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This is one of the most interesting Derby’s ever…With Sydney’s Candy in the #20 post and never touching his hooves on ORGANIC – DIRT. Some handicapper’s are worried about the #20 post, but I don’t see is as so bad and it could be an “advantage”! READ BELOW for a full discussion of this #20 post position!What about the multi-headed uncoupled Tod Pletcher entry? Can we consider a wager on the Florida Derby winner, even though he hasn’t raced since 3/20? Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the 2 year old champ, Lookin At Lucky, how does his form shape up going into the KentuckyDerby? I will answer these questions and others in my Kentucky Derby Analysis and hopefully provide a few nuggets that you can use in your everyday handicapping arsenal as well… Here’s how you get it, just buy either a Power Page or a Key Horse Selection sheet and it will be e-mailed to you on Friday night or Saturday morning. Instead of charging you for my analysis, I would like to have you try the Key Horse Selection Sheet or my wonderful handicapping aide, the Power Page…

Friday’s FREE Play Hollywood…Race #5…Sirocco Strike won paying $6.40…

 Saturday’s Free 

Hollywood Park…Race #5…We will keep it simple today… and just play power from a strong trainer…our win wager will be on Lichtenstein and we will play some exacta boxes using Seventh Star, Songofya and Uncle Greg.

 “WHY the #20 post is not so bad, especially in the case of Sydney’s Candy”

First things first, every move good or bad will be seen for the horses on the far outside.  And surely over the years we have seen horses from the far outside have difficulties at times, and those images imprint on our minds and make for an immediate NEGATIVE opinion.  It happens to me.  In fact when I first heard Sydney’s Candy was drawing the #20 PP, and I figured he was a favorite, I had a negative opinion and voiced it on Race Day.  But then I started to THINK this situation out and apply knowledge I have accumulated (and will share in this piece) suddenly I realized I over-stated the negative and didn’t allow for the positive.  It would be easier to keep some of these thougths to myself, just go along with the pundits and pros who haven’t really worked the reality of these details out in a PROFESSIONAL manner to date.   So here goes…

When a horse is in the #20 pp he is about 70 feet away from the rail and the distance to the first turn is a shade under 3/8ths of a mile.  Each stall is about 3 feet wide and we will add a little extra in…why not!  So what we really want to know is how much further will the horse in the #20 PP run than the horse in the #1 pp to the first turn voer this first 3/8ths of a mile and are there any other positives or negatives that will effect either the inside or outside runner.  These are  the important questions!  I have asked this question many times of many people and was always surprised to hear the replies; some people thought the horse would lose the whole 70 while typically others would guess about 20 feet.   Niether of these answers is correct.  But if I thought a horse would lose even 20 feet on the straight-away for any reason, I would be so negative, you could never convince me otherwise.  But the fact are these at 70 feet out from the rail 1.23  feet over the first 3/8ths of a mile.  The formula for this is “A”(squared) + “B”(Squared = C(Squared).  A (squared)is  1980’x1980′ ; B(squaared is)=70′ x70′ so C(squred) is 3925300 feet and when we find the square route of 3925300 the product is 1981.23 feet.  So when we compare teh distance of A to the distace of C we find that A = 1980′ and C=1981.23′  .  THAT’s IT, a big 1.23 feet.  This will also answer another question about horse racing, why do the outside post seem to always break faster than the inside posts?  Because they have a HUGE advantage in the run through the beginning stretch, that’s because they are running DOWNHILL!  And the effect of running DOWNHILL with weight on your back is an even bigger advantage because of momentum formulas in which weight increases force and it’s a biger negative when carrying weight going uphill.  Anybody would understand that for certain, that’s just plain common sense.  And as we all know, tracks are built on a slant to get the water to drain to the inside or outside, but away from the middle of the track.  We don’t want standing water on a race track!   So about 2/3 of the way, away from the rail is the crown of the track, the highest point of the track and you guessed it the rail is the lowest point of the track.  So a horse on the outside of the track as he moves down toward the rail, is actually going downhill.  How steep the grade is, I just don’t know and it varies from place to place on a track and from track to track, but race tracjs are NOT FLAT!   So for losing the big 1.23 feet a horse like Sydneys’ Candy gets to run for 1980 feet downhill (as do many others.) while the horses on the inside don’t get to run downhill and most likely will get to run UPHILL later in the race!   Its’ because of these types of factors that I didint’ agree with Len Ragozin about ground loss and went into business making  my speed figures.  Had I agreed with hime I probably would not have bothered to be in this business at all (but that’s a different discussion).   But this is not the end of the discussion.  Lemon Drop Kid had the #20 post, and barely got to run downhill at all, instead he got pushed very wide around the entire track.  Instead of taking advantage of his post position, because of bad racing  circumstances he lost loads of ground around both turns!  That can happen and it does!  And in this case Len Ragozin is completely right that kind of ground loss is computed at 3.14 feet per foot of ground loss per turn.  So if your horse is e 5 wide around the 1st turn, thats about 12 feet away from the rail, then your horse is losing about  37.68′ and if it happens on the 2nd turn, that’s just more ground loss added to the problem…  I mention this because the reality of horse racing is that a horse like Sydney’s Candy, out in the #20 post is very unlikely to get to the rail, so he will probably lose some ground through the 1st turn, but with his very sharp tactical speed, he should not be more than 2 to 3 wide into the 1st turn, unlike Lemon Dro Kid how had limited tactical early speed.   So my guess for SC is he will lose at 2 wide into the first turn 9′ to a maximum of 14′ into the first turn.  I expect some horses, probably Conveyance to outrun him for the lead.  So we have a trade off of the following , for running downhill for 1980 feet, Sydney’s Candy will lose approximately 9 to 14 feet of ground.   In Sydneys’ Case it simply NOT THAT BAD.   Remember they are running with weight on their backs so the Downhill portion is very helpful.    Now let’s take a quick look at the inside post.  The never lose ground if they are able to stay on the rail the entire trip.  But they never get to run Downhill.  So by the end of the race their abilty to save ground all the way probably becomes a small advantage.  But the reality is that only 1 to 3 horses have a chance to stay on the rail the entire way, at some point, some of the “ground savers’ are going to be forced to move away from the rail to make a run, and when those horses move away from the rail, they are moving UPHILL!  And they are doing it carrying lots of weight, after which they have expended lots of energy.   It’s like rasing the incline on your treadmill after you have already walked (and I hope its vigorous) for a 1/2 an hour!  Going uphill, under weight at high speed is a big NEGATIVE!  So some of the advantages of being on the rail, can become disadvantages.  Simply put, I expect Sydney’s Candy to get a good run into the first turn and find a spot somewhere around the 2 or 3 path and if that occurs, he definately should be able to make a clean run and win if he is the best.  Which I have no doubt of on synthetics, but may or may not be true on organic-dirt that has taken rain and being floated/sealed/rolled.

IF Syndney’s Candy is caught wide in the first turn, then that would be a giant negative and that’s the one thing jockey Talamo must guard against, the other thing he must guard agaisnt is over-using Sydney and going the frist quarter mile in 23 flat of faster.   Beyond that, if math and physics say anything, they say that Sydney’s Candy should have a slight advantage -MOST OF THE TIME- from the outside #20 post position.

I rest my case!