2014 Kentucky Derby Pool 2 analysis

Pool 2 of the future wager begins on Thursday noon ET with 75 horses and 24 betting interests. This pool you’ll recognize as Pool 1 from previous years and reveals how some of the contenders are doing at age 3.
I wagered 5 $2 win bets, with Rise Up (50-1), Strong Mandate (27-1), Havana(26-1), New Year’s Day (15-1, now retired) and Bobby’s Kitten (28-1)


For my analysis, I use a system of different variables. Top dosage profile as correlated with chef-de-race.com’s racetrack profile for Churchill Downs in 2013; best combined AWD, top class win, best Brisnet speed for Churchill; best current pace based on runstyle, best fall 2013 2YO progression; longest distance win. I included 4 categories counted as one together: all horses exploding in pace form, forging lifetime best, horses subject to bounce back after bounce, and those who are possible bounce cases.I decided to profile the top 7 of 1 of the 23 standard, and any horses that seem competitive from the ‘field’ selections that seem outstanding on their own.
Just to get these out of the way, here’s the two best horses from the #24 field:
QUICK INDIAN is the best of the 2 out of the field. Winner in 4th lifetime start after 3 maiden efforts, and a win in a 50 Optional claimer at Fair Grounds on 1/24. Peaked in that with an 85, just past 2YO best. First 2 races at Churchill. This closer in the top 4 for all 4 races. 8.2 AWD from dam Quick Temper (AP Indy). At Churchill, 84 Brisnet in 8.5 furlongs on 11/16.


Other contender is IN TROUBLE, winner of the Grade 2 Futurity at Balmont last fall. Winner of both lifetime starts. Great 2nd call pace numbers (109, 91)
Now here are the best of the rest of the #24 field selection. Any of these horses can certainly break through in the next pools. Presented in no order:
CHELIOS broken maiden in January, 2nd try at 56k. 1st, 2nd in 2 lifetime. Great AWD from dam Grat of 8.2 (AP Indy). Exploding pace form with the 92 Brisnet in the win makes him dangerous for Pool 3 next time.
ENTERPRISING won the Eddie Logan at Santa Anita in December. LIke his AWD of 8.2 (Indy Blaze, out of AP Indy). Exploding form thanks to 92 lifetime Brisnet last time out in the California Derby, at Golden Gate.

UNKNOWN ROAD with 7.7 AWD from sire Bernardini (AP Indy again). Broke maiden at 45k with a 103 score at Fair Grounds in December.
BOND HOLDER was entered in 3 straight Grade 1, winning the Front Runner at Santa Anita, then 2 4th place finishes in the BC Juvenile and the Cash Call Futurity. The Front Runner victory was contested at 8.5 furlongs .
WE MISS ARTIE won the Grade 1 Breeders Futirity at Keeneland. Progressed well at 2YO owing to the pace numbers in the Futurity (88), and the BC Juvenile (80).


ALMOST FAMOUS 2 wins in 3 starts at Churchill, with an 87 in a 75k OC race, 2 races back, at 8.5 furlongs.



CLEBURNE winner of 2 lifetime in 2, including the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill back in September, contested at 8.5 furlongs.



COMMANDING CURVE 3-for-3 in the money at Churchill, breaking maiden at 41k level, this at 8.5 furlongs.



KENDALL’S BOY won and broke maiden in only Churchill state. Scored a 93 last out in an OC 50k, just past his 2YO best of 90, this in his pro debut.
*****Now for my top 5 out of the standard 23. What I did was simply ranked who are in the top third in each variable. Whichever horse had the most placings I would include for a potential wager. I would break ties by looking head-to-head (er, mane-to-mane) to each horse’s numbers. Ideal result for me would be 5 horses that I can confidently bet win on.l am not betting the field nor exactas. Also, if there is a horse that I liked in Pool 1 that are taking less money in Pool 2 (less than the depicted final Pool 1 odds above) and happens to be one of my five here, I’ll add an extra win bet.

I discovered there is one horse that proved outstanding, and 8 in a tie for second. Great. Off to the tiebreakers, keeping the best 4 of 8. Here’s how that went, starting with the 4 who missed the final cut:
Rank 9th: CONQUEST TITAN: Deep closer, winner of the Swynford at Woodbine in 2nd lifetime start last August. Dueling 7.4 AWD scores from sire Birdstone (Grindstone) and Miner’s Secret (Mineshaft) Dosage profile is one of the best in the field. Best Churchill performance is 2 races back, a 92 win in a 75k optional allowance, setting new lifetime best, since equaled last time in the Holy Bull (G2). Good 2YO progression with an 87 in the Swynford before Labor Day, then the 92 peak in November. Hasn’t yet won vs Graded company, pace overall rather slow compared to others. Has not won past 1 mile.
Rank 8th: NOBLE MOON, winner of maiden debut at 80k, 3rd in the G2 Nashua, winner last time out of the G2 Jerome. Dam side AWD of 8.5 (Mambo Bell by Kingmambo). 2nd call pace numbers are very good but a bit too slow even for this final group. On the border of greatness, needs to improve in distance and pace performance. In his favor is current pace progression: Exploding pace growth with the 95 in the Jerome, lifetime best effort, paired with prior effort of 91 in the Nashua, so could bounce right off of this, and maybe bounce back.Rank 7th: CAIRO PRINCE: Winner of the Nashua, 2nd in the Remsen by a nose, winner of the Holy Bull, all at Grade 2. The 8.5 furlong Nashua was his 2YO best score, a 95. Exploding form with the Holy Bull win, a 98 score, new lifetime mark. Could bounce from here. Current pace numbers for this closer are a bit slow. Doesn’t have the matching pedigree or AWD numbers for a win at Churchill.

Rank 6th: HONOR CODE won the 9-furlong Remsen last time, 2nd in the G1 Champagne. The 9-furlong win is the longest distance win of the Pool 2 horses. Among the last of AP Indy’s foals, gets the 8.2 AWD score. Has not improved in pace after his pair of 98s to begin his career and his 2nd call pace numbers are very low for someone stalking the pace. No pace progression to suggest further growth.So now we know that Honor Code is on the doorstep. Here are those I rank #5 through #2 whom I will bet on, pending the odds change:

#5: STRONG MANDATE already considered in Pool 1 by me, hasn’t raced since then. Good AWD on both sides (sire: Tiznow by Cee’s Tizzy; dam: Clear Mandate, by Deputy’s Minister). Winner of the G1 Hopeful, 3rd in the BC Juvenile. Excellent 2nd call pace numbers. Best 2YO score was the 97 win in the Hopefu, showing early development. Hasn’t won past 7 furlongs, and has yet to match that 97.

#4: TOP BILLING with very good AWD (7.5 from Curlin, 8.2 from Parade Queen). Deep closer has the best pace numbers of the field, a mighty stretch kick seeing him win 2 of 3, finishing 2nd by a neck otherwise. Best 2YO score was his maiden debut win, an 86, rather low compared to this field. Won last race at 8.5 furlongs, pairing up scores of 93 in last two, which shows promise of more in 2014. Hasn’t defeated Graded company yet#3 HAVANA (previously considered in Pool 1): Good dosage profile for this field. Winner of the G1 Champagne. 2nd best pace numbers of the Pool. Champagne win was a 98, strong for 2YOs.

#2 BOBBY’S KITTEN (previously considered in Pool 1). Winner of the G3 Pilgrim, 3rd in the BC Juvenile Turf. Dosage is strong for this field. Ranked 4th in overall pace for the Pool. Best 2YO score was a 97 in the Pilgrim at 8.5 furlongs.
And for my top choice out of the pool:TAPITURE: Competitive dosage score. Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on 11/30 with a 95, best winning race at Churchill of the Pool. Good competive pace numbers, as well as the 95 at 2.

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