By Calvin L. Carter and Dallas Carter
©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Derby Stakes or Epsom Derby is referred to as “The Greatest Flat Race in the Word” and this Saturday 12 young Thoroughbreds will go to the starting gate in the 235th running of the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
Golden Horn is the Twin Spires 7-5 morning line favorite and he’s favored in the foreign markets, too. He’s the deserving favorite and while I look for Golden Horn to be competitive in the Derby, there are some long shots I like better in this race.
I’ll write more about that later.
Followers of my blog know that the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software, developed by my brother, Dallas, is an analytical tool I use to measure the classic potential of young Thoroughbreds.
The profile assigns each horse a numerical score. The higher the score, the more potential that horse has to become a classic champion.
The profile does not take into account other factors that could determine the outcome of a race such as the horse’s will to win or the fact that, for many different reasons, horses sometimes fail to live up to their potential. However, I believe that a horse’s emotional behavior and physical fitness can eventually be a part of the analytical equation in determining the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™.
I introduced the profiles in my 2013 Derby blog and, for the past two Derbies, the scores, which were calculated by hand, easily eliminated over half of the field from wagering consideration.
This is the first year the profiles have been calculated using the software developed by my brother, Dallas, and, overall, we were pleased with the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software analysis of Kentucky Derby 141.
All three models had good results but the Derby Data Mining Model Two was, by far, the best. The model clearly isolated five of the top six finishers – American Pharoah, Dortmund, Frosted, Danzig Moon and Materiality – as the top tier of horses in that race. And, you can read about those results here.
The Preakness results were even better and you can read about that here. Danzig Moon and Tale of Verve were the only two horses that did not run close to their ranking. Dortmund was ranked 2nd and he finished 4th. Diving Rod was ranked 3rd and he finished 3rd. American Pharoah was ranked 4th and he finished 1st. Mr. Z was ranked 5th and he finished 5th. Firing Line was ranked 6th and he finished 7th. Bodhisattva was ranked 7th and he finished 8th.
You can view the profiles for this year’s Belmont Stakes here.
In addition, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software was also instrumental in picking the top performers in the major prep races leading up to Kentucky Derby 141. You can read about those results here.
Unlike the American classics, Dallas and I have not tracked the racing progress of the young horses competing in this year’s Epsom Derby. Nevertheless, we decided to score them with the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ – so, we are treading on uncharted territory.
While we published the original scores of the horses in the American classics, much of what we do is proprietary and we decided to only publish the profile score of Derby favorite, Golden Horn. Let’s take a look at the ranking for this year’s Epsom Derby field:
Rank, Horse, Odds
1. Giovanni Canaletto (6-1)
2. Storm the Stars (15-1)
3. Kilimanjaro (15-1)
4. Hans Holbein (12-1)
5. Rogue Runner (60-1)
6. Moheet (30-1)
7. Carbon Dating (99-1)
8. Epicuris (15-1)
9. Jack Hobbs (9-2)
10. Golden Horn (7-5)
11. Success Days (15-1)
12. Elm Park (7-1)
As you can see from the analysis, Golden Horn is ranked tenth and the reason for the low ranking is because he has a low profile score of 381.25. By Comparison, Carlton House, the 2011 Epsom Derby favorite, has a profile score is 395.63 and, like Golden Horn, he also came into the Derby off of a win in the 10½ furlong Dante Stakes. Carlton House finished third in the Derby and fourth in the Irish Derby.
A common discrepancy between analysis and horse performance is that some horses fail to live up to their potential while others like Golden Horn seem to exceed what is apparent in their breeding.
This raises the question: Why?
Data mining can answer that question. Data mining uses the processing power of modern technology to unlock secrets in the pedigree and quantify the influence of the Ancestral Herd.
We are currently testing the ability of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software to predict specific outcomes of races. While the software is robust in this ability, its greatest strength lies in its potential to predict long term racing and breeding performance – predictive ability that is valuable in assisting horse owners and breeders in making breeding, purchasing, and racing decisions.
In addition to the original analysis, Dallas and I built Data Mining Model One to allow for Golden Horn and a few other horses that seem to have exceeded what is evident in their pedigrees.
DATA MINING MODEL ONE
Rank, Horse, Odds
1. Giovanni Canaletto (6-1)
2. Storm the Stars (15-1)
3. Kilimanjaro (15-1)
4. Hans Holbein (12-1)
*5. Golden Horn (7-5)
6. Rogue Runner (60-1
*7. Jack Hobbs (9-2)
*8. Elm Park (7-1)
*9. Epicuris (15-1)
*10. Success Days (15-1)
11. Moheet (30-1)
12. Carbon Dating (99-1)
*Data Mining Analysis
In Data Mining Model One, Golden Horn, Jack Hobbs, Elm Park, Epicuris and Success Days all have low profile scores but data mining moved them up higher on the list.
By far, the top four horses of this group – Giovanni Canaletto, Storm the Stars, Kilimanjaro and Hans Holbein – have the best breeding and I feel very good about their chances in the Derby.
Let’s take a look at the top four and Derby favorite, Golden Horn.
GOLDEN HORN (ENG) – by Cape Cross (IRE) out of Fleche D’or (ENG) by Dubai Destination (USA) comes into the race undefeated in three starts.
Golden Horn (7-5) broke his maiden last October running one mile and 75 yards at Nottingham Racecourse. He took a five-month break and made his three year old debut on April 15, winning the 9-furlong Feilden Stakes (Listed) at Newmarket Racecourse. On May 14, Golden Horn won the 10½ furlong Betfred Dante Stakes (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
[Golden Horn] held up off the pace in last pair, smooth headway on outside travelling well over 2f out, quickened to lead approaching final furlong, soon clear, impressive
Golden Horn is a talented colt and deserving favorite. But, the one concern I have is that he has never raced beyond 10½ furlongs.
GIOVANNI CANALETTO (IRE) – a chestnut colt by Galileo (IRE) out of Love Me True (USA) by Kingmambo (USA) comes into this race with a 1-1-1 record in three starts.
In his maiden debut last October 8, Giovanni Canaletto (6-1) finished third in a field of 18 running a mile at Navan (IRE) Racecourse. He followed that performance with a 6½ length, maiden-breaking win running a mile at Leopardstown (IRE) Racecourse on October 25.
In his debut as a three year old at The Curragh (IRE) Racecourse on May 24, Giovanni Canaletto powered home in the stretch of the 10-furlong Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes (G3) to finish second by a narrow neck loss to Curvy. Here’s the video of and chart call of that race:
[Giovanni Canaletto] raced in 5th, pushed along over 3f out, some headway on outer 2f out, closed in 3rd from over 1f out, kept on well without quite getting to winner
Giovanni Canaletto has the breeding to win this race. He’s a full brother to the 2013 Epsom Derby winner, Ruler of the World, and his dam, Love Me True, also produced the five-time Group 1 winner and 2008 champion older horse in Europe, Duke of Marmalade.
Jockey Ryan Moore retains the mount on Giovanni Canaletto and he’s previously won the Derby with Ruler of the World (2013) and Workforce (2010).
Giovanni Canaletto has room to improve in his second start of the season and he should appreciate the added distance of the Derby.
I look for him to run a good race.
STORM THE STARS (USA) – a bay colt by Sea the Stars (IRE) out of Love Me Only (IRE) by Sadler’s Wells (USA) comes into this race with a 2-3-0 record in six starts.
As a two year old, Storm the Stars (15-1) finished second in both of his starts. In his debut as a three year old, Storm the Stars finished fifth running 10 furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse on April 15. He followed that with a maiden-breaking win, running 10 furlongs at Leicester Racecourse on April 25.
Storm the Stars finished second in the 12½ furlong Chester Vase Stakes (G3) at Chester Racecourse on May 7 and 15 days later he won the Casco EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes (Listed) at Goodwood Racecourse. I couldn’t find a video of that race but here’s the chart call:
[Storm the Stars] sweating, made all, ridden and hung right to far rail over 1f out, stayed on dourly final furlong
Storm the Stars seems to run his best the farther they race. I look for him to run good on Saturday.
KILIMANJARO (IRE) – a bay colt by High Chaparral (IRE) out of Middle Persia (ENG) by Dalakhani (IRE) comes into this race with a 2-0-0 record in four starts.
Kilimanjaro (15-1) struggled as a two year old, finishing ninth in his maiden debut running a mile at Gowran Park last July. In his second start last September, Kilimanjaro finished sixth in another mile race at Gowran Park.
However, as a three year old, Kilimanjaro is on the winning track breaking his maiden by 2¼ lengths on April 24, running 10½ furlongs at Dundalk (IRE) Stadium all-weather racetrack.
And, on May 9, running dead last in a field of five, Kilimanjaro powered home with a tremendous burst of speed in the last quarter mile to win the 11½ furlong Betfred.com Derby Trail Stakes (Listed). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
[Kilimanjaro] close up in rear, pushed along and steady headway from over 1f out, led well inside final furlong, ridden close home
Kilmanjaro has the breeding to be a factor in this race and he picks up the services of jockey Joseph O’Brien who rode him to victory in his first start this year.
I look for the pair to run a good race.
HANS HOLBEIN (IRE) – by Montjeu (IRE) out of LLia (ENG) by Shirley Heights (ENG) comes into the Epsom Derby with a 2-1-0 record in four starts.
Hans Holbein (12-1) made one start as a two year old, finishing fourth in one mile race at Growan Park.
On April 4, Hans Holbein finished second in his debut as a three year old, running 10 furlongs at Cork (IRE) Racecourse. He broke his maiden winning a 10 furlong race at Leopardstown on April 15 and he followed that performance with another win in the 12½ furlong Chester Vase Stakes (G3) at Chester Racecourse. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
[Hans Holbein] made all, ridden over 1f out, kept on well
Hans Holbein rounds out the top four. He also has good breeding and could, perhaps, be a factor in this race.
Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of and everything one needs to know about the horse, from the physical conformational characteristics to the emotional and behavioral traits, can be found in the pedigree if one knows the families, Ancestral Herd that formed the foal.
As my brother, Dallas, and I refine the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software, I believe that we will eventually be able to pick the exact order of finish or be extremely close.
For the first time in the history of the Thoroughbred, the empirical evidence gathered through the robust power of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software shows that the pedigree is the only true standard, indicator of horse performance, especially of their classic potential.
In addition to being an exceptional handicapping tool and predictor of classic races like the Epsom Derby, Dallas and I are confident that the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile™ software will prove to be a valuable tool for horse owners and breeders helping them to take the guesswork out of purchasing and breeding their horses.