Keeping Your Bankroll Healthy by Going Organic

It’s time to say goodbye to those artificial ingredients.

I’m talking about speed figures full of fillers like specious variants and subjective opinions. If you strip down the performances of Kentucky Derby contenders to their raw, unfiltered times, you can improve the health of your bankroll.

Sacrilegious, I know.

On this site, you can find historical winning times for major Derby prep races. You can see that eventual Kentucky Derby winners occupy the top tier of the lists. You also might notice the Gold Standard qualifiers from The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby also occupy the top tier.

Between the information on this site and The Lazy Bettor’s Guide, you have all the information you need to determine which winning prep efforts rank as superior.

Why toss out the wisdom of figure-makers? Consider the horses owning the top 8 speed-figures from Kentucky Derby prep efforts in the past 24 years:

  • Bellamy Road
  • Millenium Wind
  • Sinister Minister
  • Holy Bull
  • Serena’s Song
  • Unbridled’s Song
  • Readthefootnotes
  • Skip Away

There’s not a Derby winner among them. Not a single one of them even finished in the money!

Compare that record of inaccuracy to the predictive power of raw times in major preps:

  • Kentucky Derby winners California Chrome and I’ll Have Another own 2 of the top 3 winning times in the Santa Anita Derby since 2000. (Both are Silver Standard qualifiers in my book, and they ran in years lacking a Gold Standard qualifier.)
  • Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown owns the top time of all Florida Derby contenders since 2000 who competed in the Kentucky Derby.
  • Barbaro and Empire Maker, both Gold Standard qualifiers, also reside in the top 5 on the Florida Derby list.
  • Two of the three fastest times in the Wood Memorial since 2000 belong to Kentucky Derby winners (and Gold Standard qualifiers) Fusaichi Pegasus and Monarchos (who ran 2nd to Congaree in 2001).
  • Empire Maker’s 2004 winning time lands him in the top 5 here, with Gold Standard qualifier and Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide finishing right behind him that year.

You can extend the usefulness of raw times in Derby preps by eliminating horses who land in the bottom tier of each race’s clockings. Look at the Wood Memorial list. The highly touted, pre-Derby favorite Verrazano doesn’t seem so special viewed from this angle. Nor does the well-backed Tapit or the undefeated Wood winner Gemologist.

As reliable as these raw times are, a few other factors determine who among the fastest of the fast are best suited for the Kentucky Derby. The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby identifies those factors. Read its organic advice and improve the health of your bankroll.

Roger LeBlanc
April 11, 2015

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