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Secretariat’s Track Record Not In Jeopardy This Year

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By Author: Lee Lane-Edgar
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Is it just me or is this year’s prospective Kentucky Derby field, excepting Uncle Mo (who is now out of the running) and maybe The Factor, unusually weak? Never have I seen so many of the top prospects running such weak races, at least according to that holy grail of measurements, the Beyer Speed Figure. Consider Dialed In, who has now won both the Holy Bull Stakes and most recently the Florida Derby received Beyer’s of 97 and 93, respectively. And this is a horse that was hammered down to 5-1 in pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and who will likely be close to 3-1 on Derby day.
The average winning Beyer Speed Figure for the Kentucky Derby is about a 109. Going back the past 10 years, Super Saver earned a 104, Mine That Bird a 105, Big Brown earned a 109, Street Sense earned a 110, Barbaro a 111, Giacomo a 100, Smarty Jones a 107, Funny Cide a 109, War Emblem a 114, Monarchos 116, and Fusaichi Pegasus got a 108.
Only two horses who are still on the Derby trail have attained a triple digit Beyer at the route distance – The Factor (103 in the Rebel), and Soldat (103 in the Florida Derby). Uncle ...
... Mo and Soldat both disappointed in their last race, and The Factor is a frontrunner. Even if The Factor wins the Derby it is hard to see him running a sub-two-minute race especially after having to withstand the fast early fractions that such a performance would require.
The second tier of horses on most pundits top 10 list are Jaycito and Mucho Macho Man. Jaycito, though a Grade 1 winner, has only attained an 88 Beyer and that was as a two-year-old, and Mucho Macho Man won the G2 Risen Star with only a 94 Beyer. He did earn a 99 Beyer finishing second in the G2 Remsen last year, so at least he has shown that he is at least capable of running close to the top tier horses. To Honor and Serve has thrown in two sub-par races as a three-year-old, but did register a 102 in the Remsen last fall (beating Mucho Macho Man), so he has talent in him somewhere.
Then the list really thins out – Pants on Fire and Nehro, the one-two finishers in the Louisiana Derby received 94 Beyers each. Animal Kingdom got a 92 for his win in the Spiral, and Santiva’s best figure is a 91 for a second place finish in the Risen Star.
We still have the Blue Grass and the Lexington Stakes, and new stars are always emerging, especially at this time of year, but based on what we’ve seen so far, it may not take a superstar to win the Kentucky Derby this year.
It is hard to see any horse this year coming close to the 159 and 2/5 track record Secretariat set back in 1973, even if they pack down that Churchill Downs surface (as they often do) to make it as lightning quick as humanly possible for the Kentucky Derby. Big Red likely won’t lose any sleep over the prospect and can rest in peace on May 7th.
Don’t forget to join the community as a VIP and get access to free simulated races for the upcoming Blue Grass Stakes. See who wins this simulated race. Don't forget, you can jockey or fictitiously bet these horses as well.

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