First off all – there was NO BIAS to the track. Throughout the day, horse had good finishes who races on every part of the track and from every position. My call is track bias = HONEST.
Figs and troubles for Top 10 finishers… ( I do my troubled trips, part reading chart and part visuals – please note, I do not look at minor bumping as significant – stuff happens)
American Pharoah 79.8 Clear trip w/plenty of Ground Loss in both turns – especially the 1st turn.
Firing Line 78.3 Clear Trip with some Ground Loss in both turns
Dortmund 75.5 Clear Trip, favorable fractions, I would call a perfect trip.
Frosted 76.3 Clean Trip, some ground loss in far turn, did NOT get the best set-up.
Danzig Moon 74.3 Some early bumping, but basically a clean trip – maybe slightly better than the number
Materiality 76.8 SERIOUSLY COMPROMISED at START, w/some additional ground loss in Far Turn. Lively finish while navigating traffic.
Keen Ice 73.3 Saved Ground early – minor traffic problems.
Mubtaahig 73.0 Excellent Trip – No impact
Itsanknockout 73.5 Steadied in opening part of race – some compromise – no punch late.
Carpe Diem 72.3 Well placed on inside – clean trip — no punch late.
Clear conclusion, the Best Horse won. As you can see, I have improved several horses numbers for ground loss and some other incidents, which include Am Pharoah, Firing Line, Frosted and Materiality. Dortmund has not received any improvement to his numberr as he had a perfect trip! Quite frankly, I would say he “bounced” and ran way below what I expected. For me this is a disappointing effort. Considering that American Pharoah went 5 wide into and around the first turn, I would go further to say, that Dormund was not prepared as well for the Derby as American Pharoah, which goes to the trend of fewer races is better than more races. This suggests a “trend change” — to that point, of all the Pletcher horses, the one with the fewest lifetime races, Materiality, ran way the best.
As many of you know, the PPN on the Power Page is a HIGH number when assigned. I fully expect the horses to have trouble reaching that number, but quite frankly I expected to see at least 1 horse run 81.0 or higher and I certainly expected to see at least two horses run better than an 80.0. So I am somewhat disappointed and I think the 1978 crop of Affirmed and the 1973 crop of Secretariat are SAFE from any comparisons at this time. For the most part, all of these horses peaked prior to the Derby and ran backward races in this event. The only 3 that would be exempt from that comment would be American Pharoah, Firing Line and possibly Materiality with his horrible start. For example, the race that Frosted ran, had he simply repeated that effort would have made him a clear 2nd and possible winner. It’s important to add in the case of Frosted, that he was entitled to Bounce after such a big effort in the Wood Memorial – so he has an excuse but it’s more related for form and circumstances leading up to the KD.
As for pace analysis, this was both a slow KD in the early stages and a slow KD in the late stages. The best running was from the 2 furlong pole to the 6 furlong pole. — Here are the quarters in succession 23.24, 24.10 (around the turn), 23.85, 25.16 (around the turn), and a pedestrian last quarter of 26.57 … So when we say, the job is to carry 126 pounds, Horses who have run well with 122 lbs. all of a sudden start to have lots of difficult carrying 126 lbs… This is a long way from Secretariat who ran successively faster quarters when establishing himself as the greatest KD winner… and maybe the greatest race horse of all time….
Just a final thought or two. Am Pharoah, was VERY OKAY, Firing Line – considering the slow finish of the race — probably would prefer shorter distances. Dortmund probably bounced and hopefully will come back to running as good as he has in the past, which was good enough to win the KD. And I will be interested to see the future development of Materialtiy and Frosted and Danzig Moon (might also develop into a real nice horse, possibly preferring grass)… Thanks, see you next year…