Horse Racing Forum

Hosted by Cindy Dulay (CindyDulay)

This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.

  • 512
  • 29397
  • 2


Fast Horses Came Up Slow in the Florida Derby.   Triple Crown

Started Apr-21 by OldForesight; 707 views.

From: OldForesight


I am still trying to figure out why the final three furloughs of the Florida Derby came up so slow (39.96).  Judging by the numbers from the Florida Derby, the top three finishers all regressed from their previous race. Meanwhile the 3rd. place finisher (Mo Donegal) from the HolyBull Stakes came back in the Wood Memorial and put up huge numbers. 

Earlier on the Florida Derby race card, the grade (3) Ghost Zapper Stakes at a 1 1/8th was run in 1:50.03 which was 3/5ths (.61) faster than the Florida Derby. Keep in mind that it is customary for older horses running in graded stakes race on the same race card to run faster than 3yr. old running in derby prep races.  

I still do not know how to explain the slow time in the Florida Derby but I do not believe the top three finishers regressed from their previous race. I take solace in the fact that Mo Donegal who got beat by White Abarrio and Simplification in the HolyBull came back and won the Wood. I take solace in the fact that the grade (3) Ghost Zapper Stakes for older horses on the same race card was on par with the Florida Derby. 

By the way, Charge It is on my short list.


From: DogsUpWired


Track surface 


Air Quality

Added weight 

Horse taking to 1st time different surface

Different rider

Time of day

Combo of the weather

Larger field

Two turns

Better rating by jock based on how the race unfolds. Late close not necessarily faster late time.

Usually last times are not faster 

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: OldForesight


I keep watching Charge It maiden win and cannot get over how impressive he was. Visually, he is the best 3yr, old I have seen. I know he didn't repeat the same performance in the Florida Derby but he probably gained more out of the race than any other horse in any of the prep races. He broke his maiden in gate to wire fashion in a one turn mile and came back to take on stakes winners in the two turn 1 1/8th Florida Derby. He hit the gate at the start and got caught behind the leaders, managed to work his way into the clear and was gaining on the winner.

Right now, I am loving this horse.         


From: OldForesight


I am waiting on the track variant to measure and grade the preps.  


From: DogsUpWired


EXAMPLE: 89 was the Beyer for Bourbonic in last year's Wood winner. The variant that day on a slow track surface/the dirt runners distance and the better caliber of horses in the formula in other races would  improve variant. 

Yet, sometimes adding Beyer + Variant together can produce useful numbers..

But not for Bourbonic's chances in his Derby.

As a rule big racing card events the variant is low as it takes into consideration of time and surface run on.

Irad on Mo and their finishing time in 2022 Wood a lights out time 

Dogs spends time looking at what runners can be in the Derby race (All the way around) and in particular at  9fl. This includes runners who want no more but were near but decide: no mas. They get off the Derby trail at mile and an eighth and ask for a bus or subway transfer for the next race 

And look for who need more real estate.  

And this year there are 2 colts with little racing experience that can have a good day: Smarty's horse/Charge It/Pletcher  and the other( Mike Smith will ride Tabia to front as far as they can go) that would set Rose record in 3rd try.  


From: princeofdoc


Glad you started this thread.....

Most confounding in the preps were the slow finishing times of the FL Derby, and the extremely fast finishing in the Wood.  Needs more careful analysis, haven't found the answers yet.


From: OldForesight


Beyer speed figures for the major preps:

Florida Derby ____________ 96

Wood memorial__________ 96

Santa Anita______________102

Blue Grass_______________ 98

Louisiana Derby_________102

Arkansas_________________ 92

It is obvious that Aqueduct racetrack was souped-up on Wood Day.  The Wood Memorial got a Beyer speed rating of 96 with a finishing time of 1:47.96 which is a strong indication that the surface of the track was doctored to produce fast times.  The last three furloughs of the Wood Memorial and the Gazelle Stakes were :36.37 and :36.48 respectively. But what is so confounding about the Gazelle were the slow early fractions (:49.26, 1:13.93, 1:38. 27) which is not conductive of a souped-up track.

On the other hand, the two horses (Mo Donegal & Nostalgic) that won the Wood Memorial and the Gazelle, ran their previous race at Gulfstream Park but their final times at Aqueduct were 2 to 3 seconds faster than the times they put up at Gulfstream Park. I still do not know what to make of this other than to say, Gulfstream Park was a little bit slower than usual. Anyhow, the track variants should be able to give us a better sense of how to judge the final times.           




From: DogsUpWired


The Wood winner should pretty much run the same 'time wise based on Wood surface to Derby  surface.

Extra furlong is the puzzle.


From: ShaddyisBack


It has been a windy couple of months here in South Florida. I am in Port Saint Lucie and work in West Palm, close enough we get same weather. On that day it was extremely windy, although when I watych replay cant see any flags. Watch that replay and at sec. .32 - .37 watch the bottom near town of Weston and how the Flow is due north.

Happens everywhere once in a while and easily could have been hit with a 20/25 mph head wind since track is located north to south down the finish line. Looks like a good excuse, I will use it. Still think he needs a race or two, he hit gate at florida derby slowing his exit. 

I really like him too, and his breeding, long stride, big horse. Remids me of so many I have bet in past derbys that I lose with... Usually 4th, -7th. THen come back to be Monsters later on


From: OldForesight


Thank you for the useful information. I followed up on the report you gave me and at the time of the Florida Derby there was a steady wind of 12 mph. I don't know how much of a factor it played in the final time of the race but any wind resistance will affect the speed and time of a race. Not to mention expending more energy.