Archive for April 2015

Triple Digit Beyer Speed Figures- Important Or Not?

April 10, 2015

So I ran across an amazing website at that has has links to every DRF PP for Derby runners going back to 1992. This was a dream come true and I am now up to my ears in data! A poster on the “Unlocking Winners” forum had asked some questions about the historical significance of Triple Digit Beyer numbers, specifically in regard to horses that had shown multiple 100+ Beyer figures coming into the Derby. I now am in position to answer these questions.

First, let’s take a look at the number of horses in each race to have run a 100+ Beyer in a two turn race coming into the Derby. This year, with eight, would be the highest since 2007:

2014: 6

2013: 3

2012: 4

2011: 1

2010: 2

2009: 5

2008: 6

2007: 8

2006: 10

2005: 8

2004: 14

2003: 10

2002: 6

2001: 11

2000: 14

1999: 16

1998: 12

1997: 8

1996: 16

1995: 12

1994: 12

1993: 5

1992: 7

These numbers are so spread out that I’m not even going to take the time to average them. What has happened with this? It seems that in the mid 1990s, having a 100+ Beyer was practically a prerequisite for qualification. There were more horses with 100+ Beyers in the 1999 race than in the last six years combined! Something smells off here…has the overall quality of the three year old contingent really declined this severely in just 15 years?

As noted previously, over these 23 years, 16 of them have been won by horses that had run a 100+ Beyer previously (70%). Here are the 7 that won the race without having run a 100+ Beyer, and the number of horses in their respective race that had run a 100+ Beyer:

Orb (3)

I’ll Have Another (4)

Animal Kingdom (1)

Super Saver (2)

Mine That Bird (5)

Giacomo (8)

Sea Hero (5)

Average= 4.0

So, on average, horses that have won the Kentucky Derby without having run a triple digit Beyer have had to beat just 4 other horses that did so in their respective races…the most being Giacomo who beat eight in 2005, and the least being Animal Kingdom in 2011, who had to defeat only one.

Conversely, the average amount of 100+ Beyer horses in the other 16 years, where horses meeting this criteria did win the race: 10.5.

CONCLUSION: There is strong statistical evidence to support the angle that the more horses in a given Derby to have run a 100+ plus prep Beyer, the more likely the winner is to come from that group. Over the last 23 years, 17 Derby fields have contained 6 or more horses that have run a 100+ prep Beyer. And in 16 of those 17 instances, a horse with a 100+ prep Beyer has won, Giacomo being the lone exception. With this year’s race shaping up to have eight horses that meet this criteria, it seems highly likely that the winner will come from this group.

What about horses that have run more than one triple digit Beyer? Since there are four in this year’s race, let’s use that number as the basis for our study. In the last 23, years, we have seen four or more horses with multiple 100+ Beyer figures 12 times:

* In the 12 years that had four or more horses that had duplicated triple digit Beyers, one of the duplicative horses won the race 9 times. Barbaro, Funny Cide and Charismatic are the only ones to beat four or more horses with multiple triple digit Beyers without having done the same in such races, although each did show one 100+ figure…this again supports the angle that the winner of this year’s race will come from that group.

* In 19 years horses showed multiple triple digit Beyers. In those years, a horse in that category won 12 times, as California Chrome, Big Brown and Street Sense were victorious in fields having less than four such horses. Horses to overcome this besides the three above: Orb, I’ll Have Another, War Emblem and Sea Hero.  In 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011, no horses in the field had run more than one triple digit Beyer. In all four years, a horse that had not run even a single triple digit Beyer won the race. And of the three sub 100-Beyer horses that did beat fields containing paired 100+ Beyer horses (Orb, I’ll Have Another, Sea Hero), none had to beat more than two.

* 29 horses have had three or more 100+ Beyers over this timespan over 13 different races. Only 5 won.

CONCLUSION: There are years in which having run a 100+ Beyer is not incredibly important, but this decidedly does not appear to be one of those.

Running two triple digit Beyers has been a beneficial statistic over time, especially the more of these types of horses that have run in the race. A horse meeting this criteria has won 63% of the races they ran in, and has won 75% of the time when four or more horses meeting this criteria have run. And in 100% of the 12 races where four or more horses had duplicated 100+ Beyers, a horse with at least one 100+ Beyer won the race!!!

Perhaps more amazingly, over half of the seven horses to win‎ the Derby without ever posting a 100+ Beyer have done so by beating fields that didn’t contain any horses to have shown multiple 100+ figures, and the others have beaten just four such horses between them.

It’s also interesting to note that horses showing just two 100+ Beyers have been more successful than those showing three or more. The success rate for these sorts of horses has been just 38%, and in all five races where such horses have won, they’ve beaten at least one other horse that also had run three or more 100+ Beyers. Could we conclude that horses who have run three or more 100+ Beyers are more likely to regress or bounce than horses who have only run a pair of them? The evidence would suggest so‎.

Put more simply- Of the 19 races run in which at least one horse had duplicated Beyers:

– Horses with 2 or more 100+ Beyers made up 24.7% of the field on a year by year average basis. They won 63.1% of those races.

– Horses with 1 or more 100+ Beyers made up 54.1% of the field on a year by year average basis. They won 84.2% of those races.

Also, the three years in which a 100+ Beyer horse did not win, the percentages of the field that consisted of horses that had run at least one Beyer above 100 are the three lowest of the entire sample. Coincidence?

2013: Orb (15%)

2012: I’ll Have Another (20%)

1993: Sea Hero (26%)


April 4, 2015

8- GAZELLE (9f)

Morning line favorite and need-the-lead type CONDO COMMANDO (8-5) looks beatable here as she lands in a spot with a lot of speed ‎as she steps up in class from her last. Turning the page back to our BC Juvenile Fillies handicapping, there are two here that look more appealing that figure to get good trips from behind the pace. PUCA (6-1) lands on the rail and goes second off the lay following a 4th place finish in tough company that wasn’t that bad- she bobbled at the start and was four wide throughout and still posted a speed figure equal to the favorite’s last. With a sequence of steady works under her belt, she figures to save ground on the rail before the speed collapses in front of her. WONDER GAL (7-2) hasn’t raced since an impressive 3rd place finish at the BC, but if she runs back to that effort should win easily, and she’s another that should benefit from having some pace to run into at the added distance.


9- BAY SHORE (7f)

Using the opposite strategy, we won’t get cute here. READY FOR RYE (9-5) and LORD NELSON (2-1)‎ tower over this field on paper. Getting those odds as a multiplier is not bad at all for a vertical wager.



Here’s where the bet gets good. We know this race is pretty weak without Far From Over. The three vying for favoritism, DAREDEVIL (9-5), FROSTED (5-2)‎ and EL KABEIR (3-1) are all nice colts. But they are also all front-running types with proven distance limitations. That’s right, all three have held leads and lost them at distances shorter than this one. Added pace pressure from cheep speed in here like TOASTING MASTER and LIEUTENANT COLONEL could leave them in requirement of an oxygen mask turning for home. So let’s take a real shot here with a colt that figures to save ground behind the lead and close. Look no further than TIZ SHEA D (8-1). He wasn’t disgraced when 2nd in the Gotham behind EL KABEIR over a muddy track that probably wasn’t to his liking based on his pedigree. He’s very lightly raced, this being just his third career start, and while he will need to take a big step forward, his pedigree says he will love the added ground (by Tiznow out of an AP Indy mare), and he won’t lose any ground being drawn on the rail. Single him!


11- CARTER (7f)

This is a great race. I’d argue 5 of the 10 best sprinters in America are entered here, which makes it a tough one to narrow down. ‎Since it is run at 7f, I think we can look at the extremely hot pace as an angle. Defending champion DADS CAPS (7-2) draws the rail, but he’ll have more pace pressure than he did last year (23.2/46.2 is super slow for a sprint race) thanks to the presence of THE BIG BEAST (5-2) drawn to his outside. That one has been more of a 6f horse, and although he does show one win at 7f over lesser company, picks a tough spot to move up in class, and these are short odds on the stretchout. Horses like GREEN GROTTO, DREAM SATURDAY and STREET SHARK will be absolutely gunning it, so we want to look for more accomplished horses that can stalk the pace and capitalize. He’s been layed off for seven months, but 7f is CLEARLY NOW’s (4-1) game. He’s been working sharply for this, and you can draw a line through his last race as he was bumped at the break, drawn wide and lost all chance. Go back another race and you’ll see he shows the best speed figure at the distance among these. PALACE (5-1) is easily the most accomplished runner in the field, and had a good shot to win the Eclipse award for this division last year before failing to hit the board in the Breeders’ Cup. He’s another that is better at 7f than 6f and has to be used on class alone. The hot horse in the division right now is WILD DUDE (3-1). He’s posted consistent speed figures and comes off a win at this distance in his last. All three are stalker/ presser types that figure to get a perfect setup.