2014 Kentucky Derby analysis

Lifted from my very own TwinSpires account, here’s a look at my Derby Future Wagers for 2014:
$52 wagered
2014-03-29 14:51:36 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Exacta $1.00 5+15+22/24 $3.00  
2014-03-29 14:51:20 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Exacta $1.00 24/5+15+22 $3.00  
2014-03-29 14:51:00 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Exacta $1.00 22/5+15 $2.00  
2014-03-29 14:50:47 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Exacta $1.00 15/5+22 $2.00  
2014-03-29 14:50:28 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Exacta $1.00 5/15+22 $2.00  
2014-03-29 14:50:06 Bet Derby Future Wager 4 Win $2.00 BX 5+15+22 $6.00  
2014-03-01 13:08:30 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Exacta $1.00 19/9+18 $2.00  
2014-03-01 13:07:56 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Exacta $1.00 18/9+19 $2.00  
2014-03-01 13:07:25 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Exacta $1.00 9/18+19 $2.00  
2014-03-01 13:04:34 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Exacta $1.00 9+18+19/24 $3.00  
2014-03-01 13:04:17 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Exacta $1.00 24/9+18+19 $3.00  
2014-03-01 13:03:47 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 BX 9+18+19 $6.00  
2014-02-08 14:55:23 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 BX 1+19+21 $6.00  
2013-11-30 10:48:19 Bet Derby Future Wager 1 Win $2.00 BX 2+9+15+19+21 $10.00

2013: $31 wagered, $139 won
2013-05-04 15:58:51 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Exacta $1.00 11/1+12+24 $3.00 $103.50
2013-05-04 15:58:51 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 BX 1+11+12+24 $8.00 $26.20
2013-03-03 14:47:15 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Exacta $1.00 11/1+12+24 $3.00  
2013-03-03 14:45:53 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Exacta $1.00 12/1+11+24 $3.00  
2013-03-03 14:45:26 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Exacta $1.00 1/11+12+24 $3.00  
2013-03-03 14:44:28 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Exacta $1.00 24/1+11+12 $3.00  
2013-03-03 14:43:00 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 BX 1+11+12+24 $8.00
2012: $22 wagered, $46 won
2012-05-05 12:14:55 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 12 $0.00 $46.20
2012-04-01 14:51:41 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 21 $2.00  
2012-04-01 14:51:34 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 20 $2.00  
2012-04-01 14:51:23 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 16 $2.00  
2012-04-01 14:51:16 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 4 $2.00  
2012-03-04 12:14:55 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 12 $2.00  
2012-03-04 09:19:16 Bet Derby Future Wager 2 Win $2.00 5+6+10 $6.00  
2012-02-12 08:59:31 Bet Derby Future Wager 1 Win $2.00 4+12+21 $6.00
2011: $6 wagered, $64 won
2011-05-07 14:40:37 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 1+8+9 $0.00 $64.60
2011-04-03 14:40:37 Bet Derby Future Wager 3 Win $2.00 1+8+9 $6.00

total of 91$ wagered in the pool, $249 won.

There’s your proof that I can spot a Derby winner a few calendar pages out.


From Derby pool 2:
Tapiture 38-1 win

Derby Pool 3:
Tapiture 17-1
Field 3-1.
I have these live horses from that field over and under Tapiture in exactas:
Ride On Curlin
We Miss Artie
Derby Pool 4:
California Chrome 9-1
We Miss Artie 36-1
I have the field at 5-1 over and under these in exactas.
Live from the field:
Commanding Curve
Medal Count
Wicked Strong

That covers 9 horses of the 19 running on Saturday. Now let’s go horse-for-horse.

VICAR”S IN TROUBLE…surely is. You knew it from the boos when he got the post position draw. Winner of two graded races down at Fair Grounds. One of two horses have outstanding progression in pace overall. After layoff he broke maiden with a 103 Brisnet score, then ran lower when being introduced to Graded and 3YO horses in next 2 races, then forged a new top with a 104 in the LA Derby. Never mind that he surged from 92 in winning that race. For this race, more evidence is required he’ll win. For my Enlightened Derby Trail (more on this in a prior post), he is definitely the best from the Gulf Coast tracks. But for this race, he has an outside chance at best.

HARRY’S HOLIDAY won an ungraded stakes event at Turf Paradise, and that’s about it, really. Did finish 2nd in the Spiral. One of 2 horses whose Brisnet took a dive. He went from 93 to 67 in the Blue Grass. Generally I’d call for a bounce-back. But I don’t see it. See, he’s never run a dirt route. His last 4 have been on the all-weather. Too much to adjust too. Despite great representation of horses racing in Kentucky, I suggest throwing this one out. I’ve stated on Twitter (@idealisticstats) in response to @Danonymousman’s query that this is the horse most likely to finish last.

UNCLE SIGH is the big NY hopeful, running only at Aqueduct until now. After winning vs statebreds, he’s finished 2nd twice in Graded events. ROI angle: Irad Ortiz Jr has worked for Gary Contessa in 4 races in the last 60. They have 1 win, 2 in the $ for return of +3.20. Beyond that accomplishment, nothing to suggest he can win now. Throw out.
DANZA in the money in all 4 lifetime starts, and a win in the Arkansas Derby. There’s reason enough to give him the dark horse label, as bettors may overlook the Ark Derby effort. One of 6 horses to win at the top Graded level. ROI angle: Joe Bravo has worked with Todd Pletcher 8 times in the last 60 days. Result was 3 wins, 5 in the money, for a return of $10.41. This also factors in Danza’s 20-1 score in the Arkansas Derby. In pace, he has alternating peak/valley system in his 4 races. Going from 87 to 104 in speed, I am choosing to believe he will bounce from this. Also: He’s never been in a field larger than 8 horses. Doesn’t belong in here but of course, the performance did get him here. Dark horse at best.

CALIFORNIA CHROME, everyone’s favorite it seems, has run since last April, all of the runs on the West Coast. (like, dude,where else, right?). Wins in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby in last 2. Pace progression is the key for him. After layoff in early December, he won an ungraded stakes race at Betfair Hollywood Park with a 101 Brisnet, then bounced with a 94 after, then matching and exceeding his lifetime best in the San Felipe in March, and then further with a 106 last time. He’s been built into a new level of consistency especially with Espinoza aboard. Contender.

SAMRAAT , based in NY, only won his first 5 races including the Gotham and Withers, and was 2nd in the Wood Memorial. I’ve rated this stalker as the speed horse of the field. 2nd call numbers from his last 3: 118, 101, 107. Contender.
WE MISS ARTIE won the Spiral and the Breeders Cup Futurity. He rated for me as having the top matching chef-de-race numbers for a winner at Churchill. If you read my Oaks post, you’ll see how I came to that decision. Artie Schiller by El Prado and Hidden Light was a multiple stakes winner but never part of the Triple Crown trail like his daddy was.. His progeny have been quite successful, and We Miss Artie, financially is one of his top 3 progeny. Dam is Athena’s Gift, out of Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus scored 2 wins of 9 races, nothing significant of a career but did earn $121k. We Miss Artie has much of the inherent quality to win this race but that’s all I have to go on to consider him.. Dark horse.
GENERAL A ROD won the Gulfstream Park Derby in February, always in the money in 5 starts. He peaked in February with a 100 Brisnet in the Fountain of Youth, part of a triple-up in pace numbers. Doesn’t figure into any variable I studied, and was eliminated in my Enlightened Derby Trail. Throw out.
VINCEREMOS has a win in the SF Davis, and was last in the Blue Grass last month. The meritorious value of the point system is why he’s here, scoring relatively low for me. With the ‘off’-pace race and the fact he ran slower on the all-weather in the Blue Grass a factor, there’s evidence of a bounceback. But there’s not enough evidence of a strong recovery to his 92-93 pace in the Graded events. Throw out.
WILDCAT RED is a great example of a horse who is set to win now. This horse truly represents Florida. 1st or 2nd in all 7 races, with wins in the Fountain Of Youth and the Hutcheson. All racing and training done at Gulfstream. Historically, per my math, based on the current Derby preps, winners of the Florida Derby have won more Kentucky Derbies than other preps, based on percentage. ROI angle: Jose Garoffalo has raced 11 horses this year in graded events. The results: 3 wins, 4 in the money for an ROI of 11.45. Also, he has raced 13 shippers this year. 2 wins, 3 in the money, for a 2.78 return. But here’s what sells me: This sprinter commanded speed well in the 9 furlong Florida Derby, similar to his prior win in the Fountain Of Youth. I love sprinters and closers who have great route trips. He’s also managed 2 prior wins from a middle post. Contender.

DANCE WITH FATE has raced in different racing locales and has largely been successful, with a win in the Blue Grass last out at 6-1. Another horse who has some of the built-in makeup of a winner. He has had repeated success in a middle post. It was only in the Blue Grass that he rated faster than his 2YO best. That effort, a 99 Brisnet is his best by a wide margin. Bounce potential, therefore is strong. And consider this: No races on dirt since turning 3, never mind that he already ran 2 dirt routes with mixed results. Dark horse.

CHITU wasn’t part of my EDT, as he didn’t race in any of my Derby preps for my version of the Trail. What am I missing? A win in the Sunland Derby. 1st or 2nd in every call point in his 4 races. Martin Garcia at the helm. Set new tops in both 3YO starts. Yes he could bounce from his 103 in the Sunland. But did you see how he’s been working? 4 works, 2 at Churchill, 1 nearly a bullet (2nd best of 46). Contender.

MEDAL COUNT’s place here was cemented with a 2nd place finish in the Blue Grass. Won the Transylvania Stakes before that. Pace has progressed well for him at 3, with modest new tops set, and little to no risk of bounce. Best average winning distance from his pedigree in the field. His sire was the world-class Dynaformer, who passed on great stamina. Damsire Unbridled’s Song had won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial along with the BC Juvenile. Honestly I don’t factor him well in comparison to this field. Dark horse.
TAPITURE, as stated earlier, is a horse I really liked earlier in the Derby Trail. In the money in his first 6 starts, then 4th in the Arkansas Derby. Ricardo Santana Jr. returns in the saddle. This to me is the horse who is ‘used’ to the Churchill Downs experience. Not to suggest it’s a home track for him, but see his numbers: 3rd in the Iroquois, 3rd in a maiden race setting a 91 Brisnet mark, then breaking maiden in the Kentucky Jockey Club with a 95. Progressed slightly forward with scores of 96 and 99. Can’t dislike that at all. Can he win today? It’s doubtful, as he faces greater competition here. But he does belong, as a dark horse.
INTENSE HOLIDAY forged a lifetime best in his win in the Risen Star, then a 100 in the LA Derby. The pair-up of number does represent a future regression. Is that future today? Probably so. Despite running in Graded company since October, he also faces better competition here and he doesn’t dominate any variable for me. Throw out.

COMMANDING CURVE was the best of the rest of the horses in my EDT. The 3rd place finish in the LA Derby, with a 98 lifetime best, isn’t enough for me, but I was intrigued. Running at Fair Grounds at 3, he’s a different horse but the Kentucky Derby will truly prove his worth. Going in, I can find nothing to suggest he will succeed here. Throw out.

CANDY BOY tripled up in Brisnet scores, 94 to 97, above an 88 while graduating from maiden status. Has a win in the RB Lewis, 3rd by a wide margin in the Santa Anita Derby. Signs point to a pronounced bounce for the West Coast stalking horse. Throw out.
RIDE ON CURLIN is one of a few horses here who is recovering in pace, tho he’s in a bit of a lower threshold compared to others and might bounce still. Ran a 90 Brisnet off layoff debuting at 3, then a drop to 87 in the Southwest, then a pair up of 98 and 99 scores. All this below his lifetime mark of 102 back in July. Doesn’t have the class and unlikely to keep pace, literally. Throw out.

WICKED STRONG did the classic NY/FL/NY shuffle in his career thus far. Winner of the Wood Memorial. ROI angles: Rajiv Maragh has 2 wins in 2 races with trainer Jim Jerkens in the last 60 days, for a return of 11.10. That, of course, includes the Wood Memorial at 9-1. Also: Jerkens has a good record in 2014: 8 wins and 18 in the money from 32 starts, for a return of 2.47. Exceeded his 2YO best 2 races back in an optional claimer at Gulfstream, then surged to a 103 Brisnet last out. A tough ask to duplicate that number. Outside contender at best.

My selections for this year’s Derby:
1st: 10 Wildcat Red
2nd: 6 Samraat
3rd: 13 Chitu
4th: 5 California Chrome

This is the one race of the year I’ll go 4 deep to consider any horses in wins and exactas. I’ll play wins on any of these 4 if the odds are worse than 5-1 today, AND if I have wagered them in the future pool and the odds are worse than what I paid for them.
So I have 11 of the 19 horses involved in some tickets. That gives me enough confidence to believe I’ll score on Derby Day itself along with another profitable Future Wager experience.

PS: I did profit in the Oaks Future Wager. Initially, for whatever reason, I thought I had lost out with Untapable winning. But I had the win and the exacta from the pool. My Miss Sophia was a field horse in the pool and I had Untapable as one of my 3 straight win choices. I used the field over and under her. Wagered $24, earned $36.