In my December 26, 2014 blog I took a look at how many two-year-old Thoroughbreds that won their final stakes prep race of the season went on to run in the Kentucky Derby. Here’s a look at an excerpt from that blog:
“However, when looking at the racing history of two-year-old Thoroughbreds, there’s a good possibility that we may not have seen the 2015 Kentucky Derby winner race in any of the major end-of-year prep races.
“An analysis of those major prep races for the past 14 years shows that a total of 593 two-year-old Thoroughbreds competed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Hollywood Futurity (G1), Remsen (G2), Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Boyd Gaming’s Delta Jackpot (G3). Of those 593 runners, only 98 (16%) went on to compete as three year olds in the Kentucky Derby.
“Astonishingly, from that group of 98 two year old Thoroughbreds, only two won their prep race and went on to win the Kentucky Derby as a three year old: Street Sense won the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Kentucky Derby; Super Saver won the 2009 Kentucky Jockey Club and the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
“Giacomo finished second in the 2004 Hollywood Futurity and won the 2005 Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird finished 12th (dead last) in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and won the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
“Other horses from the group of 98 that did not win the Kentucky Derby but went on to become Classic Champion Thoroughbreds include: Point Given (2001 Preakness, Belmont), Empire Maker (2003 Belmont), Afleet Alex (2005 Preakness, Belmont), Lookin at Lucky (2010 Preakness), Union Rags (2012 Belmont) and Oxbow (2013 Preakness).
“Overall, out of that group of 98, as three year olds only 19 (19%) finished on the board in the Derby and 12 (12%) finished in the money.”
Percentagewise, the Remsen has had the best results by a few percentage points:
From 2000 to 2013, a total of 110 horses competed in the Remsen. Of those 110 horses, 20 (18%) went on to compete as three year olds in the Kentucky Derby. Of those 20 competitors, five (25%) finished on the board in the Derby and three (15%) finished in the money.
2002 – Empire Maker finished third in Remsen and second in the 2003 Derby.
2005 – Bluegrass Cat won the Remsen and finished second in the 2006 Derby.
2010 – Mucho Macho Man finished second in Remsen and third in the 2011 Derby.
2012 – Normandy Invasion finished second in Remsen and fourth in the 2013 Derby.
2013 – Wicked Strong finished third in Remsen and fourth in the 2014 Derby.
Horses that are off this year’s Derby trail include: Texas Red (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) and Leave the Light On (Remsen).
So, if these statistics hold true in this year’s Derby, Dortmund (Los Alamitos Futurity), El Kabeir (Kentucky Jockey Club) and Ocho Ocho Ocho (Delta Downs Jackpot) are throw outs as win candidates.
And, it bodes well for horses like Frosted (2nd in Remsem), Carpe Diem (2nd in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) and Mubtaahij who raced in the United Arab Emirates.