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  • 2011 Kentucky Derby - Pace Makes The Race

       May 05, 2011

    (see all of our 2011 Kentucky Derby articles)

    I've been playing with the Daily Racing Form's awesome formulator past performances for the Derby and trying to figure out the race's likely pace scenario. I know everyone thinks it'll be a super fast pace, but I do have my doubts, just because the only really fast paced prep races were because of The Factor, and he's not here. Anyway, to help, I've decided to classify the field with the likely early positions and try to figure things out.

    Fast Front Runners: These are horses that need the lead and can actually throw out some quick fractions, let's say then can run that first quarter in around 22 seconds. These are the ones that would produce any suicidal pace:

    Decisive Moment
    Comma To The Top

    Slow Front Runners: Horses that typically need the lead in order to perform but haven't actually run that fast of fractions. They may be able to adjust and stalk in the Derby or they may be complete tosses:

    Soldat

    Potential Stalkers: Horses that usually run on the lead but have had some success in stalking trips and could lay off a fast Derby pace if necessary:

    Pants On Fire
    Shackleford
    Uncle Mo

    Classic Stalkers: Horses that have performed well from just a few lengths off of the pace:

    Twice The Appeal
    Stay Thirsty
    Master Of Hounds
    Santiva
    Mucho Macho Man
    Midnight Interlude
    Animal Kingdom
    Watch Me Go

    Closers: Closers who've shown an explosive move, typically hitting the lead nearer to the top of the stretch:

    Archarcharch
    Derby Kitten
    Twinspired

    Plodders: Horses who are getting up in the final strides or just missing in their prep races:

    Brilliant Speed
    Dialed In
    Nehro

    My gut tells me that we're in for a more moderate pace and that the winner is going to come from the stalkers or closers, not the plodders. Comma To The Top and Decisive Moment just don't strike me as the Old Trieste, Songandaprayer or Spanish Chestnut type.

    There's still more work to go in order to get to a winner, but the pace scenario is a big step in the right direction (I hope!).


    Posted by kris at May 5, 2011 09:50 AM

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    Comments

    #  May 5th, 2011 9:57 AM      kris
    The comment line in Comma To The Top's last five races:

    Drifted out str, caught
    Drifted out str, weakened
    Drifted out into lane
    Bid, led, driving
    Drifted out str, held

    In other words, you don't to be outside of him heading into the stretch, but on the other hand, it seems that it's virtually certain that the rail is going to open up for someone.  
     

     

     


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