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THE SHAPE OF THE RACE

Posted by on 4/23/2014 8:50:53 PM

With a full gate of 20 runners in prospect for the Kentucky Derby, it’s obvious for most online sports betting site players that luck will play a big factor but a bigger issue is the pace of the race and how the race shapes up.

We were all witnesses last year when Orb benefited by a ridiculous pace and then the Kentucky Derby just fell apart. 

The pace in the Derby is generally crazy because riders are human and they get caught up in the moment. There is nothing like making the lead in the Derby but nothing matters if you can’t finish.

As we already mentioned that Orb was on the lucky side when they went so fast in last year’s Derby so let’s look at the styles of some of this year’s leading contenders.

California Chrome has :46 and change speed but it would not be a stretch to project him 4th or 5th early on Derby Day. He also has made the pivotal huge run moving into the stretch and that is an envious talent to possess.

Candy Boy was closer to the pace than ever when he won the Robert B. Lewis but he has also closed from third to last when 2nd to Shared Belief last year.

Danza is an interesting prospect. He had shown ability at 2, had one ordinary 7-furlong prep, and then ran away in the Arkansas Derby with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure after sitting no more than 2 and a half-lengths off the pace early.

On the other end of the spectrum, Intense Holiday is a stone-cold closer. He graduated on the lead but it was a slow pace but when he took the Risen Star, he was 8th of 14th early, before getting up by a nose.

Wicked Strong showed his talent last year when he was only beaten a half-length in the Remsen but after 2 preps at Gulfstream, he came from 6th of 10th to record a winning 104 Beyer in the Wood Memorial.

It looks like the pace will favor closers in most of the runnings of the Kentucky Derby but apparently history does not always agree.

Since back in the day, over 60 years ago,  just under 80% of the Derby winners had the lead at eighth-pole. Of those eighth-pole leaders, over 90% finished in the exacta and over 90% finished in the trifecta. The only horse to have the lead at the eighth-pole and not finish in the money in the last 60 years was Sea Cadet in 1991, who finished eighth after having to lead with a furlong remaining.

With that said, know that Super Saver came from about 5 and a half lengths off the pace to win the Derby and in 2009, Mine That Bird came from dead last and won going away.

Street Sense was 19th early in 2007, but he had a length at the 8th pole and was coming away late to cash at Churchill.

Big Brown took the 2008 Derby with a perfect trip when about 2 and a half off the pace but also know that year that Denis of Cork was 20th early, but rallied to get third at 27-1.

Bettors should try to keep their heads when analyzing the Derby and logically visualize where the contenders will be early in the race. That is the key to victory and visualization.


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