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Just the Facts

Posted by on 4/27/2015 8:06:24 PM

With the Kentucky Derby just days away, it’s as good a time as any to scrutinize some pure facts about preps, trends, times and the more lucrative betting situations that have been evident through the history of America’s biggest race.

Having a 9-furlong prep before the Kentucky Derby is mandatory. Since 1986, every single Kentucky Derby winner did have that prep except for Charismatic.

This year’s preps were quite diverse. Materiality ran slow in the Florida Derby but the surface was extremely tiring.Dortmund took them wire-to-wire in the Santa Anita Derby but his final 3 furlongs of :38.36 was far slower than what California Chrome did in the race last year. Chrome got his final 3 furlongs in :36.71.

American Pharoah rolled in the Arkansas Derby getting his final 8th in :12.58 while being geared down late.

Materiality will be trying to buck history, as he did not race at 2. Only one horse ever, Apollo in 1882, won the Kentucky Derby without a start at 2 and since 1944 a total of 58 horses started in the Derby without a juvenile start with 0 winners, 3 second finishers and 4 show finishers.

Materiality and Dortmund are both unbeaten and will be trying to join an elite group of unbeaten Kentucky Derby winners. Only 7 horses in history exited the Derby unbeaten. Regret was the first in 1915 and Big Brown was the most recent in 2008.

In the last decade Mine That Bird was the only Derby winner that didn’t wintered in either Florida or California.

Being on the lead in the Kentucky Derby has not been the place to be generally. One reason is that the pace is usually extremely fast as riders get caught up in the moment and the urgency spreads like wild fire. In the last 50 years, only 6 horses went wire-to-wire. Kauai King did so in 1966 and most recently, War Emblem took them all the way in 2002.

Bringing career high Beyer Speed Figure to the Derby has not been a major success in the last 10 years. Only 2 horses that entered theDerby with a career high Beyer in the last decade won. One ran 2nd and the 7 others ran between 5th and 17 th.

As far as mutuels, 13-1 is the average winning payoff in the Derby in the last 25 years. Mine That Bird was 50-1 and the shortest price in that span was Fusaichi Pegasus at 2-1.

The average $2 trifecta in the Kentucky Derby since 1995 has paid just over $12,600. The $1 superfecta over that same span has paid over $90,000.

Last year superfecta of $7, 691.90 was the first time in more than a decade that the wager returned less than $24,000.

Granted, this is a lot to swallow and as much as history repeats itself, nothing means anything unless it happens right now and you were able to take advantage of it at the betting windows.

But before going ‘all in’ on any selection, consider these facts.



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