Sometimes truths in a set of stats jump out at you. Other times you need to interpret stats at length before they can help you. Speed figures (adjusted final-time figures) allegedly improve raw times and are considered a necessity. But do these manipulated times really offer a sharper view of reality than unvarnished clockings?

I recommend starting with the unvarnished truth to see what immediately jumps out at you. That’s why the stats on this page are based on raw times. (If you doubt the worth of unadjusted race times, check out Derby Stat Blast Chart #2.)

Average Times for 9F Dirt Preps Since 2000

  • Sunland Derby avg.: 1:49.0……..1:47.4 Chitu (2013 Govenor Charlie 1:47.2)
  • Florida Derby avg.: 1:49.1……….1:49.0 Constitution (2013 Orb 1:50.4)
  • La. Derby avg.: 1:50.1……………..1:50.3 Vicar’s In Trouble (2013 Revolutionary 1:50.1)
  • Wood Mem. avg.: 1:50.0………….1:49.1 Wicked Strong (2013 Verrazano 1:50.1)
  • SA Derby avg.: 1:48.3………………1:47.2 California Chrome (2013 Goldencents 1:48.3)
  • Arkansas Derby avg.: 1:49.3……1:49.3 Danza (2013 Overanalyze 1:51.4)

Key Takeaway: Only one 9-furlong prep winner ran slower than average this year. Indications are we might have a stronger than usual class of 3-year-olds.

Historical Context for 2014 Winners at 9F on Dirt

Sunland Derby

Govenor Charlie……1:47.2 (missed Ky. Derby w/injury)
Chitu……………………1:47.4
Endorsement………..1:48.2 (missed Ky. Derby w/injury)

Louisiana Derby

Hero of Order………….1:50.13
Revolutionary………….1:50.28
Mission Impazible……1:50.32
Vicar’s In Trouble…..1:50.77

Florida Derby

Big Brown…………….1:48.16 (WON 2008 Ky. Derby)
Scat Daddy…………….1:49.00
Barbaro……………….1:49.01 (WON 2006 Ky. Derby)
Empire Maker………..1:49.05 (2nd in 2003 Ky. Derby)
Constitution……………1:49.17
Ice Box………………….1:49.19 (2nd in 2010 Ky. Derby)
Cape Town…………….1:49.21
High Fly………………..1:49.43

Wood Memorial

Fusaichi Pegasus…….1:47.80 (WON 2000 Ky. Derby)
Captain Bodgit………..1:48.20 (2nd by head 1997 Ky. Derby)
Monarchos…………….1:48.35 (WON 2001 Ky. Derby)
Devil His Due………….1:49.20
Talkin Man……………..1:49.20
Wicked Strong…………1:49.31
Nobiz Like Shobiz……1:49.46
I Want Revenge……….1:49.49
Tapit………………………1:49.60

Santa Anita Derby

Indian Charlie…………..1:47.00
California Chrome…1:47.52
Real Quiet……………1:47.55 (WON 1998 Ky. Derby)
Sunday Silence……..1:47.60 (WON 1989 Ky. Derby)
Free House……………….1:47.60 (3rd in 2007 Ky. Derby)
Silver Charm………..1:47.65 (WON 2007 Ky. Derby)
Point Given………………1:47.77
Winning Colors…….1:47.80 (WON 1988 Ky. Derby)
I’ll Have Another…..1:47.88 (WON 2012 Ky. Derby)

Key Takeaway: Although nearly all the prep winners this year ran faster than average, only California Chrome ran fast enough to join elite 3-year-olds of the past. A strong case also can be made for Constitution. In the Florida Derby list of comparable times, he sits just below Derby winner Barbaro and sandwiched between Derby runner-ups Empire Maker and Ice Box.