2018 Derby Future Wager Pool 4 analysis

Pool 4 comes in the middle of arguably sports’ busiest week…the NCAA championship, the first week of MLB, and The Masters. It will also be a Super Saturday, as this week and next will finally determine the point totals for the actual Derby and Oaks Trails, not to mention solidify my own version of the Trails.

I used the usual variables. Here are the benchmarks that were set by the top 7 in each variable:
Combined AWD: 14.5
CD pace: 85
Best class win: Grade 1
Binomial pace: 587 (translates to about 97 Brisnet)
Distance: 8.5 furlongs
Positive pace progress achieved by 9 of the 23 horses.

Top 10 countdown:
10: MY BOY JACK Since the last pool, he matched his small new top of 98 in the Southwest with a 99 in the LA Derby, good for show, 3/24. He does have consistent numbers and just qualifies for overall pace. Has the requisite 8.5 furlong win from the Southwest Stakes. Pace progress at 2 upon a 2nd place finish in the Del Mar Juvenile Trial. I do like him as a potential longshot, and if I can’t use the others ranked ahead. Next race: Arkansas Derby on 3/14

9 BRAVAZO: 40-1 for me in Pool 3. Locked in for the Derby, his next start. Last start was a bounce from peak of 98 to low of 76, first try at 9 furlongs. Best of 2 CD races was 85. Won the Risen Star at 8.5 furlongs. Pace progress at 2 successful in his 2nd start, breaking maiden in his route debut, scoring an 81.
Could be worth a double dip if worse than 45-1.


8 AUDIBLE scored big last out with his Florida Derby win, 9 furlongs, 107 Brisnet. Fastest of the 23 in this field. 6-1 ML suggests he’ll take more $, and I’m not very likely to pick him as it is. Runs next in the Derby.


7 MENDELSSOHN joins the fray, having won the 1-3/16 UAE Derby by 18 lengths. It is dthe longest distance won by any in this field. Appears to have scored better in speed figures at age 2. 10-1 is interesting…he might have some backers and it’s possible I might choose him. Next race is the Derby.

6 TITLE READY finds his way on the list after matching small new top of 94, running 4th in the Grade 2 Rebel. His lone CD race earned him an 85. Before the Rebel, he won a 76k allowance race, first try at 8.5 furlongs. Steady improvement during his 2YO campaign. 50-1 looks very good here, and he could be picked up .

Next 3 were top 7 in 4 of 6 variables:
5 SOLOMINI was 2nd in the Rebel. 1st or 2nd in all 5 lifetime races, and first off layoff at that. One of the better pedigrees (Curlin/Surf Song, out of Storm Cat). Won the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity at 8.5 furlongs. Lifetime Brisnet numbers run from 94 to 101. I have him at 20-1 already, so he’d have to be worse than 25-1 for me to wager on him. I’d have to hold my breath for a bit, as his next race is the Arkansas Derby, 4/14.

4 ENTICED I latched onto when he was 29-1 in Pool 1. On 3/10 he won the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, cutting back to a mile, blazed with a 104. Very likely not to wager again on him. Pedigree is rather competitive (Medaglia d’Oro/It’s Tricky, out of Mineshaft). Ran a 93 in his lone CD race, winning the 8.5 furlong Kentucky Jockey Club. He races on Saturday in the Wood Memorial.

3 FREE DROP BILLY is part of several exactas. I wagered on him at 33-1 and 44-1. He’s on the doorstep of getting into the Derby, so he might need a top 2 finish in Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes. He ran 3rd in the Gotham with a 96, nearly matching his 99 in the Holy Bull. Won the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at 8.5 furlongs. His 98 in the Hopeful proved he was ready for bigger and better things.

These 2 were top 7 in 5:
2 BOLT d’ORO: Unless he has a somewhat bad showing in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, he won’t be a double digit pick for me. Still, he’s an outstanding call. I have him at 8-1 from Pool 2. Best pedigree here: Medaglia d’Oro/Globe Trot, out of AP Indy. After a 4 month layoff, he finished 2nd in the San Felipe, 98 Brisnet. 5-4-0-1 lifetime, with speed figures from 91 to 105.

1 GOOD MAGIC I have a few exactas with, and a win bet of 11-1 from Pool 1. I rank him slightly faster in pace than Bolt. 3rd in the Fountain of Youth on 3/3. Good breeding here: Curlin/Glinda The Good out of Hard Spun. Lifetime speed figures are 92 to 105. He’s in the Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday. Not sure if he’s attractive at 8-1. But if he loses, then there is some possibility.

2018 Kentucky Derby Pool 1 analysis


In studying the Future Wager, I kept to last year’s procedure for handicapping, duplicated from my previous post. Class, Churchill Downs pace, longest win, pace progress, AWD, run pace.
I kept the top 7 in each category, and added up the ranks in variables. Here first I’m listing the best of the rest, in the event one of my horses has too good of the odds.
8th: COPPER BULLET: Grade 2 winner of the Saratoga Special, following a 2nd in the Bashford Manor at CD, and his maiden win there with a 93 Bris. https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/usa/cd/2017/5/25/1/race-1-msw-at-cd-on-5-25-17
The 93 score ties for best CD effort of the 23 horses here. Lifetime runs: 94, 88, 93, 88.
7th: TIZ MISCHIEF: Won at maiden level in 3rd try at Keeneland 10/7, 8.5 furlongs, 90 BrIs.


Prior race was 93 at CD, matching Copper Bullet’s best here. Maiden debut was 79, so the progress is hopeful.
6th: SPORTING CHANCE. Winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful after winning vs 83k maidens. Lifetime pace numbers: 98, 89, 79. Making good pace progress.
And here’s the top 5:
AVERY ISLAND Winner of the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct on 11/5. Good AWD numbers (Street Sense/Kinda Spicy by AP Indy) Won maiden race at 8.5 furlongs.

UNTAMED DOMAIN: Won the Grade 2 Summer Stakes, 2nd last out in the BC Juvenile Turf with 89 Bris; 3rd in the G3 8.5 furlong With Anticipation. Good AWD numbers (Animal Kingdom/Ciao, out of Lear Fan). Progressing nicely in pace; 4 gains out of a possible race in each lifetime effort.

FREE DROP BILLY Winner of the Grade 1 8.5 furlongs Breeders Futurity, 2nd in the Hopeful (98 Bris) and Sanford. 9th last time out in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. Union Rags/Trensa, out of Giant’s Causeway. Positive pace progress, with best at 98 coming in early September.

GOOD MAGIC: Already a superstar, winning the BC Juvenile while still a maiden. 2nd in the Champagne. Curlin/Glinda The Good, out of Hard Spun. Lifetime numbers: 105, 96, 92. Ideal pace progress, Grade 1 wins and 8.5 furlong victory
BOLT D’ORO is my most highly favored pick. 3 wins and a 3rd: Won his maiden debut vs 60k at Del Mar in August, then the Bashford Manor Futurity, and the Front Runner, then third in the BC Juvenile Medaglia D’Oro/Globe Trot, out of AP Indy. Lifetime numbers: 99, 105, 94, 91. Also with good pace progress and 8.5 furlong victory.

The plan is to wager on my top 5 for wins, and top 3 to each other in exactas, along with the field selections.


2016-2017 Enlightened Derby Trail final results

In watching a recap of the Arkansas Derby away from home, I caught a look at the final odds.  They proved to be rather consistent to the morning line odds. My plan was to use Untrapped over Lookin at Lee and Sonneteer in exactas, and those three horses plus Grandpa’s Dream and Rowdy The Warrior in win bets.  I used Classic Empire and Malagacy, the two clear favorites, over 4 of the 5 horses, except Untrapped.  9 horses seemed to have any shot at a win, totally throwing out Silver Dust, One Dreamy Dude, and Malagacy (tho, ,of course, him over overlays)
Result: Classic Empire redeemed himself with the win here. I did not seriously figure Conquest Mo Money, who did have the best speed for distance of the field, and a good run last out vs the leader.  Both ran ahead of my 2nd and 3rd picks, Lookin At Lee and Sonneteer.   A loss for me, but it may prove fruitful for me in the Future Wager.

Now to the results of the Enlightened Derby Trail:
Northeast: Practical Joke, Good Samaritan, Irish War Cry, Battalion Runner.
Cali: Zakaroff, Gormley, Battle Of Midway, More Power To Him
Heartland: Fast And Accurate and Irap lead here, then Blueridge Traveler and McCraken.  Practical Joke had enough points, but as explained in a prior post, eliminating him from this division would give a horse with less points more of an opportunity than in the Northeast.
Minor: Howdy Kingkowboy, Taco, Twisted Tom, O Dionysus.
As there will be no Japanese rep in the Derby, I decided to go back to giving 4 spots in this division instead of 3.
South: Easily the most contested of divisions.  The winners: Tapwrit, Classic Empire, Girvin, Always Dreaming, Hence.    First out, each with 1000 points, are State Of Honor and Conquest Mo Money. Both ran 2nd in their respective EDT races, never won one.

How does this compare to the actual trail, as things stand on 4/15?
I ultimately agree with 14 of the 20.  As for the 6 (actually 7) I disagree on:
Gunnevara won the Delta Downs Jackpot at 2 but did not place in the top 4 at age 3 in my races.
J Boys Echo was 4th in the Jackpot, 4th in the Blue Grass.
Conquest Mo Money was 2nd in 2 races, but just not enough points or wins to earn a spot.
Malagacy was never in my top 4 of any EDT race. This is the reason I do the Trail. I circumvent the idea that a horse must race the biggest races at the biggest tracks only, in order to get into the big show.
Patch was 2nd in the Louisiana Derby, but no other scores.
Cloud Computing’s only score was 3rd in the Wood Memorial.
State Of Honor, like Conquest Mo Money had 2 strong 2nd place finishes but no wins on my trail.
Final Enlightened Derby Trail results here:
Now for the Future Wager impact:
From Pool 1:
Win: McCraken 12-1
Lookin at Lee 37-1.  He’s on the bubble, definitely at least an ‘also-eligible’ and could well back into the Derby with some defections.
Classic Empire 6-1. Got the points he needed from the ARK Derby to keep this going.
Exacta: McCraken over/under field (Girvin, Thunder Snow, Always Dreaming, J Boys Echo, State Of Honor, Tapwrit, Malagacy, Hence, Fast & Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Battalion Runner, Cloud Computing, plus a number of horses outside the top 20)
Sire Future Wager: Scat Daddy and Kitten’s Joy drew blanks.
Bernardini: Takaful had just 2 points.
Uncle Mo: Royal Mo is 24th with 30, another who may well be an AE horse if not outright into the field of 20.
Into Mischief:  Practical Joke is in the field, and can score for me at 24-1.
Pool 2:
Win bet on Gunnevara, 24-1
Exactas on McCraken and over/under field: Girvin, Irap, Thunder Snow, Always Dreaming, Tapwrit, J Boys Echo, Malagacy, Hence, Fast and Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Cloud Computing.
Pool 3:
win bets on Irish War Cry 7-1, and Gormley at 18-1.
Exactas between Classic Empire and McCraken, and both over/under field: Girvin, Irap, Thunder Snow, J Boys Echo, Hence, Fast and Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Cloud Computing.
Pool 4:
Win bets on Girvin 17-1 and Thunder Snow 23-1.
Exactas between Classic Empire, Gunnevara and Thunder Snow, plus these over/under field: Irap, Hence, Fast & Accurate, Patch,

2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 analysis

I am thoroughly excited about this final pool, tho I won’t have much of a window to do the deed. It will be, as with Pool 3, done on Sunday morning. A number of horses have won the different races, with little majority support to any one horse.   The pool field odds suggest there is no confidence in one or 2 horses…not even the #24 ‘field’ selection.
I used the same variables as with Pool 3, tho have now eliminated the Dosage category, this on the heels of the chef-de-race.com demise.  4 horses proved to be best of these, and I had to break a 3 way tie for 2nd.  The others I will list below, 12th to 4th.
For a summary, here’s how I wagered in the prior pools:

Pool 1:

Win bets on these:
Mo Town 12-1
McCraken 12-1
Lookin At Lee 37-1
Classic Empire 6-1
Hemsworth 80-1
Exactas between Mo Town/McCraken/Hemsworth, plus over/under field selection.
Sire Future Wager:
Bernardini 14-1
Into Mischief 24-1
Kitten’s Joy 47-1
Scat Daddy 42-1
Uncle Mo 9-1
Pool 2:
Wins on:
Guest Suite 31-1
El Areeb 32-1
Sonic Mule 9-1
Gunnevara 24-1
Mastery 9-1
El Areeb/Guest Suite/McCraken box   plus over/under field selections
Pool 3:
Mo Town 27-1
Irish War Cry 7-1
Gormley 18-1
Exactas bewteen Classic Empire/Mo Town/McCraken and over/under field selections
Here’s how I rank the best of the rest in Pool 4:
11th: J BOYS ECHO. 4th in the Delta Downs Jackpot, 3rd in the Withers, winner of the 8.5 furlong Grade 3 Gotham with strong 104 score. Could bounce in next race but maybe bounce back in Derby itself.   Raced at CD in his debut last October, 2nd in a 43k maiden race. Next race: 4/8, Blue Grass
10th : GUEST SUITE: Won 2nd maiden race with 85 at 8.5 furlongs. 3rd in the Street Sense at CD, 1st in the Grade 3 LeComte, 4th in the Risen Star. Steady progress in pace numbers his entire career of 6 races. Peaked at 93 for last 2. Won a 75k OC race at CD on 11/26, speed of 90. Amazed that’s 50-1 ML in this wager. Likely to double-dip with him, tho only if he’s worse than 36-1. Next race: 4/1 Louisiana Derby
9th: MALAGACY: 104 and 103 in his debuts, followed by 3rd win, the Grade 2 8.5 furlong Rebel, and a 95 score.  A sneaky price at 30-1, and should take more $, but not too much. Could well become one of my picks.  Next race: 4/15 Arkansas Derby
8th : TAPWRIT  Winner of the 75k Pulpit, 2nd in the Grade 3 SF Davis. Since Pool 3, won the 8.5 furlong Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby with new small top for age 3 at 101. Among the fastest current paces of the 23 horses. Not sure I’ll get all the way down to this selection but probably will take a good deal of $ anyway.  Next race: 4/8 Blue Grass
7th: McCraken, already part of a number of bets, as shown earlier. If he somehow is worse than 17-1, I will do another win bet.  Undefeated in 4 with wins in the Street Sense and the KY Jockey Club, both at CD, plus a win in the SF Davis. Also good AWD numbers (Ghostzapper/Ivory Empress, out of Seeking The Gold). Probably deserves the 6-1 ML number.  Best to use in exactas as I have done already. Next race: 4/8  Blue Grass
6th : PRACTICAL JOKE: Winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful and Champagne Stakes (1 mile), 3rd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, 2nd in the Fountain Of  Youth. One of 3 Grade 1 winners in this grouping.  Pace lifetime ranges from 90 to 98. Haven’t wagered on him yet, and this might be my best chance to score something.  Next: Unsure
5th: BATTALION RUNNER: Maiden win in 2nd start with 100 score, on New Year’s Eve. Followed up with 8.5 furlong win at 75k OC level with 96 score, debut at 3 and route.  One of the better AWD scores (Unbridled’s Song/Tamboz, out of Tapit) Needs strong finish in next race to be serious contender. That race is 4/8 Santa Anita Derby
Now to the ties for 2nd through 4th.
4th, and loser of the tiebreak, is MO TOWN. Already included in win bets of 12-1 and 27-1, and a few exactas. Won the Grade 2, 9 furlong Remsen, then bounced to 5th last out in the Risen Star. Great AWD numbers (Uncle Mo/Grazie Mille, out of Bernardini)  If he’s worse than 32-1, definite for a win bet.  Next up: 4/8, Wood Memorial
3rd: GUNNEVARA.  Strong contender by ML standard, is expected to be low odds, which means it’s likely I won’t put up a 2nd win bet on him (got him at  24-1). Definite exacta play  based on my ranking.   After maiden win, won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, 5th in the Breeders Futurity, winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot, 2nd in the Holy Bull, winner of the FOY with lifetime best 102. I rate him the fastest 3YO of the field.
Next race: 4/1, Florida Derby

2nd: THUNDER SNOW   Qualified by winning the 9.5 furlong UAE Derby, seemingly a lock for the Run for All Those Roses.  No pace parameters available, as he’s never raced in North America. Winner of a maiden stakes race at Leicester in GB and the Criterium International (Grade 1) in France. Best AWD numbers of the field, from Australian and Arabian stock. There will be enough people wagering on him for the wild card factor. I will also include in exactas.  Next race: Reportedly will enter the English 2000 Guineas but he has the most actual Derby trail points……so, who knows? If I eliminate Thunder Snow, it may open the competition open up for Mo Town, Gunnevara and McCraken, in that order.  Not sure how to play this one yet.

Top pick out of the wager is CLASSIC EMPIRE. Winner of the Bashford Manor, Breeders Futurity (Grade 1) and Breeders Cup Juvenile (108 speed figure, also Grade 1), 3rd in the Holy Bull last out. 2 wins at Churchill, with the 94 at Bashford Manor his better effort. One of the faster paced horses going.  Should be better than 12-1.   Next race: 4/15 Arkansas Derby

Idealistic Stats podcast #31 2/13/16

31st edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.
RSS: http://idealisticstats.podomatic.com/rss2.xml (available at iTunes and
via http://www.idealisticstats.podomatic.com )
Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive:
Main website: idealisticstats.wordpress.com
Listen to exclusive soundbites of my analysis at Clammr:
This week’s podcast includes the following:
Derby Future Wager analysis/selections
The Racing Biz contest selections
Enlightened Trails update (Golden Gate Fields)
Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD http://www.anniewenz.com
The Statistics “Jealous Heart”  http://www.thestatistics.org
White Lightning “One Last Time” http://www.whitelightningmusic.com
DJ Flowerdove “Sol Aurora”  http://www.reverbnation.com/loralouisenichols
Thanks for listening!

Dan Herman
twitter: @idealisticstats

Idealistic Stats show #26 (11/27/15)

26th edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.

RSS: http://idealisticstats.podomatic.com/rss2.xml (available at iTunes and
via http://www.idealisticstats.podomatic.com )

Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive:


Main website: idealisticstats.wordpress.com

Listen to exclusive soundbites of my analysis at Clammr:

This week’s podcast includes the following:

Fantasy football thoughts re my team toward Week 12
NFL binomial trends & predictions for week 10
Selections for the Derby and Derby Sire Future Wagers, pool 1
Enlightened Trails update

Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD http://www.anniewenz.com
DJ Flowerdove “Distant Project Gate (Remix)” & “Sol Aurora”


I’m currently seeking more music appropriate for this program. Contact me
directly to inquire.

Thanks for listening!

Dan Herman
Twitter: @idealisticstats
Clammr: http://www.clammr.com/app/user/27316