Normally on Friday's I post my picks for a number of weekend stakes races, but this week I'll break away from the norm. The main reason for this divergence is the fact that I have been doing very poorly as of late. One key to success with handicapping is recognizing when you're off and taking a step back to avoid the damage. It is also my intention to provide the readers of this space with valuable insights and information. Losing picks aren't very valuable, I'll hopefully get myself back on track by the time the Derby weekend rolls around.
Since the Derby is on everyones mind and my mission is to give out useful information I have decided to start sharing the key factors that are the components of my Derby 20-20 system. The whole intention and vision of the Derby 20-20 system is to identify key statistical factors and trends and compile them into a profile that could be used for more accurate and profitable wagering on the Derby.
Not all statistics are valuable and certainly no statistic has any real value if used on its own. One can point to individual statistics but how do you use that information in this Derby? And how do you know that this is the one stat that has more value than all the others. Essentially what makes the two prep guideline more weighty than the layoff angle. The best way to use individual statistics is pooling them into a group and creating a profile that takes all factors into account but diminishes the significance of all single factors.
The Derby 20-20 profile has 20 statistical factors that I believe are keys to Derby success. No jinxes or curses, I don't even include many factors of "conventional wisdom". You have to realize that the game really is changing, but at the same time some things don't change. Prep schedules may change but then things like minimum speed requirements don't. Unlike other Derby systems the focus is not on eliminating horses who cant win the Derby. The focus is in trying to quantify the relative chances of each entrant. Each entrant is given a 20-20 score and graded based on that score. You can see the results this system would have produced over the last 11 runnings as well as tentative gradings for this years running by going to this link: Derby 20-20
9 of the last 11 Derby winners had a perfect profile score and I think you'll notice that there does seem to be a real correlation between a high score and a good finish in the Derby. Even many of the horses who hit the frame on Derby day had strong profile scores. A flat bet equal to their profile score on each runner in the Derby would have netted you a 34.23% ROI over the last 11 years. Although 5 of those years would have been losers. Simply taking the 22 perfect scorers and betting on them over the last 11 years you have seen you make 404.09% with just 3 losing years. There are many ways to use this system for successful win betting and even exotic betting. But enough pontification over the merits of the system. Let's get to the actual 20 factors.
#1 The entrant must earn a Beyer Speed Figure around two turns as a 3yo that is equal to or superior to the average two turn prep winning figure. In other words I take the winning Beyer figures from all the two turn prep races represented in the Derby and make them into an average. Every Derby winner in the last 11 years qualified with this factor, even Giacomo. Horses who did not qualify with this factor were a cumulative 82-0-3-1 in the Derby.
This years average is 97. That means Stormello, Chelokee, Dominican, Zanjero, Storm In May, Sedgefield, XChanger, Colbalt Blue, Imawildandcrazyguy and Bwana Bull are not fast enough
#2 Last two Beyer figures achieved must total the average two turn prep winning figures times two minus five. Seems a bit mathematical but essentially this is an effort to weed out one time big fig horses. It demands consistent speed over the entrants last two races. So the average prep winning figure is multiplied by two. But we also recognize that these horses are improving and it is not necessary that a horse be "fast enough" to win the Derby 2 starts before the Derby itself. So we minus 5 Beyer points from the total to allow for this improvement. 5 is not an arbitrarily selected number. 5 is the average Beyer improvement shown by Derby winners during their prep races. Horses who did not qualify with this factor were a cumulative 103-1-5-4 in the Derby. Giacomo was the lone Derby winner who did not qualify.
So it means for this year that the entrants last two Beyer figs have to equal 189. This is another strike against all the horses affected by factor #1 but Tiago, Circular Quay, Cowtown Cat, Tueflesberg and Liquidity also get deducted.
#3 The entrant must have run within 3 Beyer points of the average two turn prep winning figure in their last prep. This is another measure of speed but also of recent form. A horse needs to have run quickly in their last race before the Derby. On average a Derby winner has only improved his last prep figure by 3 Beyer points so I want my qualifiers to be within 3 points of the minimum speed figure required in factor #1. Horses who did not qualify with this factor were a cumulative 77-0-4-1 in the Derby.
Every runner who did not run a 94 Beyer or better in their last prep gets deducted. It's actually easier to count the horses who did not get blighted by this factor. XChanger, Curlin, Hard Spun, Circular Quay, Sam P, Cowtown Cat, Tiago, Nobiz Like Showbiz, Scat Daddy and Chelokee.
#4 Beyer difference of no worse than -2 from second-to-last race to last prep race. This is more a gauge of current form than speed. Whatever the horses figures are we want him at or near his peak. The regression of Monarchos in the Wood was well documented but he still only down 2 Beyer points in that effort. Horses who did not qualify with this factor were a cumulative 54-0-3-1 in the Derby.
Stormello, Any Given Saturday, Sam P, Street Sense, Great Hunter, Sedgefield, Cobalt Blue and Imawildandcrazyguy all failed to qualify with this factor.
#5 Highest Lifetime Beyer must be achieved in a two turn race. This is pretty straightforward. We don't want sprinters in the Derby, a quality distance horse will be faster in longer races than they were at short distances. 16 horses entered the Derby with this factor going against them and just one of them (Proud Citizen) managed to do himself any credit with a second place finish (16-0-1-0)
Cobalt Blue and Storm In May look set to make it a total of 18 who have verified this factors validity.
Since this post is ridiculously long I'll let you stew over these factors this weekend and I'll return to complete the profile next week.