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Every year I try to start a thread on Derby lessons, "What did we learn?" to see if such lessons help going forward. I have a few to note from this year:
1) The Tyler factor......must remember that this jock is hot, on a streak......this is 4 consecutive Derby's where he rides in the last place super. He is either jinxed, or cannot figure out how to position himself in this race. Taking Verifying to 1:10.1 is ridiculous. Yes, he needed to get to the lead out of the 2 hole, but once there, slow it down, let Ortiz take Kingsbarn that fast, move to the outside, just don't maintain a suicide pace. The only year he was able to do better was his 8th place on War of Will, a race I think he could have won.
2) Todd......just cannot prepare a horse to win the Derby as often as he should with the best colts. As I mention in another thread dedicated to him, it may not be his fault, but it seems to happen consistently. Could it be he has too many to look after? Is not bringing the colt to the best prep? The works? Something is off for someone of his caliber, with the crop he gets, but I will downgrade his colts from hereon. I'm not saying I won't bet his horses, but I will downgrade them....especially if they draw poorly or if he puts Tyler on one of them.
3) Pace.....no matter what it looks like on paper, there WILL be a pace in the Derby. Probably when it looks like there won't be, it will be the fastest, like the last two years.
4) UAE winners......there's something. No matter how good they look, there's something. Is it the shipping? Is it the CD surface? Is it the competition? In any case, immediate downgrade regardless. If they look utterly fantastic, with eye-catching works at CD, maybe a chance for 4th.
5) On the other hand, maybe pay more attention to the Turfway best? Both Two Phil's and Major Dude looked good yesterday. Last year, the top 3 all went to the Derby and all 3 made the top 9. So maybe it's becoming a track that trainers see as a good prep, and depending upon performance, 'cappers need to take that race seriously.
That's what I got so far, looking forward to contributions from this able group!
Also learned not to disregard "unraced at 2 with just 3 starts at 3" horses anymore... those used to be auto-toss and then Justify came along and won a TC off that. Not saying Mage is TC material but the Apollo jinx is done.
I think the other thing we learn after watching the Derby is which horses are better off racing at 7 furlongs or 1 mile, than 9 furlongs or longer.
I never seem to learn anything. LOL
I learned this year almost everybody missed a nice score by one horse on a ticket
like most of the other years , even me.
I was negatively impacted by Rich Strike from last year, somehow thinking I needed to push "all" more than I should have, rather really emphasizing the horses that performed most recently.
I also learned that a long layoff prior to the Derby cannot be overcome. Regardless of trainer talking points or reasons.
You make some good points, but my general feeling about the KY Derby is that it will always be a chaos race of youngsters, many of whom are mis-managed, don't belong in the race, are receiving new so-called "top jocks" who are not familiar with them, or jockeys who don't have enough experience at CD to being with even if they are noted as top jocks.
And, I play accordingly, thriftily. I can use the kind of money some people wager in the KY Derby for a whole year and make tons of money on every day races.
This year, it seems like the jockeys on the key pace players were clueless......they went ridiculously fast and were therefore totally cooked and ended up at the bottom of the field.........specifically JV on Reincarnate and Gafflione on Verifying. Two Phils was the only real close-to-the-pace survivor out of that group.
Someone pointed out to me that Mage's "turn time" in the FL Derby was something critical they overlooked in their own handicapping. OTOH, w/out a good rider he could have not run first.
Meanwhile, I DO learn something every year, but not necessarily about the KY Derby race itself......but it allows me to familiarize myself more with names in pedigee charts, as I am tracing 20 horses......similar to just browsing in the public library, you come across some curious and interesting knowledge....knowledge which may serve me in the future, and not just for the KY Derby.
However, I am going back to capping simple, like I did in the old days. Don't look at anything until last week in March (I am busy at Oaklawn during the prep races so will not follow the KY Derby prep races anymore), and I will only look at very few things. Just my sire dosage/cmp profiles and I have always thought that LONG SLOW GALLOPS and WORKS (before classic distance racing was "Baffertized" with 1:12 6F works and other quarterhorse training methods) (why I liked Mubtaahij). Mage was given 3 stout 6F works (at 2 different tracks before the race) and they were not fast at all, as a matter of fact, the times were dreadful, but that's been my idea all along. Disarm had worked a bullet at CD (but so did Confidence Game), and Two Phils was working bullets over at Hawthorne. That and race recency (21-35 days) is how I used to cap this race. I have a few personal angles like not raced before Sept in maiden. Mage and Hit Show both fit that stat, and I like "ran maiden at BEL" (Forte). Early maidens winning at SAR is one of the things I dislike.....I literally take points off horses for that and that's why Rocket Can was a bomber longshot only, and Verifying was not on my ticket. (yes, they do come in like Tacitus, etc. but usually not first... that SAR meet is like snakebite for me).
I had Mage marked in BOLD because I have a certain requirement in their CMP mare side profile, but for whatever reason with all the scratches and musical chairs, I lost track of that in the shuffle. I would have had the first 5 horses all except for AOE, who I predicted would run no better than 3rd anyway, if I had stuck to my thoughts about the CMP profile.
So next year I will use about 5 of the angles that work for me and save myself some work.
Back when I was charting with a partner, and keeping track of different stats, I had already stopped giving the highest points based on just final Q. I believe Mage had the 2nd worst or thereabouts figure out of the field. 26.07........and his final last 1F was also very high at 13.2 and his Last 3F was 37.8. Again, way higher than most horses in this race on all scores.
........and, all that said.........we still cannot account ahead of time for bone-head supposedly top jocks misjudging the pace and their horses paid dearly for that.
After 43 years of playing the Derby I've learned that you win some and you lose some but except for the years when some horse just came out of the clouds I've done OK. Even last year I played Epicenter top and bottom in an exacta for $5.00 and I had $20 to win on Mine That Bird (only because Borel was riding him) The winners are usually easy, it's the horses that run underneath that give you the most trouble. In the last 24 years I've developed a sheet of factors that point to the horses to play. This year it had Angel of Empire on top, Two Phil's second and Mage sixth. I usually play my top two rated horses in all three slots of a trifecta in a 1 X 2,3,4,5,6,7 X 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. For $0.50 that's $24 a ticket for 6 tickets or $144. So I hit the trifecta twice for about $980. Please don't think I'm bragging you just have to develop a game plan.