favored Pace Types
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

 

While doing our analysis to create the screening criteria for the Kentucky Derby Super Screener, we came upon some interesting insights centered on the role of energy distribution profiles (running styles) and their impact on the outcome of the top four Kentucky Derby finishers.

 

Below is a chart we compiled that shows the top four finishers of the past 10 editions of the Kentucky Derby, their odds and their Energy Distribution Profile. In addition, we captured the first and second call factional times of each race.

 

YEAR

 

PACE

WINNER/ODDS

 

ENERGY DISTRIBUTION PROFILE

PLACE/ODDS

 

ENERGY DISTRIBUTION PROFILE

SHOW/ODDS

 

ENERGY DISTRIBUTION PROFILE

4TH PLACE/ODDS

 

ENERGY DISTRIBUTION PROFILE

 

 

 

 

 

2003

46 1/5  1:10  2/5

Funny Cide 13-1

PRESSER

Empire Maker 5-2

DEEP CLOSER

Peace Rules 6-1

PACE

AtswhatImtalknabout 9-1

DEEP CLOSER

2004

46 3/5  1:11 4/5

Smarty Jones 4-1

PRESSER

Lion Heart 5-1

PACE

Imperialism 11-1

DEEP CLOSER

Limehouse 42-1

CLOSER

2005

45 1/5  1:09 2/5

Giacomo 50-1

DEEP CLOSER

Closing Argument 71-1

PRESSER

Afleet Alex 9-2

CLOSER

Don’t Get Mad  29-1

DEEP CLOSER

2006

46        1:10 4/5

Barbaro 6-1

CLOSER

Bluegrass Cat 30-1

CLOSER

Steppenwolfer 16-1

DEEP CLOSER

Brother Derek 7-1

PRESSER

2007

46 1/5  1:11

Street Sense 5-1

DEEP CLOSER

Hard Spun 10-1

PACE

Curlin 5-1

CLOSER

Imawildandcrazyguy 29-1

DEEP CLOSER

2008

47        1:11

Big Brown 5-2

PRESSER

Eight Belles 13-1

CLOSER

Denis of Cork 27-1

DEEP CLOSER

Tale of Ekati 37-1

PRESSER

2009 (sloppy)

47 1/5  1:12

Mine That Bird 50-1

DEEP CLOSER

Pioneerof The Nile 6-1

PRESSER

Musket Man 20-1

CLOSER

Papa Clem 12-1

CLOSER

2010 (sloppy)

46        1:10

Super Saver 8-1

CLOSER

Ice Box 11-1

DEEP CLOSER

Paddy O’Prado 12-1

DEEP CLOSER

Make Music For Me 30-1

DEEP CLOSER

2011 (drying)

48 3/5  1:13 3/5

Animal Kingdom 21-1

CLOSER

Nehro 8-1

DEEP CLOSER

Mucho Macho Man 9-1

PRESSER

 

Shackeford 23-1

PACE

2012

45 1/5  1:09 4/5

I’ll Have Another 15 -1

CLOSER

Bodemeister 4-1

PACE

Dullahan 12-1

DEEP CLOSER

Went The Day Well 30-1

DEEP CLOSER

 

SUMMARY OF INSIGHTS:

 

Highly regarded pace types haven taken down a lot of money over the history of the Kentucky Derby. Just last year, Bodemeister went off as the favorite and looked much the winner in mid-stretch but failed to hold the bid. Lion Heart and Peace Rules were also highly regarded “wire” types that managed to hit the board but missed the win. Complete flops of recent favored pace types include; 2005 Bellamy Road, 2006 Brother Derek and 2010 Sidney’s Candy. War Emblem in 2002 broke through with a wire-to-wire victory.  Prior to War Emblem’s wire victory, which was the last horse to win the Kentucky Derby from gate to wire?

 

Here’s a summary of our findings from the chart above:

 

 

·       Of the 40 possible finish opportunities, Closers/Deep Closers accounted for 27 of the slots or 68%.

·       At least 2 Closer/Deep Closers hit the Superfecta in each of the past 10 editions of the Kentucky Derby. Six of ten races featured 3 or more closer types hitting the top four positions.

·       Half of the second place finishers were comprised of tiring PACE/PRESSER types.

·       No Pace type has won the Kentucky Derby in the past 10 years. Bodemeister came close with a 2nd place finish last year.

·       Five of the past ten races produced two 20-1+ long shots that finished in the Superfecta.

·       The fourth place slot yielded seven 20-1+ bombers in the past 10 years.

 

 

For the 2013 Kentucky Derby, the Super Screener will be projecting the pace (once the final field is locked in) to provide insight on the prospects of “those that close”.  To learn more about how the Super Screener uses historical pace, speed, cycle and trends to separate the Derby field, go to www.superscreener.com Monday!

 
 
 

About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.   


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