You have to love the sheer number of statistics and trends you can come up with for the Derby. Some of them are fluky, some of them weird and some are just plain misleading. I find looking at the numbers fun even if many of them take you away from horses you should be considering. Here are a few random stats for you to enjoy before disregarding completely.
Rookie Derby trainers have won 5 of the last 6 Kentucky Derbies. Every year we focus in on the top two year olds from the Pletcher, Baffert and Zito barns but since 2003 the Derby has been all about first timers getting into the limelight. Derby rookies have brought 33 horses to the derby in the last 6 runnings and have walked away with 5 wins and another 5 top three placings. The only veteran trainer to win a Derby since 2003 was Carl Nafzger whose Street Sense denied Hard Spun who just happened to be trained by a Derby rookie.
I generally support any move a trainer makes that improves a horse but it would seem like making equipment changes on the TC trail is an odd negative. From 1996 to the present there has been 32 horses who had blinkers either added or removed sometime during their three year old campaign. None of them won and only three even managed to hit the board!
I live in Canada and right now in mid-February I wish I lived somewhere warmer like California or Florida. Some Derby horses agree with me. Derby entrants that were based in Kentucky or New York during the first two wintry months of the year are 12-0-0-1 in the Derby since 1996.
Can a horse be too good for the Derby? Horses who have earned four or more triple digit Beyer Speed figures prior to the Derby have a shocking 15-0-1-0 record. The only horse who hit the frame was Captain Bodgit. There were a lot of well backed horses on that list as well.
The last of our silly stats for the week has to do with the final odds for the Derby entrants in their preps. Apparently it's a bad sign if the bettors like you less as the Derby trail goes on because horses with three increasing final odds going into the Derby are 51-0-2-4. That's right, 51 horses and no winners. Who knew the public was so sharp?